Mark Terry

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Moving Parts

March 30, 2011
It's safe to say my readers here have heard of Amanda Hocking. If you haven't, good for you, you're in a minority and probably not involved in the publishing industry or interested in self-publishing. In which case, I salute you. Congratulations, you have a life.

Ms. Hocking has been in the news lately for 2 related reasons. First, she made a ton of money self-publishing e-books. By ton I mean, well, $1 million plus in a very short period of time.

The second reason is, despite that, she's apparently close to signing a 4-book contract with SMP for $2 million. One of her reasons she offers is because she wants to concentrate on writing and not on cover art, layout, etc.

I'm not commenting on Amanda here. Her rationale is as good as any. And I'd be quite pleased to be in either scenario. It would undoubtedly create some problems, but I can think of a few it would solve, either way.

Anyway, aside from my general skepticism that Hocking will get what she wants out of this deal, today I had the thought, "My writing career has a lot of moving parts."

For that matter, my life in general has a lot of moving parts.

For example, this morning, once I made it to my office around 8:30 AM, I sifted through my e-mail, then wrapped up a column I write twice a week which is due tomorrow. Then I started working on Monday's column.

After doing that and the usual Facebook dithering, I had a fairly lengthy back-and-forth via email about various things with the executive director of the organization whose technical journal I edit.

Then I took care of a little "writing test" a potential client wanted me to do. Then I went off to the gym, had lunch, ran an errand, came home and cleaned up dog diarrhea (you wish you were me, don't you?) all over the house, and now I'm blogging before I start in on a project for another client.

And with any luck I'll finish that in time to look through some job postings, work on two novels, deal with some marketing materials for the next novel, and do some band booster-related correspondence before going to see my son give a mini-jazz band concert at the high school tonight.

I can only say that for years, when I was working full-time with 2-3 hours of commuting a day and I was able to write at least a novel a year along with some miscellaneous freelance work, I always wondered what a full-time novelist did with their day if they only wrote one novel a year. I still wonder, as a matter of fact. I'm fairly certain they either write more than one novel per year but only publish one, and the bigger they are the more likely they are to do a lot of marketing of one sort or another, but I also suspect they dick around a lot. I've often noted that William Styron spent something like 22 years writing Sophie's Choice. It was a masterpiece and a fairly large book, and there's little doubt clinical depression slowed him down, but gimme a break. It doesn't take 22 years to write a novel unless you're writing a paragraph a day. My guess is he was dicking around, or, just as likely, some tool got stuck in the gears of his life.

Anyway, does your writing career have a lot of moving parts?


Blogger sex scenes at starbucks, said...

It's about to. My first release this year comes out in July, so I'm going to have to start focusing on promotions.

I have quite a few projects on the slate this year. I'd love to manage to get THREE books out this year, but I don't know if I can swing it. We'll see how sequel writing goes.

I do some creative play, too, on a website. But it's been so helpful for my novel writing that I don't consider it screwing around. It's more like those chapters you write that get tossed out later. Just the cost of doing business.

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

Your writing is like that clockwork you picture. Mine is more like a sundial. I tend to plod along doing one project at a time very slowly.

1:23 PM  
Blogger rkfinnell said...

I stopped being impressed by Hockings when I learned it was YA vampire stories. Even the bad ones sell.
While pushing my novel and trying to get some kind of reaction to it (besides my friends who think it's the best thing they ever read)-God knows I need reviews, I'm trying to write the sequel in a less than desirable atmosphere.
I'm trying to break myself of needing constant feedback to move on. I like writing but I tend to see my own writing with a "meh" attitude. I don't live for my writing-I just enjoy it.

1:24 PM  

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