Wednesday, July 28, 2010
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Loafer
I'm gonna write this real fast, because my computer is full of little viruses and followers, making it hard to research stuff without being spammed, jammed and crammed.
My intention had been to discuss what happens to a writer when he or she achieves the lifelong goal of getting something into print, between covers with your name on it.
According to one author, almost nothing.
Enjoy the rush and go on to the next book.
...And make money.
Writing is a business, and it should be treated like a business.
Well, yippie shit. I had been in that business for about forty years
I remember doing my writing on the vinyl-covered kitchen table, hating every moment of it--but it was the only thing I could do half-right and at the end of the night, I'd have a magazine piece worth $750 oldfashioned dollars, and if I screwed it up they would still give me a thousand dollar "kill
fee, with the pretense that they would eventually bring my work forward--BF, they called it, but you knew too damn well that it would be marked NG for "no good" and they would never publish it.
Landlady says,"What kind of an asshole gets $750 for getting a story rejected?"
Well, in the anals of history...
But those were the days of being a salaried freelancer and when you'd been a name, and editors were jumping all over each other to steal you from John Bassett, my publisher at the time.
Those days are gone. There is a new crew now, computer literate, smart, and treating their writing like a busines--which, in my opinion, it is not.
From Karen Owen's blog:
Monday, July 26, 2010
WRITING IS A BUSINESS
When I signed my first contract and turned in my completed manuscript, I believed my part of the deal had been fulfilled. I was wrong. There were so many additional aspects to becoming an author that went beyond finishing the book. Here are a few:
2. Promotions; and
3. Writing the next book while looking for the next contract is just a small portion of the work waiting for an author.
Eleven books into publishing and the wise advice of a fellow author remains in my head. "Writing is a business. Treat it that way." It involves selling books, making money, and marketing yourself.
Rarely do authors sit behind a desk and let the money roll in. We promote our works; invest our time in book signings and all forms of promotions. With the Internet becoming one big ball of advertisement, authors find themselves involved with social networking, maintaining a website, staying in the loop with Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, and blogs. I'm sure I've left out some. How do you balance all of this against finding time to write while completing the next book.
Time management is the key.
1. Writing a book is only the beginning;
2. Set goals for writing. For example, I'm going to write three (3) pages each day and edit ten (10); and
3. Remember the Internet can be addictive and seductive.
4. Don't allow it to eat up your writing time.
5. Section out the amount of time you spend on any one aspect of writing.
Always keep in mind that writing is a business, just like Ford, GM, and Chrysler are companies who build cars. Every aspect of the writing business needs your attention. An agent can make life easier. At the end of the day, an author must produce another book.
What do you think? E-mail me with your thoughts, email@example.com or click on the comment link.
Remember, don't be a stranger.
Posted by Karen White-Owens at 12:00 AM
I thought the author would have been more high minded. That, I guess would make me sort of an amateur wannabe, still clutching unpublished manuscripts.
But I have published some. Actually, lots.
And though you're not supposed to attack another writer(and I don't mean to), I say, balderdash.
Writing is not a business, it is a dimension.
It is a lot like turning forty, the dangers ot that time, the surrealism of it-- that make-or-break decade.
For the serious writer, it is always make or break, the uncertainty of what you are about to do, the surprise when the work comes out, gets published, and you still have the feeling that you'd somehow gotten away with something.
...Like you can blow on your perfectly edited words, and it would all waft away. Illusion.
Yet there must be something there, or fewer people would attempt it. Even today there are millions of people working in --face it!-- an obsolete medium, but they are still at it, and getting younger every day. And some are actually making money.
It's probably a religion. Like Creative Writing may be a religion. It has its priests, it has its acolytes, it has its heretics....But a religion.
And like any Jihadist, the writer straps on his bomb of words and walks toward the compound all the same.
Off goes the packsack. But for the writer is is usually a packsack of alphabet soup. And they can be explosive enough if you hit the internet with military secrets as BAD ASS or somebody.
To be a writer can be a dangerous thing. And that's part of the attraction.
You live on the edge. You don't give a shit.
And when you do give a shit about something, it seems half the world knows about it. And the fit hits the shan.
Ragtop Taliban general.
Sending your jihadists out on paper.
Or being a literary hired gun. Carrying somebody else's packsack of trouble. Breaking the story. What the government tells you is a lie. The emperor suddenly has no clothes.
... And not all that well hung.
The writer as verbal jihadist.
Well, I haven't had quite forty virgins; I may have had a half-score of "groupies" but none of them were virgins for sure.
There is a mystique around a writer if he's "in work."
Even if you have acne, beautiful women, usually with their own writing ambitions,seem to throw themselves at you. Even the published women. For they want material, and you want material, and well, into that cosmic sixty-nine!
The fact is that for forty years, I had very much treated writing like a business. Which it was.
But now, the new attraction of being Ferdinand the Bull.
Sniffing at daisies and being a real fop. the pressure is off. I can finally write what I want.
Hey, it's more fun that way...But there is no "kill fee".
But what a mothergrabber of a dimension to be in!
But it's damn lonely all of a sudden.