At an authors' luncheon the other day, I ran into a writing friend who had published a book and was one of the featured presenters. Whereas I was just enjoying a free meal. During a lull, we started chatting about publishing and how her writing career had been doing since she published her book.
Her book contract had underwhelmed her, it seems, but she signed it. The week her book came out, two people close to her died. Promotions were put on hold and she had to take a new job across the state from where she was born and reared. Her job has little to do with her writing. She remains upbeat and she has a couple other books she's working on.
Our discussion meandered into what others in our circle of writing friends were doing--all veterans of a graduate creative writing program. There was discussion of how a business class on publishing might have helped us, giving us a better understanding of how we might operate as business people to more effectively capitalize in the marketplace. Gosh, even a class by a business professor on analyzing a market or creating a marketing plan, geared towards book publishing, would have been helpful. Or what to look for (or not) in a contract. Sure, it might take some of the magic out of the creative element of writing, but I think my friend seemed to have some sadness that her book's promotional time was short-lived.
"They move on so quickly," she said.
Soon after graduation (and giving birth to two children), I realized I would need to take a different path in my writing: I have worked in marketing and PR, expanded into blogging, written for newspapers, taught strategic communications, and now have returned to writing scripts for television. I continue to write for a living and love it. But I still need lots of help when analyzing markets and magazines!
Elizabeth King Humphrey is a certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach and freelance writer. She also blogs at CoastalCarolinaMoms.com and TheWriteElizabeth.com, where she contemplates finding creativity in everyday places. Now, she is back to her business(es) at hand...!