Creative writers, fiction or non-fiction, have to hear this question a lot. If a writer isn’t prepared for this question, it’s possible that writer will be offended. That’s good. Hurt feelings equal ammo for progress and success. At times, a writer will ask their inner self this. I know I do. Currently, I have six short stories completed. I want these six stories to be my debut book; however, I need to develop these stories into near-perfection. After doing my edits, I’m faced with the question, “Why should the reader care?”
I read a few help pages to brush up on what I learned in college but nothing. The only answer to this is reading other short stories and asking myself why I care about the story in question. In other words, I must read so I know what my story needs; in addition, I plan on showing others the draft’s I’ve created. Someone with hard reader and writer sense would be most helpful.
I tried asking myself: “Why should I care about this story?” It’s different. I’m going to care because I produced the content. I need to be fair to the story and let someone criticize my talent. If I’m truly writing for my reader, I have to take criticism, which I am prepared for.
I’m so close to finishing my first book. For those of you who just found Black Board, I have a book, a collection of short stories not published yet, entitled Foot in the Door. The book follows various young black men whose inner strength grows as they toil through the challenges they are expected to crumble under. My target audience is young black men; however, I want to make these stories interesting for all readers. Besides, what writer narrows his audience down to one group. I want everyone to enjoy my literary illustrations.
The challenge: I have to decide if I want to take this to a publisher or self-publish through an entity like Amazon Kindle. I’ve read several eHow, About, and other FAQ pages about what my next step should be. Also, I’ve followed the Writer’s Digest on Twitter to get a sense of what my next move should be. At the end of the day, it’s my decision. I discovered that there is no right path to take. Everything instance is different. The only for sure thing is to try everything as many times as possible, in regards to a publisher.
With self-publishing…I will be in control. From price to promotion–it’s all up to me. I enjoy that concept. There is some hard work that follows. Getting people I DO NOT know to like the content I produce is going to be a challenge. Let’s face it. People are critical. Only a few will tell the truth, and the rest just don’t care. Pushing out content on my own is a ego-risk. The question arises: “Is this good?” Of course, I’ll feel that it’s good. I’ve worked hard on it forever. But what will others say? I want to give them their money’s worth.
So what’s better publisher or self-publishing?
I say “we” in the title because I’m sure writers other than myself have heard, “there is no money in writing.” At least that’s what I’ve heard while I was attending Greenville Technical College in Greenville, SC. I chose to be an English major to become a writer, professionally and creatively; however, writer is often narrowed down to author by the people who do not realize that writers do assignments other than books and poetry.
We’re in every profession. We’re the force that ensures clear communication between marketers. We’re the fixers of the rough draft speeches in politics. We’re every where. Some of us choose our professions not by the measure of how much cash we can potentially make, but because we like what we do. My philosophy: When you like what you do, career wise, you will eventually come into the pay grade that you want.
As for me, my writing career hasn’t given me a salary. Not yet anyway. Do I give up and choose another profession? I don’t think so! I can’t throw in the towel because I’m frustrated. I understand that careers take time, talent requires attention, and writing takes more than a Coke and a smile to be excellent. I got into writing for the reader’s enjoyment. I want to write something that brings forth debate or discussion. If money follows that vision, so be it. Sooner or later, books that I author will sell. It’s something I like to do.
That’s just how I feel about it. How about you…?
Hanif Kureishi, author of Buddha of Suburbia, recently told “theguardian” that creative writing courses are “a waste of time.”
Here is the http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/mar/04/creative-writing-courses-waste-of-time-hanif-kureishi
I responded to a LinkedIn group called Books and Writers…
If writing courses didn’t help, higher education and seminar directors wouldn’t teach them. I think the first part of the article describes a frustrated professor who has placed his students in a master-level pool, which is unfair. Haig may agree as his quote states that Kureishi’s comments were cruel and wrong; however, Kureishi’s comments can be translated as tough love. Hurt feelings can develop into improvement if you let it.
I spent most of my college career writing creative fiction, creative non-fiction, and print journalism news. The only thing that prevented good, enjoyable writing was laziness. I agree with Kureishi’s comment that writing is very slow. Good, concise and fun writing is done when you develop to near perfection, which takes time. Professors do teach this to students, but the students must be willing to read, write, and edit.
As far as having a successful book, I don’t know much about that yet. I’m trying to break into that now. But everyday I contemplate how hard I should push my ideas. Better yet, when should I show them to the reader? To say I’m ready now would be a lie. So I read, listen to advice, or do something to push the craft into enjoyable literature.
I’ll give this a try. Thanks for the idea.
What puts a smile on my face is quoting monologues from films. My personal favorite is Sgt. Hartman’s improvised chain of vulgar insults.
How do I express myself?
I express myself in many ways. One of my favorite things to do is to sing in the shower. I sing 80s and 90s songs from films and cartoon shows such as the “Tailspin” theme song. But when I open the cap open of my shampoo bottle, I sing the Soul Glo commercial song from Eddie Murphy’s “Coming to America”.
To be serious, I express myself through my writing. When I’m not working on a personal project or blogging, I’m writing in a journal. What I am is in there. It’s one of the places where I can be completely honest.
Creatively…? One can bet that the puzzle pieces that make me will be in the creative process, especially when I’m writing. So writing, to me, is one of the best ways to express myself.