I was reading an email ezine that I subscribe to from Christina Katz this morning that got me thinking about the side of writing that I don’t often like to think about. That would be the business side of being a writer. It’s the side that has to eventually kick in if you really want to turn your creativity into your source of income and have the ability to make a living doing something that you love to do. Apparently it is the side that I haven’t figured out how to turn all the way on yet.
There are those who can manage being the creative person for a designated period of time and then switch on the business person when necessary for a separate length of time. Then there is me, and other writers like me, who just simply are not born business people. I am the creative person, not the business person. For as long as I can remember I never liked to deal with the business side of anything. But I think that was the fantasies of my younger writer self that just didn’t know any better.
Christina Katz spoke about writers who, when they are younger, have this big idea of being discovered and turned into an overnight success, living an ideal life free from all daily trials and tribulations. I was that writer. I didn’t think so then but looking back on that time now I can see that there were a lot of things about being a writer that I wasn’t factoring in. Things like hard work (on the business end), extreme work ethic, determination, and patience. One more thing I didn’t factor in was confidence. Not necessarily confidence in my writing (because I always knew that writing was what I was born to do) but confidence in the person writing those words, confidence in me.
I thought that I would just be discovered one day, that someone would read my words and feel that they had to be the one who discovered me. I thought that I would be under the umbrella of a major publishing house with a publicists and a person who did marketing professionally so that someone who knew what they were doing could get my name out there.
I imagined living in New York (Manhattan at that) at a young age, working for national magazines and newspapers, and being on the New York Time’s Bestsellers list. I imagined that by the age of 30 I would already have had a dozen or so books out, on bookshelves, or whatever else there was that sold books. What I didn’t imagine, was having to be the publisher, and the publicist, and the marketer, all for myself.
I mean you see it happen to other writers (or so you think because that’s how things appear) and you think why can’t that be me. The truth is that just because it seems like people such as Steven King, or J.K. Rowling, or Tyler Perry were overnight successes with no obstacles in their way, doesn’t mean that there wasn’t a great deal of the other side that went into that success. At some point there is a need to tap into that business side of the writer self.
I’ve been trying to avoid it for years now and it may have just been to my detriment but I have to stop fighting the business side of being a writer. In a perfect world I would love to just focus on my creativity and have my talent be able to stand for itself and propel me forward but that just isn’t a realistic ideal to cling to. I can’t just worry about figuring in time for writing and all of the creative projects I have in the works. I have to figure in the time to be my publisher, and my publicist, as well as my marketer. I have to be realistic in the fact that I can not be the writer who solely focuses on the creativity of it all without fully committing to the business of it all as well. Time to dismantle those younger writer fantasies I once had! Did you fantasize up the writer life in your mind?
The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)
Writing as “Jaycee Durant”
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