Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Writing vs. Publishing

I force myself to write for 45 minutes to an hour when I first get up, before I shower or eat breakfast and especially before I open Firefox. I find when I'm still half asleep my writing is better. Perhaps feeling less cognisant of the world around me allows me to write more freely and creatively. Also, if I check the news first thing I will lose my mind to abuse, genocide, partisan politics, and I won't be able to snap my mind back into my writing. Lately, I've found publishing news has become just as bad fodder for my brain.

Not that I couldn't be happier for published authors. Really. It's an extremely competitive business and I know exactly how hard they've worked to get there. Some of them have languished in my shoes 10, 20, even 30 years. So I'm not jealous of them. I just wish I was one of them.

Some people might roll their eyes at that, tell me I'm in the wrong profession if I'm looking for money or fame. But I don't care about fame in the slightest, and while enough money to support my career would be such a blessing, that's not my end goal either. I want to be a published author so I can share my stories on a broader scale. Having just me and myself looking over my shoulder 90% of the time is a bit depressing, especially when the writing's not going well. And besides, what is the point of storytelling if it's not sharing stories?

I love seeing things like this:

Universal makes 'Wicked' deal: Thompson to adapt first book in Marr's series

I just finished Melissa Marr's WICKED LOVELY last night and really enjoyed it. My short reivew is on Goodreads.

Or Maggie Stiefvater's trailer for her NY Times Bestselling SHIVER. She designs all of her trailers, music, animation, everything. Check out her new play-doh version of the SHIVER trailer.

So exciting and creative! Things like this make me wish I could be there as well, sharing my stories with the world. They also make me impatient and a little sad.

It's kind of like when I was a kid and allergic to everything. My mom made me homemade cashew butter, but she knew once I tasted commercial peanut butter, with all its salt and sugar, there would be no going back. She was right. I believe it's really important for future writers to understand a bit about the publishing world, how it works, what's expected, etc, but sometimes I wish I didn't even know it existed.

I mean, writing's great. I get to tell a story I love. I get to work in my pajamas. I don't have a boss standing behind my shoulder watching my every move. I get to be creative and try new things. I get to live in stories.

So I try to enjoy the moment. I don't want to know what new and upcoming agents are aching for more boy's books or non-vampire supernatural stories. I've pushed too fast before and been only frustrated when my writing was found lacking. So now I want to ignore all of that and focus on writing the best book I can.

Actually, a lot of published authors might not mind switching with me now and again. It's a stressful job. They travel around the country promoting their books, they host blogs, webpages, and twitter feeds filled with fans. Course, they also have to write. And unlike me, when they write people, businesses, depend on their creativity being on time and well done.

There are horror stories, too: authors whose books are bought but then abandoned when publishing houses fail; books that agents shop around forever but no one buys them because they're too avant-garde or literary or about angels when the market wants more vampires.

All of this makes my job of sitting in my chair writing, day after day, look like bliss.

I need to keep telling myself that and turn off the internet a little more frequently.

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