Sunday, December 23, 2018

Procrastination Paradise

Greetings, fellow humans of 2018. It’s been quite the year, eh? I know it has for me. It started off strong—my Akron Soul Train Residency came and went (and went extremely well) during the first quarter of the year, and then my inspiration to write kind of fizzled after that, with maybe a few short bursts here and there. Maybe I just used it all up and needed to refuel—I don't know.

I’m not even really sure where I’m going with this blog post, to be honest. Not that that’s ever stopped me before. No, I’m going to do like I do and just sort of wing it. See where it goes. Put fingers to keys, words to screen, and hopefully, after the dust settles, what I write will make some semblance of sense. Maybe even have some coherence.

We'll see, I suppose, but I wouldn't get my hopes up too much.

Black Sabbath's Paranoid is spinning on my record player, because I needed some “Electric Funeral” in my life. This was recorded before they spent more money on cocaine than on the music. It should at least be a 50/50 split. I don’t know. Cocaine has never really been for me, and I feel like, at 36, I’m too old to start that shit now. It would just be sad, at this point. Too mid-life crisis-y for my taste.

In my experience, it’s better to use drugs to help find inspiration, rather than relying on them for inspiration. It’s a subtle difference, but an important one. It’s best this way, when they're more of a tool than a crutch. I’m finding that meditation works really well for that, too. It’s also much healthier. I’m no spring chicken anymore, so I have to think about that shit. I’ve already started falling apart enough—I don’t need it to get any worse.

Finding inspiration can definitely be tricky. It might not always be, but sometimes it is. Even if I know what I'm going to write about, even if I’ve already brainstormed it and outlined it and all that business, actually sitting down and punching it out is the hard part.

Of course, it doesn’t help that I am something of a first-rate procrastinator. Even in grad school, even during my short but busy journalist days, I have always been one to wait until as close to the deadline as humanly possible to complete an assignment. It usually always worked out for me, which is probably why I have kept doing it all these years. The results speak for themselves, anyways. Well, it has gotten me this far.

Every writing advice column/blog/magazine is loaded with the sorts of advice that the aspiring writers who subscribe to them will follow and have varying degrees of success with in the real world. I used to subscribe to that advice, too, writing so many words a day or for so long a day, or whatever it happens to be this week, but to be honest, I think the best advice I have ever gotten is to just find what works and stick with it, no matter what the experts say.

The key is to just keep, keeping on, even if that means only sitting down every once and while, when the inspiration actually does strike, and getting out what I am able to get out during that time. I just keep doing it, no matter what. Eventually, something will click and I’ll finish what I set out to finish. It might not turn out how I originally thought it would, but that’s okay. It’s almost always for the better, that way.

So maybe I’m doing more guitar-playing than writing right now, but that’s okay. I will come back around to the writing again. See? I’m doing it now. That’s all the proof I need. It might not be the thing I need to focus on writing, but it's something. That, the short story collection, might be far from done, but if I continue pushing myself, continue story by story, page by page, word by freaking word, no matter how long it actually does take, I will get it done, and it will turn out exactly like it's supposed to turn out.

Maybe the trick for me is motivating myself through sitting down and writing a blog post first, because I feel pretty super-jazzed about writing right now. Hmmm, maybe there's something to that. I'm not sure, but I'm just going to go with it, because at least it's working now, and that's all I really need.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Next Title: Coming 2019!

Xennial is Gabe Gott’s definitive collection of short stories, which was written between 2008 and 2018. The set is divided into three sections: 1. Pop, 2. Auto, and 3. Rejects. Pop is a set of brand new science fiction and dark humor stories. Auto contains the autobiographical stories that Gabe wrote during his final year and a half of studying English at Kent State (between 2010 and 2011). Rejects contains some of the first stories Gabe wrote and published on his blog between 2008 and 2011.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Birth of a Salesman

My minds eye is always looking towards the future, towards the next project, towards how the projects I am working on now will shape that future and how I can better reach my goals and still retain my humanity.

I think that's why I usually end up jumping from one project to the next, and indeed, I have come far as a writer and a publisher, but maybe I am being too hasty when I just move on to the next thing. Maybe I actually need to stick with a project after I have completed the creative side of things and really dig down and try to get people interested in it.

That being said, I've never wanted to be a salesman so there is a balance that I have to maintain, but there is not reason why I can't take some time to put my book out there and get people reading it. I see no reason why I can't treat what I do like local musicians treat their music and build an audience.

That's one of the benefits of living somewhere like Akron. There's plenty of opportunities for me to do readings and vend my wares on people at events where people come to purchase such wares. There's a market for what I do and potential readers all around me. I just have to present what I've got to them and hope that it strikes their fancy.

While I am definitely planning and preparing for my next move, I am not in a hurry to dive down and pour all my focus in the next pot. I am pretty proud of how Idiot Parade turned out, and I can't wait to get it out there. It's worth spending more time on and building an audience around.

In other words, expect to see my shining face around town this summer.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Launch of Gott Press Website

Yesterday, I officially launched the website of my brand new publishing company, Gott Press (click the image below to follow link to Starting a publishing company is something that I have wanted to do for a few years now, and thanks to Akron Soul Soul Train, I have been able to do it.

Eventually, I would like to publish others' works, but right now, until I can get this thing off the ground, I will be focused on publishing my own books. At least for this next book, I will still be distributing through Createspace, but that is also eventually going to change, as well.

Right now, you can say that I am in a transitional phase. I am still doing most everything myself, but for future works, I am going to outsource things like editing and cover design to people who specialize in those things so I can create more professional products and focus more on the writing and the promotion of the works. At least for most stuff anyways. Pet projects I will still do it all myself. For example, I don't feel like I need to outsource editing for my poetry, but my novels, it make sense to hire an editor.

Now that I have the framework setup, I can focus on getting this first book, Idiot Parade, finished and ready to be released. To be honest, I don't have too much left to do to get it ready as it has come together pretty easily and naturally, and I don't want to overthink it too much. I might cut a few of the weakest poems out of it just so I have a tighter, stronger set of poems. Other than that, there's not much left to do. I will be ordering a proof this week.

Thanks again everyone for all of the support! It definitely makes this easier and more exciting for me. Maybe eventually I will make a living doing this, but for now, I am happy with where I am with everything. I feel like I am making real progress, at any rate.

I hope everyone likes Idiot Parade. I guess I will find out on May 12.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Going Ape (For You)

Greetings from Gott Press Headquarters here in sunny Highland Square, Akron's hipsterest (and hippest) neighborhood -- home of PorchRokr, Annabell's Punk Night, and the Zub's girl.

Today is March 31st, or as I look to think of it, April Fools Eve. It's also the last day of my Akron Soul Train Fellowship. It went by extremely quickly, and I attribute that to the fact that it was extremely fucking fun and I enjoyed pretty much every moment of it. I would call it a success, at any rate. Here are my final numbers, as far as creative output, if you're curious:

Free Verse Poems: 18

Blackout Poems: 16

total: 34

That's right, I averaged more than a poem a day, which definitely meets the goal that I set for myself before I started. I have also designed the cover of the chapbook, and I have a solid draft of the interior. I am still working through selecting and editing the poems that I will include in the chapbook, but I hope to order a proof this week -- if everything goes according to plan.

There's a few people who I need to thank, for without whom this would not only not have been a success, but it wouldn't have happened at all.

First, I have to thank my wife, partner in crime, and muse, Sarah, who held me to my word and made me finish that application at 8 p.m. the night that it was due. I love you!

I would like to also thank the 2017-2018 Fellowship Selection Committee and everyone at Akron Soul Train, particularly Natalie Grieshammer, who went above and beyond in her role to make this a great experience. She made things possible that would have been impossible without her help. I would also like to thank Amy Mothersbaugh, Nancy Brennan, Danielle Thompson, and Arnold Tunstall, who have all been extremely supportive and helpful.

Finally, thank you Adam Searl, JT Barnett, Mila Susnjar, Toni Billick, Sheepy, Roxy & Marc, The Dreemers, Sage Lewis, Elly Dallas, Rubber City Prints, Chris Miller/The Akronist, Yoly Miller, everyone who came to my Happening, everyone who came to my Blackout Poetry workshop, Compass Coffee, and everyone who has supported me over the years. I could go on and on here, and my apologies to anyone who deserves credit who I may have forgotten, but I can't thank you all enough!

Be sure to mark your calendars for May 12, from 6-8 p.m. for my Idiot Parade book release party so you can see for yourself the end result of all of this hard work (and maybe buy a copy ;-)).

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Major Announcement, Complete with Fanfare

Hola mis amigos y amigas! Que tal? Es Sabado y estoy escribiendo un "blog post" para ustedes!

For those of you who don't speak Spanish: Hi friends! What's up? It's Saturday, and I'm writing a blog post for you!

And that's all for today's Espanol para Gringos, 101, brought to you by Sabado Gigante (RIP) and Medalla Light.

I'm in a good mood this morning for a few reasons. For one, I didn't have any obligations so I was able to sleep in past 9. Not to mention, it's shaping up to be a beautiful day weather-wise. However, the main reason I am just bubbling over with enthusiasm before noon on a Saturday is that I am ready to reveal the cover of my Akron Soul Train chapbook.

Drumroll, please. Spotlight ready... Curtains! Fanfare!

(front cover)

(back cover)
There you go. Hopefully not too underwhelming, or overwhelming. Hopefully just the right amount of whelming.

Yes, Idiot Parade is the title, and I want to ensure the PC Police that I don't mean that in a negative way. It's in reference to a line of one of the poems contained inside, "Expectations."

It will be approximately 50-60 pages of all free-verse and blackout poetry. My original intention was to also include flash fiction in it, but I instead plan on releasing another chapbook/short collection this summer that is exclusively fiction.

Anyways, this is also the first official publication of Gott Press, my own imprint. It seemed time to create more of a separation between myself and Createspace, and this was a great opportunity to do so with some of the stipend I received for being an Akron Soul Train Fellow. It is important to me to have complete creative and artistic independence so I can say what I want to say in the manner I want to say it, and this will ensure that I will continue to be able to do so. I have wanted to do this for a while, and I am excited about the future and the many books I plan on releasing on this label. More to come on this!

If you have been following my journey as an Akron Soul Train Fellow, you probably recognize the cover as a picture of the art that was created during my Happening at my Fellowship Kickoff party. I really liked how it turned out and it seemed like an appropriate use of this piece. The back cover, you might be able to tell, is the same picture, cropped slightly differently, and heavily edited with the photo editing software of my Samsung Galaxy S9.

Idiot Parade will be released on May 12 with a party here in Akron (more info TBA soon). I will be reading from it, as well as a few from my first poetry collection, Live Organ Transplants, and maybe some of my flash fiction, as well. There will also be live music and booze, and copies for sale. Stay tuned for more information!

I have one more official week left of my Fellowship. It has gone fast and I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. That being said, I have plenty of work to do before May 12th, so that is only the official end. Really, it's a beginning, too. All my hard work and struggling the past 15 or so years is really starting to pay off, and I am excited about what the future holds.

Now it's time to go out and enjoy this beautiful sunshine. It's a good day for a drive through the country, and I am feeling especially inspired to create more art. Hopefully, you take advantage of this gorgeous day, too!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Life-Affirming Shit

Photo by Sarah Gott. Taken at The Kurt Vonnegut Museum & Library in Indianapolis.
I'm not sure what happened. What keeps happening, or rather, not happening. I used to write blog posts constantly. There was a period there in grad school where I wrote nearly everyday. Of course, not exactly everyday, but consistently enough.

These days, I am not good about even doing it once a month, which is sad, because I used to get a lot of enjoyment out of writing these things. I guess, people change. Interests change. It became less important than other things. After all, I do have a real job now.

Having these first eleven days of my fellowship off from that real job, though, has reminded me of what I used to be like before everything got so fucking serious all the time. What it's like to make everyday life more fun. Doing things that I enjoy doing. I don't mean, like, content doing, but like, am really, really passionate about doing. Not the career, but the things that drive me.

That's one thing that I needed, I think, from this experience. Getting paid to write this thing (or these things, rather, might be more appropriate at this stage) has been a great experience. I only wish I could figure out how to do it more regularly. You know, not just make it a thing that I do, but the thing.

Hell, that might never happen. That doesn't mean I have to let the dream die, though.

My life is about to change in a big way, and I can't go into more detail than that right now, but I can assure you it's a good kind of change. The kind of thing that makes me evaluate what about myself I want to carry forward, and what is better off being left behind.

Suffice it to say, it's an on-going process.

Being a writer, and a musician, though, are things that I can never lose. They are the basic building blocks of my identity, at this point: I am an artist.

Honestly, I think the world needs more of us.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

What's Happening?!

It's about high time I posted something since my last post was in... October. Whoops. Well, there goes my marketing plan. Just kidding, I don't really have one of those. I know I probably should but I don't really care. I just want to make my art, write my writings, do my thing.

On that subject, March 1 starts my Akron Soul Train Fellowship, where I will spend a very busy month creating an original work of art, which I can loosely describe at this point as a poetry/blackout poetry/flash fiction chapbook. I also have an interest in collage art and screen printing so there will likely be elements of that involved too. I hope to find a tasteful way to combine all of these elements but I guess we'll see.

As for the topic that will be the focus of my writing, I don't really have that either. I am going to see where my inspiration will take me, but if you are familiar with what I do, it will probably be a combination of existential angst, political rants, dark humor and general weirdness/absurdity. If that sounds interesting to you, there will be a couple of opportunities for you to get a firsthand account of what this will be all about.

On March 2, I will be kicking this whole thing off right with a party, which I thought would fun to make a Happening. If you are not familiar with what a happening is, well, time to do some reading. Or you could just watch/listen to this lecture by Happening Artist Allan Kaprow:

If this sounds like something you'd being interested in  and  you live in the Akron area, I would love to you see you there:

If this isn't really something you'd likely do, but you are into poetry, hate right-wing propaganda and have always wanted to tear apart some books and scribble in the pages, I am having a Blackout Poetry workshop on March 10. It does cost $15.00 but materials are provided and it's at a coffee shop so you can get your caffeine fix while you stick it to the man! If that sounds like fun, please check out the facebook invite for more information, and be sure to get your tickets on Eventbrite: