"I am trying to check my habits of seeing, to counter them for the sake of greater freshness. I am trying to be unfamiliar with what I'm doing." - John Cage


Monday, February 22, 2016

The Business of Writing - Curiosity, Serendipity and Risk

“Life is a succession of habits, since the individual is a succession of individuals.” – Samuel Becket


Do you have questions about how to get your book project published or develop a writing career? I've developed a new 4 week class at Sierra College Truckee Campus called The Business of Writing. Through presentations and discussion, handouts with resources and panels with visiting authors, a diverse group of writers and I have been exploring the ins and outs of writing and publishing.

Sit next to a stranger on a plane, pour out your heart and discover they are an agent now interested in reading your novel.  Participate in a writing retreat and meet a publisher who later accepts a different project. Risk a dream job editor situation by giving up everything in order to find freedom and challenge through freelancing.  Write several "practice" novels that will never see the light of day. Write a novel for the Novel in 3 Days contest on a whim - and then win! Ghost write and "Fix" a celebrity's memoir. Which of these situations is real?  All of them!

What stands out in the stories of these writing careers? Curiosity to write in many forms and for many purposes - essay, article, novel, memoir, nonfiction, greeting card, screenplay, cartoon, photojournalism.  Serendipity generated by being open to and prepared for opportunity when it suddenly appears to you. Risking to write bravely, be vulnerable and give up what is certain in order to try for a daunting goal. The omnivorous-ness of finding sustenance for creativity as a writer across the disciplines of a life's experience. 

Next: what makes a good query stand out and hook the attention of an editor?


2 comments:

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