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December 20, 2016
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December 22, 2016

Breadcrumbs from the Void #26: Find Your Safe Space – Establishing Your Writing Circle | Alex Schumacher

Alex Schumacher

Tis the season to be jolly. However, with Drumpfs kleptocracy set to take over control of these here Divided States of America it is difficult to feel much other than pessimism or dismay. If his merry band of miscreant white nationalist ass-lickers does not worry you than you are either A. a fucking imbecile or B. an Aryan, heterosexual, Christian male who makes over $100,000.00 a year.

Everyone outside of those two groups should be petrified for the future of our nation.

To be clear, I am not suggesting anyone fear the Cheetos-dusted would-be tyrant or any of his cabinet and their collected IQ which hovers around 25. Moreover I – as so many others – am simply calling for vigilance and an unwavering dedication to pushing back against the unintelligent, uninformed eunuch who will be leading the nation come January 20th. To ensure America endures it will take all of us working together toward this common goal, to wit, banding together as a community.

Community is not only important for maintaining mental – and possibly physical – stability in the face of a bigoted and ignorant oligarchy. It also assists in the fortification and encouragement of your creative endeavors. Assembling yourself a nucleus of trusted fellow scribes can have countless benefits including, but not limited to:

  • Honest critiques
  • Impartial soundboards
  • Emotional support (for you namby-pambys who still cannot deal with rejections)

Now you may be wondering how to go about finding such a cadre of compadres. Here are a few ideas to light the fire under your flabby ass.

Think Locally

Regardless of where you live, be it some ass-backward podunk hillbilly town or a douchebag deluxe high-rise imprisoned metropolis, there will be at least one or two hacks just deluded enough to seek artistic camaraderie. Like you, they will be crippled by low self-esteem and looking for someone to ride tandem along their journey of literary discovery. At least for the first leg.

If they begin to gain any amount of notoriety you better believe they will dump you along the side of the road amongst the scores of litter and decimated life goals. They will no longer be in need of the extra baggage they once turned to for comfort. But do not get ahead of yourself. You are far from any such demeaning event which will only serve to reaffirm all of your wildest nightmares regarding your own shortcomings.

First you have to find the louses from whom you can expect such sudden and inevitable betrayal.

So where to begin? Libraries, coffee shops, and the mythical destination once known as book stores are adequate points of contact. Most will harbor a corkboard or dedicated section of wall space to the haphazard collage of classifieds and advertisements posted by fledgling punk bands groveling for an audience, hipster artists simulating apathy towards an upcoming exhibit but desperately in need of validation, and — you guessed it — writers hunting for kindred spirits.

At least one of said establishments will typically hold an open mic night or writers group to entice those of your ilk to shake off their agoraphobic tendencies and get the fuck involved. Should none of the above be available to you there is always the option of initiating and organizing your own group or open mic.

Act Globally

Most of you young bucks out there will more than likely already have a firm grasp on this whole interweb business. Otherwise you would not have found your way here, frivolously dwindling precious masturbation time. Come to think of it, a lack of web browsing acumen may be the precise reason as to why you landed here on the site of misfit toys.

Regardless, the internet is and will remain to be an invaluable tool in all future ventures. I tend to shit on technology as a significant element in the retardization (yes, I am aware that is not a word assholes) of the world. Accelerated advancements in modern electronics have led to such repugnant plagues as text-speak essays, fake news outlets, and cyber-bullying.

Moreover, the ability to connect with anyone anywhere in the world has also generated some previously unfathomable opportunities. One such momentous breakthrough catered specifically to your needs is the online writers group. What follows is a list of several, though by no means all-inclusive, sites where writers congregate to offer one another feedback and whine about why the world refuses to recognize their genius:

https://www.inkedvoices.com/
http://www.scribophile.com/
http://www.critiquecircle.com/

The ‘net can also be a utilitarian aid in locating conferences which may be held in or around the vicinity of your residing town. Conferences hold innumerable possibilities when it comes to talking shop with other budding wordsmiths. Workshops and panels lead by accomplished members of the publishing industry are conducted which are stuffed to the gills with (mostly useless) information and advice. Word is literary agents attend such events.

When you have finally had your fill of other novices wiping their filthy brown eyes with your work feel free to use one of these events to send your babies to slaughter. I am sure a literary agent or editor will offer nothing but a veritable windfall of praise.

In all seriousness, find yourself a group of other writers whom you trust. Colleagues that are not afraid to inform you that your writing is nothing but a steaming pile of Santorum*.

(*”The frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex” – Dan Savage)

If you would like to hear me elaborate a bit more on my own process, you can find links to a couple of interviews conducted recently with me on my website at: https://alexschumacherart.com/about/. Drop me a line from the contact page if you have any other questions, complaints, or declarations of lust.

Bread Crumbs from the Void will be taking a couple of weeks off for the holidays, but will return in the new year well rested and ready to continue its regimen of tough love. Until next time, keep scribbling you freaks.


Profile 4Alex Schumacher has toiled away in the relative obscurity of minimum-wage jobs and underground comics longer than he cares to admit. Currently he produces the weekly feature Decades of (in)Experience for Antix Press, Bread Crumbs from the Void and The Fucking Funnies for Five 2 One Magazine, and Mr. Butterchips for Drunk Monkeys. Stalk him at http://alexschumacherart.com/.