Never forget that ‘Writer’ is a profession, a business … (someone who writes for their own pleasure, or processing, with the clear intent that no-one else, except perhaps a pillow-partner will ever get to read, is whole ‘nuther kettle of kittens) . .. and it behooves us to treat our profession, our business, with the respect it deserves.
Looking at it from this perspective, we create our product, we market it, and we sell it, whilst at the same time creating more product. We do this ethically and hopefully, efficiently.
There must be some crossover between our professional personas and our personal ones. It’s human nature. A broad line in the sand if you will, that allows us to engage with our readership empathically, BUT, and I typed that in capitals deliberately, but, the moment we lose our ‘writer’ sense in any interaction, in any media, then we are socialising, and not operating our business.
This isn’t a bad thing, and sometimes socialising will lead us back into ‘business’ mode, but that distinction needs to remain clear – if nowhere else than in our own minds – for us to be effective businessfolk in these modern times.
As any business critter will tell you, the only way to succeed is to have a product. No product, no sale. It’s that simple. Our products are these strange hieroglyphs we create, that put together, form concepts, ideas, plots, information, stories.
That’s only step 1. Step 2 is how these hieroglyphs are packaged, because, that same business critter will also tell you that your product ain’t worth a damn unless your market sees it. And that’s called a marketing plan.
Hands up anyone who’s overwhelmed? Running your own business, usually a one-woman or man show, is just about the hardest thing there is. It doesn’t matter if you succeed or fail, it’s just as hard.
I feel overwhelmed quite often. I stare at my computer and ask myself what the bloody hell do I do next? Sometimes I walk, or bicycle, away, sometimes pick the next item on my (never-ending) list and take care of it. Sometimes I write a blog post about how I’m feeling, and sometimes I get back to that one basic premise; product.
Writers gotta write!
P.S. A sense of humour is mandatory in all circumstances.
“Putting a little time aside for clean fun and good humor is very necessary to relieve the tensions of our time” – Hattie McDaniel
You said it perfectly, Widdershins. A huge of dose of sense of humor is definitely needed. So is being thick-skinned and persistent. Been a self-employed writer for 25 years. Best boss I’ve ever had.
Probably time to ask her for a raise then!
You said it. I had to laugh at the efficiently part though.
You cut me to the quick! … doesn’t everyone write efficiently?
The marketing and networking is part of the ‘job’ (until you can afford to hire someone else to do it for you 😉 )
You’re right – a sense of humor is essential. If we lose that, we’re done for!
Ooooh staff! … *fades away into fantasy-land*
A quick search on ‘being a writer’ led me to a blog post titled “Being a writer is like being a lesbian.” (http://connection-revolution.com/being-a-writer-is-like-being-a-lesbian/) She wrote of the challenges of first coming out as a lesbian and then, just as difficult, coming out as a writer.
No matter what the soul-inspired reason is, declaring “I am __” is a challenge to all those who haven’t figured out what they are yet. Being a writer is not for the faint of heart. As you point out, writing is just one part of the job. The output is a product that must find a market, be marketed, and capture enough dollars to provide a worthwhile return on the time and effort invested.
You are. Many things. Not a product.
… and have fun at the same time! … thanks for the link … looks like an interesting blog. I’m going to lurk there for a while … actually, I never was any good at lurking. I’ll probably just up and speak my mind, given the slightest encouragement.
Another tactic when overwhelmed: Tell Mrs Widders you’re presoaking the dishes, then Run Away Forever!
Do you have any idea how much I hate dishes …. She’d only let that happen if she could come with me …. Hm-mm? … *thinks of possibilities*