Saturday, March 5, 2011

A writing week (kind of) wasted

This was a lost week for me as far as writing is concerned I didn't write a single word of fiction nor did I revise any of my current works, meaning I pretty much failed in every possible capacity from a writing standpoint (although I did learn the first line of "We Didn't Start the Fire!").

I also pledged to read a book and do a review. Guess what: I'm not even to the second chapter yet. Work, work, and a side, freelance video editing project stole all my time this week.

The irony? Work and the video project pay actual money.

Writing does not.

In the last two weeks, I've had two story acceptances and two story rejections. The acceptances are "for the love" publications; the rejections were from places that pay a little bit of money.

But that's okay.

Writing isn't about the money. I would love to get paid, but do you know why I'd love to get paid to write? It's not because I'm a greedy guy who wants to score big and never worry about money for the rest of my life (although I'll take that!); it's because getting paid to write means I could do it full-time and devote entire days to writing instead of just a few hours here and there. The most frustrating thing about this week was staying up until 3:30 in the morning working on a video project knowing that I COULD be sending out query letters or polishing a story or revising a book or creating something entirely new. On the other hand, I did enjoy the editing project...it was another way of using my creativity.

It takes years to build a body of work and find an audience. I am at the very beginning of this whole writing thing; it's something I often forget.

We read stories about a super-successful author like Amanda Hocking and the media makes her into this "media sensation" who found overnight success. But Ms. Hocking is no overnight success; she's been working and writing and trying to find her niche just like everybody else. She simply became frustrated with "big house publishing" and tried something different. She's sold a ton of ebooks and is now the example people point to and say, "Take that Big House Publishing! We're gonna clone a million Amanda Hockings and take you down!"

(FACEPALM)

Not only is that NOT what Ms. Hocking set out to do, she doesn't even think her success will be repeated on a wide scale. For every author like her, there are thousands of others eking out dozens of sales a week. Books are being seen as products and not books; being sold at the same, low price points that made music labels cringe when iTunes came to town (Ms. Hocking has terrific blog post about her success here...you can also find her on the Twitter...and she tweets A LOT).

Her success, however, does make people wonder. I know I have at least one book that is not going to be a very marketable piece for a big publisher. I've toyed with the idea of turning that book into an ebook (after a healthy spit-shine, of course) and trying it out just to test the waters. But I have no real following, very little knowledge of how to market, no outlet for getting pub, and abso-freaking-lutely no idea where to start.

Okay...I lied about the last part. It all starts with the writing part. The stuff after that hurts my brain.

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