The Big Picture

Before I put words on paper, I was narrow-minded as a writer. I just wanted to write and I had a vague idea that it would be cool to be published. But I didn’t really think it through, you know?

When I began writing, my only thought was, “I need to get these characters out of my head and on paper before they really drive me crazy.” Once the writing process was underway though, my thoughts change. I wondered if anyone would like what I’m writing. I wanted to know if an agent or editor would take a chance on it. The small window I looked through when I started writing expanded and expanded until I could finally see the whole picture.

In the beginning, I was shy about my writing. I didn’t want anyone to read it, which is just silly because what’s the point of writing a book if you don’t share it? It was like pulling teeth for me to send it to critique loops. My only problem with critique loops though is that you can’t please everyone on it. You may get two critiques, or twenty and trying to keep up with everyone’s preferences is nearly impossible. Narrowing that field to a select few helped relieve my stress and I could finally concentrate on cleaning the manuscripts.

Then…you send them out into the wild with a wish and a prayer. “Go, be free! Be published!”, you cry to your manuscript as it goes winging to an agent or editor’s inbox. But then, if you’re me, you start thinking…”Holy hell, what was I thinking?!”

I’ll even admit that even now, especially now, I’m nervous about people reading my work. It’s a bit late for that though, isn’t it? Book 1 of my Veil series comes out in March. Part of me is excited, while the other part is hiding under the covers on my bed. Why? Because it’s…well, it’s an extension of me. I want it to do well. I want it to please, if not everyone, then some people.

We write and write our little hearts out, pouring our time and blood into our manuscripts, but in the end…we’re sending it out for slaughter. I wonder if it would be easier not to name our manuscripts? Kind of like you don’t name a cow you’re going to butcher kind of thing. Would it? We’re writing for readers and we want them to be happy with what we put into words. We want them to want more and more, we want them to demand more books, and possibly join our not-quite-formed cults.

I’m kidding about the cult. Not really. Okay, I am, seriously. What would they be called anyway? Danicanites? Avetnites? Danicaicians? Meh.

I suppose the point of this post is, in 2010, I wasn’t thinking about that big picture. It slowly expanded, but I was still thinking in terms of “I want to be a writer! Whee! This is fun!”. It’s still fun, but looking ahead to 2011, I have to think about the business end of things. Will my stuff be marketable? Will it fit with the publishing trends? Will my sister-in-law’s mother (who has vowed to read my books) have a heart attack at the love scenes (and am I held liable for that)? Will my house get egged by angry readers who hate that Book 1 has a farting Bulldog? These are things I think about now.

But I can’t let it stop me. Writing has become my therapy. I can pour all of my darker thoughts into a book right along side my goofy, sometimes coarse humor. It’s the place where I can make anything happen because my imagination has the power and I love it.

There was a point to this post, I’m almost positive of it, but I seem to have lost track of it. Hm, right. It looks as though I’m saying, enjoy your writing, enjoy being creative, but also remember writing is a business, as I’m about to find out in the next few weeks, once the book is written, the real work starts. But what a crazy, addictive job!

10 Comments

Filed under Writing

10 responses to “The Big Picture

  1. Great post- sums up how I felt about the release of SOLO HONEYMOON_ less the farting dog, that is!! You’ll be fine, D. Can’t wait!! Jillian

  2. Oh boy, did you sum it up! Ever since I signed the contract for my first book, I’ve beeen feeling a lot more pressure on the current WIP. It’s so easy to get caught up in the “can I sell this?” mentality. I gotta keep myself focused on the fun stuff, writing because my characters want to live, and keep all the the business questions separate.

    • It’s a balancing act, I find. You have to be conscious of the business side of things without losing your creativity. Being too focused on the business side can stifle your creativity and yet you can’t forget about it altogether.

  3. Awesome post. You’re so right. While writing is awesome, fun, and a form of therapy, we need to be ready for the business side of it.

    If we don’t, we might be surprised by the amount of work it entails. Taxes, marketing, etc. But don’t let all that business stuff douse out the creative bug, either. 🙂

    Can’t wait to see what 2011 brings you, Danica. IT’s gonna be GREAT!

    • Ack! I forgot about mentioning taxes! I’ve already met with my accountant to find out what I need to do for the upcoming books, but sheesh…I can’t believe I forgot to mention it in the post!

      I can’t wait to see what’s in store for you as well, Lynn. It’ll be fabu!

  4. Love this post. Soooo true. I LOVE writing, but oh, the thought of others reading my work. Actually, it excites and terrifies me all at once. I want that one person to tell me they connect with my heroine/hero or storyline.

    I guess we have to just sit back, hang on for dear life, and ride the waves. 🙂

  5. Great post! I love reading how you have grown as a writer. Danica~you have had a great 2010, with a few ups and downs, but your 2011 will be AWESOME!

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