Warning: this is a no-edit zone...
Pondering this morning. As part of the work/joy of Her Perfect Life's release, I've been doing a lot of in person and online chats, workshops and seminars lately. Being a people person and a solitary writer, I thoroughly enjoy them. And at times when doing them, I'm blessed with gaining insights or new perspectives. Such has been the case in the past two weeks.
I always welcome questions, and when working with other writers, I often get these little gems. The gem, in this case, is an awareness. I noticed that I was getting a lot of questions on the business. That's not really uncommon, but typically there are as many questions on writing. In the past two weeks, there haven't been. The focus has been solely on selling, marketing, promotion, hiring media escorts, personal coaches, and distribution.
Those are all valid topics, and I don't mean to insinuate that they aren't. But a red flag went up in my mind, and a question posed itself in my mind that I couldn't answer. Where's the writing?
Maybe it's because there are so many articles on craft online. Maybe it's because there are so many books on craft and so few on the business or how the industry functions. Or maybe it's because selling what is written is growing more important than what it is written.
Only individuals can answer what is truth to them specifically. But the disparity of questions on writing and the business did grant me pause, and it did make me think. Writing to sell is a terrific profession and I love it. I love the business. But I love the writing more.
I love the act of writing--the process. The creating something from nothing that entertains me, engages my emotions--and hopefully, my readers. I love everything from the feel of the pen gliding across the page to seeing words appear on the computer screen. I love it that what those words say forces me to decide not only where I stand but where I'm going and why. I'm energized by plots and conflict and motivations, and most of all, by characters. Who are they? What are they all about? Why does anything matter to them? to whom do they matter? I love all of the thousands of little details that make characters real people.
But that's not all of it. It's about the words. The letters strung together that form words that tell a story with rhythm and cadence that resonates and can wring emotion from a stone. Words that can fire you up, frighten or sober you. Words that can make you laugh and cry and think about your own life and about the lives of those you love--and those you love to hate. Words create language, and language seduces, intrigues and inspires. It lures you into a story and makes you a part of it.
I love the business. Love it. But this awareness has lighted a certainty in me that it's easy to get so caught up in the business, in selling you write, that you forget why you write.
I don't want that to happen. I don't want to become so fixated on the business of writing that I lose the love for writing. So I'm going to embrace this little twinkling gem of awareness and hold it close in my writer's pocket and heart.
I'm going to stay aware of the gem's gleam, and remember foremost to love the words.
c2006, Vicki Hinze