Brian Keene broke the Internet… again.

I had a plan for this week’s Writing in Theory & Practice, but then, as he is wont to do, Brian Keene blew up the Internet by posting the speech he gave at Borderlands Boot Camp. That sort of took the wind out of my sails a bit. I know Brian. I like to think of him as a friend. We’ve broke bread, shared drinks, and enjoyed several meaningful (at least to me) conversations over the years, usually about our mutual admiration for Whiskey, Cigars, Days of our Lives, Manly Wade Wellman, and Atlas Comics’ Planet of Vampires (among other things). So, rather than me boring you with my inane rants and ramblings today, I think it might serve you better to be bored by his —

My name is Brian Keene and I am a full-time writer.

I’m honored to be here tonight. As you all know, it almost didn’t happen. I was supposed to be one of your instructors this year, but due to the economy, that didn’t work out. In truth, it wouldn’t have worked out anyway because I would have spent all weekend sitting out there with you and sponging up knowledge from instructors F. Paul Wilson, Douglas Winter, and Tom Monteleone instead of telling you anything useful.

Seriously. I hope you know how lucky you are to have an opportunity like the one you’ve had this weekend. My generation didn’t have a Borderlands Boot Camp. If we wanted writing advice from these guys, we had to get it the old-fashioned way – by buying them drinks at a bar. I figure that method of learning has cost me over $20,000 over the last fifteen years.

You’ve spent the weekend learning how to become writers, or perhaps, to be more accurate, how to become better writers. I’m here tonight, at the invitation of your instructors, to talk to you about what happens after you become a writer—how to make a living at it, what you can expect when you write for a living, and more importantly, what not to expect.


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