Sunday, June 13, 2010

Writing The Book And Beyond

For several weeks now I've been wrapped up in the world of book writing. I've been co-authoring a book that will end up being the second official title to be published by my company Founders House Publishing. At present, the book is still in process and going by a working title. I've spent my time working exclusively on this book. I've been covered over with all of the demands that tend to form any piece of longer writing - especially when you choose to work with someone else. I'm governed by not only my own expectations, but those of the other party.

So far, for me, this has been a good thing, because I'm anxious to get input in the material to see whether I'm on the right track. Many writers have commented on the advantages of having instantaneous input. Some receive this help from their alpha readers who get a sneak preview of what the writer has produced. At the same time, I've been given a large degree of freedom or autonomy on this book. It's been a learning experience, let me tell you.

Deeper Thoughts

One of the advantages of this project has been that I have received numerous materials up front. The client had handwritten materials, newspaper clippings, and other documents that he had collected or written over the years. He provided me with plenty of ground work. What he lacked in writing skill he made up for with his passion for the subject matter. That excites me - and also humbles me. I must appreciate the  trust I've been given and do my very best to present a book that  honors the spirit and commitment that client has for his story.

This whole process has made me appreciate the writing process while also making me realize, again, that this is a challenging business that we're in. Not everyone can write for living. Even the pros come to grips with this realization and sometimes come to a point in their careers where they run into walls. They can't go on. They've lost their focus. Maybe they're burned out and need a break. These are just some reasons I've considered and some feelings that even I have experienced.

What is difficult for me at this point balancing my genuine desire to grow as a writer with my decision to establish a publishing company that offers other writers the opportunity to share their own ideas and stories. I'm passionate about both and doing a lot of work to make sure that I'm worthy of their attentions. I have to remind myself that I'm still a newbie in the publishing business, trying to grow my little company a book at a time.

And Then...

With such aspirations both for this upcoming book and for the development of future books comes the inevitable question: How do I make ends meet? Obviously, for me the answer seems to keep freelancing. It sounds simple, but I've been finding it a little more complicated lately. I'm well aware of the "feast or famine" nature of this business. I've experienced from time to time during the last four years. It's been a struggle; it is a struggle now to find work on a consistent basis. Part of this is my fault for not having a good plan in place to account for the changes that I was already perceiving in the markets I was using. The other was that I took on this book project with such enthusiasm that I neglected other things just as important.

I'm back to square one as a freelance writer. I'm on the hunt for enough work to make the budget requirements for my household. Even while the prospects of selling decent numbers of books is on the horizon, the proverbial ship hasn't come in quite yet. If I'm honest with myself, I know that it will not be that simple even if the book does as well as the client and I expect. This is something I cannot expect to see for at least four months. That's plenty of time to derail any efforts of changing our personal finances if I do not find steady writing gigs.

None of this is being stated so I can have an excuse to complain. No, I have no reason to complain. I still love this job. I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to work as a freelance writer. I hope to continue doing it for the foreseeable future. I would say this: fellow writers wish me luck and pass on any work you might have. I'd like the chance to expand my client base. (Just a bit of networking.)

In Closing...

Thanks for reading. I would love to receive any thoughts or comments you might have. Share your own experiences I would love to read them.  Take care...and keep writing!

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