Thursday, March 13, 2014

Treating writing as a business

I'm gonna write this real fast, because the computer in my head   is full of little viruses,  quirks, and family anxieties making it hard to focus on the tough discipline of writing..
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.

It is a muscle, a reflex, somewhat like sex. Use it or lose it.
Migod, I think I have just screwed this blog.  :)


Anonymous said...

relax's just like lyrics..y'all can change them,bend them,or turn 'em around backwards...keep the basic screwed nothing up... today's world is so much more plastic,and somehow synthetic,whether it's music, quick-books,or even life-style and fast turn of money for money's any case,before too long,robots will be "doing it all"...I robot,wrote a book...and all the little robots..................keep your reflexes up,kid,paid or unpaid... said...

Thnx, Tony.

Charles Gramlich said...

I keep hearing the "business" thing about writing too but it's never been that for me. Guess that's why I don't sell for shit. said...

Neither did Edgar Allan at first, Poe-boy. :)

Anonymous said...

Ask any print publisher how things are going. It's grim. The fat advertising dollars that used to pay the bills have moved online and have been replaced with digital nickels.

When you're starving, ideals get thrown out the window. Church and state aren't separate any more, and I think those days are gone forever. Most of the talent is now working for American Express and Coke, plying their trade under cute monikers like "brand journalism", "native advertising", and "content marketing". It pays the bills.

ivan said...

I find this especially true here in York Region, Canada.
You definitely need to sing the song of the cheque signer.