Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Changing Face of the Industry

Believe it or not, there are people who think writing is easy. They honestly think that they can sit down and dash off a children's book and everyone will be amazed and captivated by their brilliance. As a result, the mountainous slush pile grows daily.

Those of us who hit the "delete" button more often than "save", are well aware of the havoc such fools have created on the industry of late. Because of their stupidity, writers who agonize over every word and struggle to "measure up" to their mentors are forced to wait, while frustrated editors sift through the garbage that's been piling up since the affordability of the home pc.

In my opinion, it's as much to blame for the current state of publishing as the failing economy. Don't even get me started on the recent boom in the self publishing market and e-publishing! Self publishing used to be about intelligent people with ambition and a can-do attitude. Occasionally it still is. Once in a blue moon, excellent manuscripts are self published. But more often than not, it's cheap and all about ego.

The industry has changed, and serious writers must adapt.

Years ago, publishers focused on finding brilliant, and well written manuscripts. Today it's equaled by the search for writers with the ability to build connections, self promote, mentor others and speak in public forums.

We must fearlessly force ourselves to keep up with rapidly expanding technology, and rise above the swell of acceptable mediocrity, refusing to give up while facing extinction.

Disappointment in the current trend can knock an excellent writer off track. It's getting increasingly harder to keep up, and the odds against success are staggering. So what's a writer to do?

I think we all need to take a step back and admit that what got us here in the first place was the challenge. Although it is mightier, it is still doable. This is proven by the excellent writers who are finding their way onto bookstore shelves, despite everything. For those who find pleasure in beating the odds, the game is still on.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Bitten by the Doodle Bug

I have decided it's time for me to let go a little and revisit what got me here in the first place....doodling. Let's face it, when you've turned your passion into a daily JOB (I shudder just saying the word), it's easy to forget why you started doing it in the first place.

It's true for those of us who write as well. Your passion can quite unexpectedly become your torment. You seize up and suddenly every previously precious word that spills into your word processor seems jaded, cliche, or just plain boring.

Every writer, illustrator, artist, and creative person goes through it. It's how we deal with it that counts. We're all drama queens. I haven't met a creative being yet that couldn't do a bang up job of wallowing in their own self pity for at least a day or two. We moan and groan and convince ourselves that it's just not worth it. Our passion is gone, never to return! Grumble, grumble, grumble.

People who have seen us through previous funks, roll their eyes at our self loathing and praise us in an effort to relieve our "suffering", while secretly reaching for the nearest bucket! Can you blame them?

If you're born with a talent that most can only dream of, whining about it is really stupid. Lighten up and do something different and forget about what it's worth in U.S. currency. It just might remind you of where you started, and why you can never stop!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Swirling Tides

It seems a lot of my colleagues, friends and family are changing course these days. It could be in keeping with the economy. It'd be really easy to follow the trend, and place the blame on Washington, but I think it's more than that. There's been a change coming in the air since way before the election, and the economy has been bad for a really long time.

No, this is different. Choices are being made. Lines are being drawn.

Ideas that had been placed on the back burner for years, are now coming forward and being acted upon.

People who have always taken the back seat, are getting behind the wheel and taking back control.

Many are standing up, tired of sitting on the sidelines and accepting only what is offered when there could be so much more.

I'm witnessing greatness in people who are willing to cast aside their doubt and reach for their passion.

I know followers who have suddenly stepped forward and found the strength to lead.

Change is coming. Do we dare to plan, when so much is in motion?

Then there's 2012. Everybody knows about it, but only Hollywood's talking. Maybe we're all subconsciously dealing with it by finally doing whatever it was we've been holding back on. Maybe that's the explanation for the swirling tides of change.

Whether you choose to believe that it's all coming to a cosmic close-or not, you have to admit that something is going on. I have a feeling we'd better all grab a hold, get a firm grip, and prepare for the windy days ahead.

Even I've been checking my compass and preparing to test new waters. Wherever my boat takes me, I'm sure it'll be an adventure!