Write Naked, Die Famous is a monthly newsletter and podcast by Kitten Holiday about art, writing, reading and the need for creative and honest art. Monthly article on craft paired with a podcast to discuss the topic with another writer or reader. In addition, Kitten continues to write challenging and compelling articles about human nature, conflict, meaning and passion as well as engaging fiction that will be collected in links each month for your convenience. Subscribe to never miss an issue and get access to exclusive material. For only $5.00 a month, less than 17 cents a day, you can feed Kitten the reassurance and encouragement she needs to keep facing the creative demons in her head that say she isn’t good enough. If you like my work, is it worth $0.17 a day? $5 a month? I hope so.
Why Naked? Why Famous? Why Write?
Too much writing in the current marketplace is nice. It follows the rules and abides by conventions. Everyone wants to know “What is your genre? What is your target audience?” And you’re supposed to have an answer. “I write young adult fiction. I write Military Thrillers. I write Romance.” And yet, everyone is writing the same thing. They are writing palatable stories that entertain, make the reader feel like a good person, they give an escape from the daily grind. Most of these stories are forgettable because they are all the same.
Publishing is a sea of sameness. The dystopian setting, the bold female protagonist who realizes she can save herself, the daring male protagonist who finds out he’s fearless and skilled in all things. The love affair that starts out bumpy but turns out alright. The crazy psycho who acts normal but does psycho things. Who could see THAT coming? You could. That’s who. And so could I.
Every story has been told before but what isn’t being told anymore is the bare naked truth about humanity and society. We’ve stripped the complexity out of people and problems so we can “tell a compelling story.” Really we are just trying to tell stories people will read to the finish. That means we want to keep them momentum going. You know what slows down the momentum? Thinking. You know what we do when we escape? Stop thinking.
We want writing to be an escape, we are tired of thinking. We want to be reassured with predictability because chaos scares us. Knowing ourselves scares us. Knowing each other scares us. Being known, naked, laid bare for others to see scares us.
But that’s art. That’s the electricity of making connections between things and starting to understand. That’s beauty, pure, unfiltered, vulnerable and honest.
And that’s the kind of writing I’m trying to produce. That’s the kind of writing I’m looking to read. That’s the kind of writing that is going to change the world. Not watered down bullshit that reassures us we are fine, just fine, exactly as we are, thinking all the same things, never growing, never challenged, never having to look in the mirror or face our demons.
Write Naked, Die Famous. And if not famous then die know you gave it everything you had.
Love, Kitten Holiday
As Bret Easton Ellis explained on the Substack Podcast, corporate culture is dictating how we express ourselves as comedians, as writers, as filmmakers, as artists, and as citizens."
Creative freedom is imperative but as the power of the corporation grows, that freedom is more and more elusive.
"We must adhere to the corporations rule book about humor about freedoms of expression what's funny what's not.” Bret Easton Ellis
Creating a space for artists to take creative risks is imperative to a vibrant culture. Unfortunately, in this modern era with character assassination for wrongthink as powerful and damning as a literal assassination, writers like myself are finding it harder to reach audiences without suffering personal or financial consequences for taking creative risks. With traditional publishing turning into an insiders club filled with only recycled or pre-approved ideas, writers have moved to self-publishing. This is a great avenue but it can take months or years to write a book and that’s a long time to wait to connect with readers. Blogs are dead as social media has taken over but the subscription format is taking off. Not only does it give writers a way to engage on a regular basis, it also helps writers support themselves financially with the support of readers who enjoy their work.
“As creatives, as artists it seems we can no longer push the envelope, go to the dark side, explore the taboo. Or you can I guess but that's depending if you want to feed your family.” Bret Easton Ellis
I like substack for the simplicity of the platform as well as the potential to create work exclusively for a supportive readership. Unlike Patreon, Substack also provides the ability to give gift subscriptions. And unlike Patreon, Substack has not started censoring writers and artists who are different. Let’s hope Substack stays honest.