Yo-ho, yo-ho, a writer’s life’s for me!

A meager year ago, I didn’t want to write as a career. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I wanted to write– a book, or two or three, as an aside, while I built a business that would actually bring income.

I’d heard too many tales of The Struggling Artist, of the many, the talented, and the skilled, huddling over their icy typewriters while stereotypical Scrooges of landlords breathed down their necks.
Write for a living? If you enjoy bailing water from a sinking ship.
I knew that lucky breaks (ever heard of Harry Potter or Twilight?) were as rare as lottery-winning unicorns getting struck by lightning twice.

So I thought; great side venture, fun hobby, but I don’t want to spend all my days writing desperately to meet a deadline to make ends meet. I’ll focus first on a good business, secondarily on my writing.

And why on earth did this practical, sensible viewpoint change?

It was the middle of National Novel Writing Month, last November, during my annual writing voyage.
I was slumped at my tiny desk, fingers moving sluggishly and independent of purpose. I had been at it for hours, and I was still over a thousand words away from my daily word count goal.
The plot was dragging its heels, the scene was as stilted as it was directionless, and the prose varied from gag-slimy to choke-dry.
I knew I would have to trash the whole day’s writing hiddeous spew.

That’s when I realized I love writing.
All of it.

I looked at myself then, and said “Tirzah, if you really love it this much, from the golden-fountain days, to this deadline-driven drudgery, why aren’t you planning on doing this for the rest of your life?”

Unable to counter my own passion (not, admittedly, that I tried very hard), I chose the unthinkable. A writer’s life.

Still didn’t fancy the cold apartment and colder landlord, though, so I knew I would need a good business, not to mention a job for immediate income and investment money. So I typed away at my manuscripts, all the while keeping my eyes open for a venture I could get excited about.

Finally, I found what I was looking for: the publication and promotion of my book.

That’s right, I came right back to my writing. But this time, I saw it for the business it really is; creating and marketing the best art possible. Lucky breaks are not just for gambling unicorns– as with any business, the harder and smarter you work, the luckier you get.

So, keyboard in hand and a couple hundred guidebooks under my arm (slight exaggeration. Seriously though, many thanks to The Essential Guide to Getting your Book Published), I now set out into the authorprenuerial life!
Anchors aweigh! Run up the skull and crossed pens!

So, you may ask, is this blog a publicity platform for my work?
…Good heavens,  why ever would you think such a thing?

By hook or Facebook or by tooth or by nail,
The world will read o’ this author’s tale,
Yo-ho, yo-ho, a writer’s life’s for me!

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4 comments

  1. As a fellow (sabre) fencer, I appreciate the spirit. As a published author of two NF books, don’t quit your day job! Very few writers can ever earn enough income from writing alone to meet their financial needs.

    1. Sabre? Sweet! That one was always a little too wild for me. 🙂 I dig the quieter intensity of epee, myself.
      Man, I respect you guys; you have a lot of welts to deal with.

      Oh, I certainly desire multilple streams of income– I’m looking for that elusive day job now, matter-o-fact. But putting the publishing and promotion of a book in the frame of mind of business, which I’ve had a decade of experience with, made success sound a lot more doable!
      …Notice I didn’t say easy. Since when has any business (however it’s advertised) been easy?

      Both of your books look really interesting! Blown Away sounds like a unique book. I like your idea that there should be more openness on both sides of the issue. And Malled sounds like a trip! X)

      What’s your experience with publishing and publicity been like? It looks like you’ve done an excellent job.

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