How Lucky Are We To Be Writers Right Now
I am the luckiest writer in the world.
As a leader in the online publishing world, I've been reading endless posts and comments from writers looking for the holy grail. It's really quite overwhelming. One group wants to know how to 'hook' the reader. Another is debating 'plotters' versus 'pantsters' – the idea of planning your novel against the thrill of winging it straight out of the head and into the keyboard. Everyone is trying to decipher the future of e-publishing. And the rest are wondering if they're 'real' writers.
No wonder the publishing world is in a tizzy. No one knows what they're supposed to be doing.
Having chosen my path in digital publishing, my course is set, clear in my mind, with adventure to be had. It's all working and networking, exciting and frightening, learning and teaching.
But I am a writer at heart. And in my mind, one of the lucky ones.
Never in my journey have I ever felt the need to be published. There is no carrot in front of my nose. No pressure. No deadlines. No word counts.
I write for fun. I write what I want, when I want. When the mood hits. When it doesn't and I still need the release. I have never suffered writer's block, knowing that the cure for having nothing to say is simply to start talking. I connect with my characters on a level impossible in real life; they are a part of who I am. I have completed two full-length novels and have a dozen on the go. I create poetry, song lyrics, essays, rants, blog posts, people, places, dialogue.
Sure there's no money in it. But I know for a fact that if I changed my tack and writing became work, it would lose all its mystery, fascination, and appeal for me. I honestly don't think I could weather the pressure of having to write. And I feel for those who feel it.
Like all artists, writers have to have the time, the mindset, and the purpose to accept and work with the ideas they receive. A masterpiece in oils cannot be rushed. Some of the best music ever written was developed over years. A story needs to be told. In its own time. With as many words as it takes to tell it with fire and zest, love and tenderness, despair and tears. Fitting a novel into a book with a deadline and a word limit seems irrational. The author needs the freedom to give his story the attention and care it deserves. A writer spends immeasurable time and effort penning her tale; the tale that deserves telling deserves such an investment.
In the old world of the hardcopy book, publishers have forgotten that. In the quest for the next bestseller, publishing houses have inflicted an industry wide expectation of deadlines, word counts, and content to fit what has traditionally 'sold.'
Today's evolving world of self publishing, e-books, digital content, and online publishers opens up a whole new paradigm. Writers are writing their own rules, new rules for new attitudes. It's no longer either/or. It's both. And all. When the everything settles and the cream rises to the top, and the burdens of self-marketing and social media have melded comfortably into our minds, writers will enjoy a freedom to write never before experienced. The only thing bigger than the fear this creates is the excitement of the potential, the expanse of the possibilities.
And I have every intention of enjoying my place in the big picture, both as a publisher, and a writer.