Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Business Side of Writing

A couple of posts ago, I joked about looking forward to doing taxes. Truth is, I hate it as I'm sure you're all aware. Not only that, but the whole financial side of living -- keeping the checkbook, where to invest, monthly budgeting, saving, how much to put in the 401K -- well, if someone would offer to do that for me in exchange for the joy of pulling all my teeth out, I'd gladly take the deal. My wife, on the other hand, is much more focused in that area and, in fact, in all the PRACTICAL areas of living. Unfortunately, her bandwidth can only take so much of the things you HAVE TO DO to function in this American world, so the finances have fallen to me. Oh joy. But that's not what this post is about.

Getting to it: it's not tough to extrapolate my "love" for the practical, or business, side of life to the practical, or business, side of writing. I derive all kinds of pleasure from making up stories, writing my way out of troublesome spots (when I have the talent to do so - when I don't, well, I have Ken), tossing ideas back and forth, brainstorming new ideas, and even, to a certain extent, the re-writing of parts of stories that need to be strengthened or cut down for the benefit of the novel or short story. However, when it comes to the business side of it to try to get yourself published (i.e. the query letters, synopses, cover letters, but most of all the actual sending them out and keeping track of the documents), it's like dragging my chin over asphault to try to get myself to want to do it. Of course, it has to be done, or else your work just sits in a drawer never to see the light of day. But boy do I despise it. Why? Because it takes away from the part of writing that gets my juices flowing (just like working on finances at home takes away time you could be spending with your children, etc.). Ten times out of ten, and a thousand times out of a thousand, I'd rather be working on a story than trying to compose a professional-sounding query letter -- a letter that many editors and agents will use to judge your writing right off the bat and if it ain't up to snuff, then they toss you out with no more than a brief rejection letter where they probably spell your name wrong - oh the irony. (Digressing) It's so important, yet I have so much trouble with the want-to. And whereas when in novel-writing when I work myself into a difficult spot, where Ken and I can bounce ideas off each other, Ken's love is also for the story-telling and not for the business side. Now, he's more knowledgeable about that side than I am, but he's no more apt to work that side of our writing than me.

Often, I joke with Ken that we need a Pearce & Story secretary who will work for free and handle the business side for us. Well, we'd still have to do the actual writing of the story content part of the query and cover letters, and also we'd have to write the synopses, but in a perfect world, if we had someone who could just take these and alter them for the different requirements of each publishing house/editor/agent, what a lifted burden that would be. All that said, why joke about it anymore?

Soooooooo... if any of you guys/gals know of a person who loves working lots and lots of hours for free for a couple of hard-arsed guys who give no benefits and only require a ton of work, we're certainly taking applications. Just think, you could get in on the ground level of something that's going to be big... REAL BIG... someday. Special consideration goes to prospective employees who can read minds. Extra special consideration goes to prospects that never make mechanical writing mistakes and can type 120,000,000 words a minute. And think of it, if we did ever get really, really, really big, we might even give a raise up to minimum wage.

Ask yourselves, what other writers out there are offering such an opportunity? That's right. No one but Pearce & Story. That's why we're the best going today.

[Update to that last sentence: Well, it's one of the multitude of reasons, let's just say. But any way you slice it, we're still the best. And working on becoming LEGENDARY. So sign up now!!!]

5 comments:

DugALug said...

Rich,

If you get and bites, can you have them mow my lawn too?

-Doug

Rich said...

I'll do what I can for ya, Doug.

Of course, I see you're not diving at this chance of a lifetime.

Did I mention we'll put said employee in the Acknowledgments of every book we write?

DugALug said...

Rich,

Thanks for the offer, but if I had that amount of time... well I'd write a book too!

You make me chuckle Bro'

-Doug

codepoke said...

This made me think of you.

codepoke said...

Hey, Rich,

The connection is obvious, but tenuous here. I like the way this guy thinks and writes about software and about working. This post is about how to keep your developers developing.

As I read your idea here, it did not sound AT ALL farfetched to me. This article is about how this software company does exactly what you are imagining.

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/DevelopmentAbstraction.html