Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The ever changing writing world by Paty Jager

I’ll admit here and now I have never been a person to delve into politics, business, religion or anything that I felt didn’t have a close correlation to my life. I let those that are zealous about things duke it out and keep to myself only taking in what I feel pertains to my well-being.

But I’m finding that being a self-published author, I can’t have a lackadaisical attitude. I have to pay more attention to the business end of writing, the publishing end of writing, and the marketing end of writing. All elements I would rather leave to someone else, but if I want to succeed, I have to buck up and pay attention and learn what I need to learn.

The days of a writer sitting down in the chair and writing by long-hand, then typewriter and sending it off and forgetting anything other than writing the next story is gone.

Now, you write the story, while doing publicity for it and the one before and the other books. You have to keep up with all the self-pub venues, learn the different formats they each take and how to size the cover after you’ve found a cover artist you can work with or taken time from your writing to design your own cover.

After the product is uploaded there’s finding ways to keep putting it in front of readers and pushing your sales up. Begging for reviews, asking around to fellow self-pub authors what they do, how that worked for them. And realizing you’ve spent most of your writing time with the business side of writing and you still have to hit your goal of 3000 words today.

Do I sound like I’m not having fun?

I am having fun helping design my covers, having the ability to write what I want to write, and meeting great people. But I would have more fun if I could use all my brain for writing and not have to worry about the areas, I blissfully ignored when I first started writing.

If you are a published writer what is the most daunting thing about your career? The most fun?

As a pre-published writer, what are you dreading and looking forward to when you get published? 


Meggan McQuaid said...

Ah Paty, this is a subject near and dear to my heart. I have fears about all the activities you lament. There will be so much to learn, so much to maintain, so many pulls on my writing time.

I have found a few bright spots, though. Cover art and other such artistic decisions can be all mine. Mine. Mine! (Cue Frankenstein-type lightning) The pacing of book release, the venues for publishing, and the tools of marketing are also areas where I will have control. The money could be fantastic, or not so fantastic, and that part feels like a choose-your-own-adventure. But the big thing that has really got me excited is the chance to always be learning something new. My brain is getting older, and learning keeps it young (there's proof!). So while I am becoming the best one-woman marketing team I can, I will also be creating new pathways in my brain that will help me stay creative and be a better and better writer. Marketing as creativity practice. Yep, yep, yep!

Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel said...

Ah, Paty, good points! I enjoy wearing many hats and worked in the business side of careers for a long time, so that's not an issue for me. The most challenging part of my entire life seems to be NOT chasing myself into exhaustion, but relaxing into what I am doing. I enjoy writing, designing book covers and other graphic materials, and some aspects of marketing. However, I also enjoy puttering in my yard, spiffing up my house, snuggling with my dogs, learning new things, etc., etc. So instead of cramming more and more into my life, I'm learning how to relax into what I enjoy while still moving forward. I've been on fast forward (or maybe that's spinning my wheels :) for most of my life, so it's interesting to unlearn several decades of habit and learn a new way of living.

Thanks for food for thought!

Paty Jager said...

Hi Meggan. So I need to look at this as expanding my brain...there are days I don't think my brain can expand any more! LOL But you made great points.

Genene, That's what I need to learn, to relax and enjoy. I feel like I'm racing toward a finish line I can never see. I'm glad you've learned the secret.

Paty Jager said...

Sorry the formatting was so wonky on this post. Not sure what did that. But partly I didn't take the time to proof it.

Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel said...

Paty, the formatting looked fine on my computer. But maybe my eyes were crossed and I just thought it was OK. LOL!

I may have "learned" the secret to relaxing and enjoying, but living it will probably take some time. :)

David Hudnut said...

Hey Paty-

Thanks for this post. For me, the exciting thing about focusing on the business end is that it forces me to always ask the question: "Is what I'm writing entertaining, or merely self indulgent?"

I find marketing has really sharpened my understanding of what telling a good story really is. It's one thing to write a beautiful sentence, or even plot the perfect book. But are you entertaining readers?

Engaging in marketing forces you to find out.

Paty Jager said...

David, I agree. The reader has to be entertained and come back for the next book or all the marketing in the world isn't going to help move your career forward. Thanks for stopping in and commenting!