Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Make no Mistake, it's an 8 to 5 desk job, baby!!

Sun-washed Hawaiian beaches, big-ass SUV's and playboy playmates spreading lotion all over your hero's back (or Mr Olimpias for the ladies) . Isn't  this  sometimes part of our big-time dreams? Isn't this a little bit of what we all think we deserve after our hard fought battles with the lonely, self bashing moments that writing induces on us? Well, dream again, because  all those just starting who thought that writing was  a glamorous business, are in for a big surprise.
This is made even more evident during the editing and marketing planning phases. If I had to draw a pie chart to display time-distribution for a writer's job manual, then sadly, writing would make up, in my experience, less than half of that sour, un-chocolatey pie. This is especially true if you are self-publishing. Today's writers have to be entrepreneurial enough to dirty and scratch their hands with the insidious thorns of editing, promoting, social networking, contact-hunting etc. Yes of course there are still the beautiful moments of character design, drafting, imagining and dreaming. But unless you want your book to be a stillborn, you need to plan for the arduous roads that lie beyond draft completion. Yes, you could hire professionals for each task, but who of us can really afford spending hundreds on a book which, as much as you love and adore, is still second or third priority after house loans and children-needs? Yepp, we really have to pull up our sleeves and do the damn business ourselves. Maybe I am being too grumpy as some of us might enjoy this process, but how better would it be if we could just concentrate solely on the craft we all love and leave this very demanding job to the professionals; isn't this what Adam Smith envisaged when he spoke of 'Division of Labour as a means to increase productivity' ? I am sure he was.
In any case, I conclude this grumpy post by wishing all those writers out there ( debutante and not)  the best of luck, especially those self-publishing warriors that are venturing in these rough seas alone. I know your pain!!

1 comment:

  1. I think that the fact you can produce a fine piece of writing; a horror novel, collection of short stories or poems and go through the process of getting them to a reader's hands is marvelous. I am only just starting out. I write mostly rhetorical pieces and lots about my life. I don't have the kind of imagine that allows me to soar with the truly greatest of writers; fiction writers of any stripe. So, I am very new to this and am at the "blogging stage" if there is such a thing. But I have gotten in with a group of writers who do write fiction and I watch and learn from their processes. The very fact that you have material to bring to the table as it were, is an amazing thing. Yes, the networking, editing, bookkeeping, dusting and vacuuming or whatever is a crashing bore, but necessary and at the end of it? Book! Thanks, JC --Mary