Tuesday 19th May 2020
Writing as a profession is weird.
I’m sure all creative industries are much the same. There’s the creative part of you that wants to do fun and exciting stuff, but then there’s the business side that constrains it. Too much business, the creative output gets stifled and what gets turned out is bland and unoriginal. Too much creativity, and the output becomes too niche.
It’s a balancing act using the left and right side of your brain.
That’s part of the appeal of publishing for me… that balancing act of trying to do something new and original, yet also familiar.
I have many friends who are published authors, who I chat to regularly for the latest industry gossip and (when needed) advice. As a result I’d like to think I have a good handle on the business side. I’ve seen all the horror stories, seen friends have to pick their careers up after near disaster.
I’ve always told myself that if I wanted to do it, I would try to push the envelope… try and do things that strayed away from the business side and more into the creative. I have ideas for HUGE sagas – yet ways that they can fit the industry’s tradition 2 -3 book contract model. There’s one book I want to write that’s probably a million words and is 5 or 6 interlaced novels – I honestly have no idea how I’ll do that.
There’s status to traditional publishing (for me personally) that means that it’s my initial goal. I may go Indie at one point, or have some sort of blended career (if book contracts allow it) but that comes from it being the only platform some of these ideas may be possible.
None of this is easy, all of this takes time, and some of it just might be downright impossible given the industry at the moment. And the industry will change. Things like contracts, book sales, the state of the industry will all play a role, throwing roadblocks in the way.
I’ve heard it said that the challenge of getting published is only matched by the challenge of staying published. Nothing is certain in an industry where quality is so subjective.
Plan, revise, adapt. That’s all you can do, I suppose. But that doesn’t mean I should shelve those plans. After all, others have done things much crazier than I’ve ever planned.
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