Or: Dash It All, I Don’t Want To Be a Business! Pt. 1
Hello, lovelies. Welcome to my rant in two parts. The first part, you can read below. The second part will appear on my own blog, Court Can Write, sometime in the next week or two. Addendumish link to follow once Pt. 2 goes live.So. Onward, tally-ho, and all that rot. Today’s rant is brought to you by my most recent realization: namely, that I don’t want to be a business.
“Huh?” you say. “What do you mean, a business? I thought you were a writer?”
*sigh* So did I, my darlings. So did I.
Do As I Say, Not As I Do
Some of you beautiful people regularly read me both here and at my blog, so I know some of you are familiar with my recent post How My Bachelors in Writing Didn’t Prepare Me for Writerhood. In that post, I say something that’s Very Important and which All Writers Must Live By:
Writing is a business.
And the writer is CEO, VP, treasurer, secretary, and go-fer.
And this is every writer. Not just the self-published ones.
Writers, we must learn to think of ourselves this way.
These four statements are all the truth.
And when I read them, a stubborn creature inside of me narrows her eyes, thins her lips, and speaks a firm, uncompromising “NO.”
O! cognitive dissonance! Indeed, “I spit my last breath at thee.”
Let’s Get This Out of the Way
For the last seven months, I have been thinking of myself as a business. You see, once upon a time, traditionally published writers could count on their traditional publishers to establish the writerly platform, promote the writerly activities, and leave chocolate mints on the writerly pillows. Nowadays, few writers get that kind of treatment, with the exception of the A-listers, and I’m sure I needn’t list them for you here. You know who they are.
Indie-published writers such as I have always needed to go it on their own, and self-published writers — well, the “self” part pretty much tells you who their marketing directors and CEOs are. If you haven’t the bombast of a legacy publisher behind you, you’ve gotta toot your own horn, and that’s just that.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining, and I am wholly head-over-heels for my indie publisher. I believe in my publisher’s ideals and business model, and I’m terribly excited to be part of the first steps into The Consortium’s brave new world.
Being your own CEO, VP, treasurer, secretary, and go-fer is hard.
It takes time.
And it is time I would much rather spend writing.
Even Amanda Hocking, who has rocked the indie-publishing world with her flabbergasting e-sale, Kindle-type success, has remarked on how much the writing wanes when the business waxes. Her reasoning goes thusly:
“I want to be a writer. I do not want to spend 40 hours a week handling e-mails, formatting covers, finding editors, etc. Right now, being me is a full-time corporation.”
(Click here for the NY Times article.)
I wouldn’t say I’m to the full-time corporation point yet; I don’t have enough demands on my time to justify such a remark.
But I can see it coming.
And I don’t like it.
If I answered all incoming emails, Facebook messages, tweets, blog comments, and Google+ notifications every day, I would spend 3 solid hours at these tasks every single day. And I’m only talking Monday through Friday. That’s 15 hours a week.
(And I’m not even counting the time it takes me to craft three worthwhile blog posts every week. That’s another story. Or maybe it’ll come up in Pt. 2. We’ll see.)
In writing terms, 15 hours can be the equivalent of 7,500 – 10,000 words. Maybe even up to 15,000 in a good week.
According to these averages, I could be writing 40,000 more words per month. Instead, I’m being a business.
This is starting to become unacceptable.
When I post the continuation of this rant, I’ll come back and drop a few links here. In the meantime, that’s WILAWriTWe.
Do you feel like I do?
Photo by Julie V. Photography.