The work in progress


by Stevan Alburty

 

People often visit this site and say, "Steve, you're a fine writer and it looks like you've had a lot of work published, but I haven't seen anything new posted here in a long time.  What are you up to?"

Actually, I'm working on my first novel. 

After a piece of mine appeared in Fast Company, an agent approached me about writing a business book.  You know the type: "How Such-and-Such a Company Made a Gazillion Dollars and How You Can, Too!"  (This was at the height of the bubble, so publishers' enthusiasm for books on how to replicate the dot.com success were in vogue.)

But by this point in my life, I was a little tired of writing for Fast Company.  It was a fine magazine and I liked the editor, but the process of getting something into the magazine had become so laborious that I felt like I was back in the same type of bureaucratic morass I'd left Corporate America to escape.

I said to the agent, "No, thanks. I think I've had my fill of business."  But after a pause, I said, "However, I would write an anti-business book."  Her eyes froze.  "Yeah, that's it," I said, my adrenaline starting to pump. "I'll write a book about the corruption of business, about how it sucks the soul right out of your fucking body."  The agent looked vaguely frightened.

And that's the moment my work on my novel began. However, the idea of writing a non-fiction book about the evils of business seemed tedious. All those facts, which have to be accurate. Who needs that?  So I'm approaching it as a work of fiction. 

What's it's about, you ask?  Oh no you don't. Writers never answer that question.  It's not that it's bad luck or anything.. It's just that we have no friggin' idea what it's about until it's done.

Let's just say that it's monumental in scope and that one section deals with a company where the culture is so strong it's more like a cult. Oh, and by the way, the character of the messianic creative genius who leads it? It's pure invention.

So while I work on the novel, which should be finished just about the time they come to cart me off to one of these places, I spend my days working as Stevan Alburty's personal assistant.  I handle his correspondence, I pay his bills, I maintain his apartment and his house upstate.  It is a full-time job.

I also do some technology consulting on the side.

I apologize if this website isn't updated as frequently as it used to be.  But writing a novel takes a long, long time.

However, I'm sure I could hasten the process if you were to volunteer to be my personal assistant or you sent me a check for a lot of money so I can stop worrying incessantly about paying the mortgages and the health insurance.

I hate to break it to you, but the romantic myth of the starving artist died long before the NASDAQ..

Steve