When my friend, the talented and successful Tracy Cooper-Posey of Stories Rule, found my Slow Culture article online, she asked if her kind words of encouragement, earlier this year, had been too much pressure. Far from it! I was inspired by her interest and impressed by the work she is doing.
Slow culture isn't anti-anything. It's a style that makes staying in the creative space possible for me, now, with the Okal Rel Universe in particular. I have the greatest respect for writer-entrepreneurs like Tracy and another friend, Jeremy Reimer. In fact I celebrate all forms of meaningful, quality self-expression in the fiction realm from free fan fic to world famous best sellers. Slow culture doesn't even mean I will never again write things to submit to publications, branch out beyond #okalrel, or monetize. It's a philosophy that gives me permission to decide "how much is enough" and why I do things.
Slow culture and the nature of the Okal Rel Universe (ORU)
I was glad to have been traditionally published! But not sorry to leave behind the pressure to make sales. It took me years to figure out what I was missing, and that I could fly for my own reasons again.
What I’m doing, right now, under the banner of #slowculture, is what I’ve always done with my fiction: use it to explore, entertain, occupy my muse, and find people to share the journey.
For example, in a traditional publishing environment the Okal Rel Universe being “hard to get into” is fatal. One must sell or perish. It doesn't matter if the people who do get "into it" read it three times, binge multiple books over a weekend and get in touch to tell me how much it meant to them. Under the banner of #slowculture, however, I can give myself permission to forego recruiting mobs of paying customers who probably wanted something different, anyway, if they read a page and found it too hard to "get into" instead of being intrigued.
#slowculture says it's okay for the Okal Rel Universe to be discovered, slowly, by those who will enjoy it, even at the cost of being ignored by the majority, and to play out in the world in an emotionally sustainable way for me.
It lets me define my own criteria for what makes it worthwhile to keep flying.