I'm pleased to introduce you to Tanya Reimer, talented author, generous supporter of fellow writers--and owner of a great sense of humor. She'll be sharing her two cents today.
Take the stage, Tanya!
I lived by this motto for a long time: Write because you love to, because you absolutely have to, and worry about publishing when it’s time.
But what happened when I ironed out the technicalities and was staring at something that was… done? I discovered that while writing might be art, publishing is business. Writing and publishing are often thought about as one, but they aren’t the same. Many write and never publish. Some write to sell. Others fall somewhere in between. I’m glad I gave myself the freedom to create without the worry about selling. In other words, I wrote with dreams, and now, I publish with goals.
When I left the comfort of my artistic world and ventured into the business realm, I got conflicting feedback. For example, I had a publisher ask for more setting and another wanting it cut. I thought about these things with both my creative and my business hat on. They were opposites. Which meant from a creative point of view, with a few tweaks, the book could be published. From a business point of view, my creative piece would not sell without a few tweaks. Even if I decided to self-publish, I was going to need a team of support from editors to readers and how many tweaks would they ask for? It put my creativity to question. Sure I am always willing to make more than a few tweaks, but! BUT! I was suddenly knee deep in the mud wondering why I couldn't just write for the market to begin with? Does creativity work that way? I reflected on my goal and my dreams. My dream was to be creative, but my goal was to publish. Can creativity be marketable? Should I force a piece into a particular market just to see it sold, and if so, which one?
So what’s a writer to do? No matter what anyone says, despite the doubt and the panic; you are the artist. When you write, you learn about the creative side, (everything from grammar to plots) and when you’re ready to journey into that business aspect of writing, you must take the time to learn all you can about the business (everything from the market trends to which stories will compliment and drive your sales). Understand it as well as you did the creative aspect. This will allow you to stay in control of your work and make the right choices for your career.
Tanya Reimer is the author of Ghosts on the Prairies published with Elsewhen Press (2014) and Petrified published with Sunbury Press (2014). She lives on the prairies where the tranquility inspires her not so peaceful speculative fiction. She is director of a non-profit Francophone community center, where she offers programming and services in French for all ages. She teaches social media safety for teens and their parents and offers one-on-one technology classes for seniors.