Joe Barlow Writes

Quirky Books for Quirky People–New Thoughts on Writing and Publishing in the Digital Frontier

The Phoenix Has Risen

Joe Barlow - Apple Pic

Hello, world. Nice of you to stop by.

Let me admit something right off the bat: this isn’t the first writing blog I’ve ever had. In fact, by my count, it’s no less than my fourth. Three times before I’ve stood at the brink and leapt, only to find that I couldn’t flap my arms hard enough to keep my aspirations airborne.

So why do it all again? Why set myself up for failure once more?

Simple: this time, I’m not going to fail. Too much has changed. My head feels like it could split open with all the ideas that are beating around inside it, like moths slapping against a window, trying to reach the light bulb on the other side. I need an outlet for them, to preserve my sanity if nothing else.

Words have served me well over the years. I’ve made a reasonable living from stringing them together in various ways. I’ve worked as a technical writer for perhaps a dozen corporations and small businesses. I’ve been a grantwriter and a ghostwriter. I’ve composed sales copy, served as a web editor for any number of organizations, and even earned my living for a brief but glorious time as a film critic, back before the Internet (and, more specifically, blogging) erupted into the public consciousness and eradicated the notion that writers should get paid for their opinions online. (Happily, I did publish a collection of film reviews┬ásome years back, and it’s still in print. We’ll talk more about that in future updates, I’m sure.)

But that’s not where my main interests lie these days. You see, I want to tell stories.

I’ve always dreamed of being a novelist. Back in the ’90s, I wrote two absolutely heinous novels, both of which were mercifully slaughtered in a hard drive crash several years ago. I’ve written five feature-length screenplays (one of them got optioned by a small production company, although that’s where its journey to the silver screen ended). And I’ve written and published a few short stories over the years, though I’m sure you’ve never heard of the outlets in which they appeared.

But despite the hardships, the dream has only grown stronger. And it’s time to indulge it.

You see, in the past year, I’ve written two additional novels. Happily, they’re substantially better than the two I mentioned above. And although they’re not quite ready to be unleashed on the world, they’re not too far off. So I thought it would be fun to start this blog, to chronicle my journey towards publication and make the process a little more transparent.

Thanks so much for taking the trip with me. I’m honored to be sharing it with you.