Just Get It Out There

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com, Steve’s Tumblr, and Pillowfort.  Find out more at my newsletter, and all my social media at my linktr.ee)

Are you a writer? Good, get your work out there in the world, even if you have to change it up later.

The world is on fire, history is being made, and we’d like it to stop, thanks. Get your book or zine or whatever get out there now so people can experience it. You’ll figure out how to do better later if you need to.

I came to this conclusion while debating putting out print versions of my worldbuilding minibooks. These small guides to specific worldbuilding questions are maybe 55-75 pages in print, the kind of thing that is usually just an ebook. However, since I could see people gifting these, taking notes in them, etc. I started exploring how to put them into print.

That wasn’t as easy as I thought.

I could do them through Amazon, which has a great POD setup that parallels their easy Kindle system. But I could do IngramSpark and get them into bookstores (though It’d cost me). I then began debating my choices . . .

Suddenly I remembered Zine culture and its rapid, DIY aesthetic. Zine-makers often aim to get things out, sometimes against the odds. Putting something into a usable form makes it more likely it gets used, and Zine culture emphasized getting stuff to people.

Then looking at the state of the world, I realized that if I wanted to get my work into people’s hands in print, I should just do it. I didn’t know what the future held, but I knew what would let me get my work out in print before too much future happened.

So I decided to go to Amazon. Any other debate aside, it would let me do it faster and with a system I knew. I could always change up later.

I implore you, as a fellow writer, to get your work out there in whatever reasonable way you can. Maybe it will just be an ebook; perhaps you’ll decide to go with IngramSpark and pay the fees to get to bookstores, or maybe it’ll be self-printed. Just do it before you don’t have the chance to.

Hell,  getting your work out there in these crazy times might make the times less crazy. I’m not saying ramming your book out through Draft2Digital will save the world, but you might save it for some people. It’s far better than whatever you’ve written sitting there unappreciated and unread.

Steven Savage

Writing Is More Than Writing

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com, www.SeventhSanctum.com, and Steve’s Tumblr)

Earlier I’d discussed, with inspiration from my friend Serdar, about how writers are both compelled but also need to figure what to do with their writing to be happy.  Writing is an inclination – doing something with it lets it become more.

That’s really being a Writer, even if its not the kind of writer someone thinks you should be.  If someone thinks you should do more than Team Fortress 2 Slashfic and you’re happy, fine.  That’s what you do and it’s doing what you want.

But I’d be remiss in not addressing something else for writers. Namely that like any path, any career, anything you pursue, a larger amount of the path you follow isn’t what you think it is.

Writing Is More Than Writing

So a big part of writing is being read.  If for some reason you’re writing with the intention of no one ever seeing it (say journaling or something) then this part doesn’t really apply.  Otherwise I assume part of the writing drive is for someone to experience it at some point.

This means that to be a writer . . .you have to do more than write.

  • A good writer a the very least is a half-decent editor if only to make their work coherent enough for a real editor to understand it.
  • A good writer is a project manager so they can write on time and to a needed deadline (if only self-imposed)
  • A good writer can recognize their need to improve and implement it.

These are things t the very least you have to do.  But if you’re truly looking to be read there’s more.

  • A writer may need to be a marketer.
  • A writer may need to be enough of a businessperson to hire a marketer.
  • A writer may need to be enough of a psychologist to recognize what they can’t do – from an editor to a marketer to a personal aide.
  • A good writer is someone who develops the skills to support their writing.

So being a writer is also about being more than a writer so you can do whatever you want with your writing – even if it’s having someone else help out.

So if you want to be a writer – your kind of writer, whatever that is – you have to figure out what else you have to be good at.  Otherwise your being a “writer” is words that won’t go anywhere.

What do you have to be?  Editor?  Marketer?  Publicity agent?  Scientist?  What else do you have to be to be  a Writer?

  • Steven