Monday, March 7, 2011

Challenges for Writers

       The hardest thing about being a writer, for me, is the interminable time between paychecks. It isn’t like most jobs, where you work forty hours a week then you get paid for forty hours a week. Writing is a totally different animal. It is possible to get a job writing speeches, news articles and contemporary journals; but even those jobs are becoming subcontracted more and more.  The difficulty with subcontracting as a writer is that there are so many opportunities, and so many people vying for those opportunities, that until you have an established name with established credentials the work goes to someone else.
    Basically as a subcontractor you own your own business. With that comes all the responsibilities of running your own business… including figuring out the payroll. You are a business of one. You have to handle your own PR, marketing, taxes, office supplies, powers, lights and do what you love. (In this case writing.) Now if that isn’t daunting enough, you also have to figure out how to get the work. The image of a writer sitting at a café doodling in a notebook is pure fantasy. Those guys aren’t getting paid. They do it as a hobby.
     Writing books takes time and getting a book published takes even more time. I have finally gotten an agent for my first book and in the contract it states that the contract is for one year with a possible renewal up to two years. The contract was signed December of this year and I still haven’t heard anything about a publishing contract. Even though I have an agent, I don’t know when the paycheck will come in for it. I am working on the sequel for that book as we speak, particularly as that is one of the key selling points of the book. Series have a better appeal to publishers.
   At the same time, without a paycheck yet, I have to find other ways to make money in between. Since January I have been applying for all sorts of contracts from ghost writer to writing a human resource manual, but haven’t gotten any bites yet. But writers are a creative bunch and those who are truly passionate will find a way to make things work. My current venture, along with everything else, is to start a book review. The review will be posted on You tube, and I will share the link as soon as the first one is ready. Look forward to it!
    If anyone has a suggestion of a new book that I can review, let me know and I will see what I can do! Gotta keep the lights on!

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