There’s No Business Like Writing Business

So, some of you know I finished the Superstars Writing Seminar this weekend, which is why this will be a very short post. There’s a field trip today and I’m going. (And yep, this afternoon will find me typing away on Through Fire, because I was writing by hand at the Seminar.)

Anyway, it occurred to me that writing is such a strange avocation, pulling things out of non-existence and putting them in someone else’s head that writers – by which I mean true writers, not people who write so that they can get their next promotion in academia or what have you, but people who are compelled to tell stories – need these seminars and workshops, even if they learned nothing new at them. Why? Because we spend three or four days in the middle of a bunch of our peers and we start thinking we’re not the cursed outliers of the human race.

Now this is the third year I’ve attended Superstars. I’m not going to say there was no information. Among other things, we had the inimitable Kris Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith as speakers, and even if you know the information, you always catch some nuance in what they say that lights up a lightbulb.

There was also a lot of info I’m not ready to use yet, and might never use – Hollywood, comics – but which is good to have in my quiver because one thing in this business your career is likely to do is take a sudden turn to the weird when you least expect it.

That’s all fine.

But the most important thing about it for me, this year, was feeling energized by knowing I wasn’t alone and even my peculiarities (writing a book while listening to talks) were shared by some of my peers.

After the seminar yesterday, a friend asked how she could finish her book really fast, and ramp up on her career (she writes romance) to where she’s making money.

I wished she’d taken the seminar (I tried!) but since she couldn’t this year, I am going to distill some stuff from the seminar for her.

 

  • Don’t stop. You can’t sell books you haven’t written.
  • Write through the distractions. There is never going to be a distraction free life while you’re alive and in the world.
  • Keep writing. Particularly in the indie game, but really in all of it, you need productivity to make actual money. As in, living and buying groceries money.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, pick yourself up and write again. This business is WEIRD and even the best get knocked down. The long-terms continue working through everything.
  • There is money in them there hills, but it is work to get there. So – as Kevin Anderson says – the books ain’t gonna write themselves.
  • Vary what you do. You never know what will hit. The more tickets you have the better the chance of winning the lottery.

And now, I’m going to go to my field trip and to write. I’ll be back on Tuesday with more reasoned commentary.

Meanwhile behave and ix-nay on the pink walls hey.

86 responses to “There’s No Business Like Writing Business

  1. Red and white make pink? But, gee, I heard a Navy chief swear that red and white made grey. OK, so it didn’t work out so well in the movie, but maybe this time . . . No?

  2. I was thinking of something more like a paisley pattern. Stencils, or maybe wallpaper.

    /Users/robertschofield/Desktop/Persian_Silk_Brocade_-_Paisley_-_Persian_Paisley_-_Seyyed_Hossein_Mozhgani_-_1963.jpg

    opinions?

  3. That’s an excellent list for writers. You’re right, this is a crazy, tough business, definitely not for sissies.

    I’ll be guest-blogging tomorrow at aliceosborn.com/blog/, where I’ll discuss ways to get your story going when you’re stuck.

  4. Time to quit daddling and start writing again. I talked to several of my family members lately. My uncle and sister has been reading my books. My one sister requested more short books lol…

  5. Paint? Sarah, that wasn’t paint.

    And now comes the part where you don’t ask questions you don’t want answered.

  6. I’ve thought of going to a writing seminar, but I’ve never heard of one close enough, and reasonably-priced enough to go to.
    It’s like trying to form a writer’s group. I’ve tried for many years to do that, but I’ve never been able to find other writers in my area who wanted to do one, so I just gave up on it.

    • Superstar writing seminar… I think you can get the DVDs or audio CDs after the fact, but I think you probably lose something (a lot) by not being around the other attendees.

  7. Chartreuse and Florescent Green?

  8. There is money in them there hills, but it is work to get there. So – as Kevin Anderson says – the books ain’t gonna write themselves.

    You know, during the gold rush the most sure-fire way to get rich wasn’t to randomly try to find a mine– it was to either do good, hard work, or to be providing services to the miners.

    The Kevin talk seems to be instructing you on how to do the former– hanging out here, folks who can’t manage to finish a story might teach themselves how to do the latter, which will also have the lovely side-effect of making it so writing folks have more time to WRITE!

  9. Write through the distractions. There is never going to be a distraction free life while you’re alive and in the world.

    This applies to way more than writing.

  10. Most people won’t succeed because real success usually looks like a lot of hard work. As you intimate, the hardest part is to just make time to sit down and write. Those who make excuses – kids, school, tired, etc – will never succeed.

  11. Okay, no pink.

    Salmon?

  12. *paints one wall black
    (true black(tm) that absorbs all light sent against it)

    just don’t stare at it too long

  13. Would anybody be interested in a steampunk Civil War novel?

  14. “And yep, this afternoon will find me typing away on Through Fire, because I was writing by hand at the Seminar.)”

    And you sound like me, I have officially given up on Dragon, so I am listening to dictation I have recorded while driving and am typing it up.

    Well I was until I finished typing one story, and decided to take a break and got sidetracked here. 🙂

  15. Well, trees get crushed, burned and exploded, but not hugged…

  16. Great seeing you there, Sarah. It was a great seminar. Came in expecting to accomplish some things and didn’t, and some other opportunities arose. With networking, you never know what’s going to happen.

  17. Pingback: Best Fiction and Writing Blogs | M.C. Tuggle, Writer