Monday, August 8, 2011

Re-examining One's Direction

For the past few days I’ve been taking some classes through Trissa Tismal’s Author’s Summer School Program. These were simul-cast over telephone/web.
The majority of the information given to the students was geared toward non-fiction, but easily converted over for fiction. Both traditional publishing and e-publishing were addressed in easy to digest ways to ensure that everyone would come away with valuable tools for their publishing future.
Much of the emphasis was that writing—if you want to do it for something other than a hobby—is a business and must be approached that way.
I have to admit that anyone writing--whether for books, articles, essays, etc.—this is especially true. Any writer who wants to make a living at writing through copy writing or book production must change their thinking processes to allow for office mentality.
It came as a big shock to me over a year ago when I came face to face with that reality. Every time I turned around, I was hearing the same thing. I heard it from fiction writers, screenwriters, essayists, journalists, travel writers, and copywriters. There was no escaping the reasoning behind that truth. There was no lark singing sweet songs for the Muse that may or may not bestow creative genius while I sat at the computer trying to decide what to write for the day.
I still don’t have to like that reality. I just have to find a way to live with it and organize my writing life in a way that makes use of it in the most efficient way possible.
That’s one of the big problems for me. I have enough projects on the boards to keep me very busy for the next year without developing any new ones. Each of them takes time to write, edit, polish, and market.

Hiding in the corners of the mind sits a wee concern called enjoyment. How does the writer gain enjoyment from the work while still viewing it as a business with schedules to meet, plans to develop, schmoozing to do on social media sites, etc.?  Can there be enjoyment within the process alongside all of the demands from the business?

As I sat listening to the experts talk about how much social media and its uses were necessary for a working writer, I pondered my ability to do what was necessary. I wondered if I had what it took to be the writer I want to be without having to become a slave to the changing face of the publishing world.

I can tell you that being an eclectic isn’t going to make the situation any easier. Each writer needs a platform. That’s been drilled into us all. When you write travel pieces, children’s stories/articles and hopefully books, along with social commentaries, op-ed pieces, memoir and essays, plus adult fiction, what kind of platform can you build that will work? Drop poetry into the mix and you have disaster waiting to claim the world.
Like everyone else, I want a life outside of writing. It might not happen, but one can hope. I want to be able to read books for enjoyment besides those I will do for reviews. I want to be able to do interviews for my Wordpress blog. On top of all that, I want to go out of the house on occasion to see if the rest of the world still exists and has something to show me that I can write about.

There you have my dilemma. How crowded does my daily schedule have to be to get everything into it? How much time do I have to shave off this hour or that one to allow for laundry (I can do poetry or reading then, too, during the drying cycle)? Can I make an outing a time for jotting down notes for that YA fantasy on the back burner?
If anyone has any suggestions for me on how to make scheduling work better than it’s been so far, let me know. If you have a way to cram more into a day without feeling as if deprivation of spirit is just around the corner, please, I implore you, tell me what it is. I’m counting on suggestions here, peeps. My present scheduling system isn’t working at all well anymore.

Do I really have to scale back what I want to be writing on in order to get the rest done?
Load me up with suggestions, sure-fire ways to excel, anything you have on hand will help. In return I will loan you my sure-fire ways to overload your desk while skipping joyfully down a path toward writing overload. Hey, fair is fair.

Until later,

No comments:

Post a Comment