The “Fun” Part vs. the “Business” Part

I entered this post in a guest hosting contest over at Pimp My Novel, but it wasn’t selected so I’m posting it here…(some of the time references are off since it was submitted nearly a month ago)
I belong to a writing critique group and during a meeting one of the members said something that got me thinking.
“Christi, all you’ve done lately is revise chapter after chapter of your novel and work on your synopsis, proposal, and loglines. You’re putting so much effort into making everything absolutely perfect that it doesn’t seem you get to have fun with your writing anymore.”
He’s right. It is hard work doing all the things needed to get published. Writing and polishing my novel was only the beginning. Creating the synopsis was tedious at best, the pitch sentence took days, and the book proposal, though finished, is still woefully inadequate and will need additional revisions. Don’t even get me started on the query letter.
The path to publication is also expensive. Writing conferences, reams of paper, printer cartridges, “how to write” books, membership dues to various writing clubs—all these costs add up quick.
Then there’s the social networking aspect to make sure you can actually sell your book once a publisher takes you on. Facebook, Twitter, blogging, building a platform, writing your bio, maintaining an email database and sending out newsletters to every person that expressed any interest whatsoever about your writing, and finally reading, and commenting on, fellow author blogs.
Don’t forget about the staggering amount of time it takes for a successful career in writing. First there’s hours, days, years spent in front of the computer researching, writing and revising your own work. Then you’ve got to find and read comparable works for reference and to make sure your own measures up, critique partner manuscripts, and somewhere in there you’ve got to read for pleasure.
After all that, when you’ve honed every last word of your manuscript/query letter/synopsis/book proposal/logline/pitch to shining perfection you send your work out. Then comes the crushing blows of all the various stages of rejection. And fighting back the self-doubt. And the niggling fear in the back of your mind of “Am I good enough?”
Publishing is not for the weak, and even the most determined writer needs to take a break and regroup from time to time. I am no exception.
This last week I decided to relax for a bit since I’ve been working so hard lately. But, during my time off, book two in the series (the sequel to my first novel) continued to wait, patiently beckoning, knowing I can’t resist. The fourth night of my self-imposed “writing rest” found me thumbing through the pages longingly and soon I found myself filling the margins with notes and ideas.
It was during this moment when I realized, to an extent, my writing critique partner is right. This is the part that I love the most. As I flip through page after page of my “already written but needing a serious revision sequel” ideas come forth and make their way to the paper with no worries of storyline, word choice, grammar–all the things that slow the flow of ideas.
However, my ultimate goal is seeing my book(s) published. And since the “business” part of writing is how they’ll get on those shelves, consider me a businesswoman!

4 thoughts on “The “Fun” Part vs. the “Business” Part

  1. This post sounded perfect for Eric. So be it, Christi, it is perfect for me. I have had two unhappy experiences with trying to pair up with CP. One from RWA on-line lasted two rounds of e-mails and was a total disaster. The second from Writer’s Digest seems to be falling apart.

    Thankfully, the second referral from RWA is a great match!

    I am in the thick of it, continuing to edit and revise, perfect and hone the novel I am sending to agents, the second novel is with my primary and “treasured” reader, and the third one is hanging by a thread waiting for me to pick up a head of steam.

    No, young ladies. I no longer have young children to tend and many of the barriers I faced when I was younger have fallen away. Life never disappoints, and new barriers have happily moved in to keep me on my toes.

    I am fighting back a stomach flu with toast, I am worried about the state of my blog as I have no will to post this month and I am concerned about my meager resources running out on me before I finally get an agent to give me a nod … and you know well, Christi … that is not a cure all either.

    I love this post because it says what we all go through. In one form or another, we all are struggling to find ourselves as writers, as women and mothers and mates who are writers and I am grateful to have places like this to come to when I get down and discouraged.

    Keep writing in your margins. Keep working it. Keep doing this blog.

  2. Pingback: It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint « Christi Corbett's Blog

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  4. Pingback: The “Fun” vs “Business” Sides of Writing « Christi Corbett's Blog

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