I had a lovely guest (author Karen Brees) scheduled for today, but I hit a brick wall with that sinus infection, and my guest hit a brick wall with a strep throat, and the schedule crashed and burned.
Sounds like a a lot of wreckage, doesn’t it?
We’re both on the road to recovery, and I’ll be putting Karen back on the guest schedule as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, let’s take the road less traveled on this blog and talk about (1) writing as a passion versus (2) writing as a business.
Author Gary Reilly wrote for his love of the creative, his desire to take the ideas in his head and get them down on paper, and his character. Gary wrote novel after novel full of charm and wit and good old-fashioned story-telling. There were eleven stories about Murph, the Denver taxi driver, a couple of novels about the Vietnam era, and more…maybe twenty-five books in all.
Gary died before any of them were published, and perhaps before any of them were ever submitted to an agent or editor. Some of his books are getting published now, but unless Gary has a window on what’s happening here on the earthly plain, he’ll never know.
There’s a lot more about Gary and some of his other novels in a blog written by his friend and now co-publisher of his books, Mark Stevens. You can find it at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers blog.
Maybe writing for the love of writing was enough for Gary Reilly.
Would it be enough for you?
Sometimes I think it would be enough for me.
But then I think how good it feels to hold that newly published novel in my hands and how much fun it is to sign a novel at a conference or convention, and I cave. Getting published is part of the game for me.
I hope to get published again in the next year or so. That means it’s time to get back to work with all those little chores that are part of treating writing as a business. Update the website, upgrade the blog, write new bios for the organizations I belong to and social media sites I use.
And write more novels…for the sheer love of writing, creating new characters, and great old-fashioned story telling.
KK Brees says
Antibiotic Central here. Loved your post today and it gave me food for thought. Why do we write? Probably many reasons but it seems kind of sad that Gary never was able to share his work. Isn’t that why we tell stories?
Patricia Stoltey says
Thanks, Dean. It’s clear there needs to be room for both, but I still have that longing to do it Gary’s way. Just write.
Susan, once we’ve experienced that rush of joy, we want it again and again. I know I do, in spite to the desire to just write. It’s hard to be both a writer and a businessperson.
Susan Gourley/Kelley says
I think I’m like you, Patricia. I love it with a passion but I also love that feeling of holding the newest novel in my hand and seeing my name on the cover.
Dean K Miller says
Pat: this is the best guest blogger you’ve hosted!
There is definitely a line one must cross to get in the publishing game. But that doesn’t mean the “love and passion” has to leave. Just move over a little bit.
I look forward to your next book.
Patricia Stoltey says
Alex and Margot — thanks. Yes, I’m starting to get over this winter crud. Thank goodness.
Trisha, I’m also not trying to make a living writing (and that’s a good thing), but I sure do like seeing a book on my shelf with my name on it.
Susan, I agree. We need to embrace ourselves as writers just because we write.
Richard, some of us need to quiet the voices in our heads, and getting those nagging characters down on paper is the only thing that works.
I’m sure glad the Asphalt Warrior books are out there, Julie. I love them.
Julie Luek says
Read the post yesterday. Sounds like he lived his life very intentionally and apparently publication wasn’t pulling him enough with its siren call to pursue it. But glad his stuff is getting out there for others to enjoy now.
In my writing I’m always thinking of the person who will read or hear it and enjoy it once it’s done. It’s the attention hog inside me. I don’t think I’ve ever written just to write. There has always been some underlying reason for it.
Susan Mark says
I wrote as a job for quite a while as a reporter and then for a magazine the state library put out. I burnt out on it, and now write strictly as a passion. I think down the road I may approach it as a business, but for now, I really needed to take the pressure off and tinker. I bristle a bit when people say you’re somehow not a “real” writer if you’re not hustling to get published. We all come to the place we need to be.
Trisha F says
I guess in a way it is enough for me, because I do write what I love, and the fact that I love it is WHY I do it. But I admit I still want my works to be out there, and readable by others. I don’t want to make money from it, particularly, though I do want to be at least partly compensated for the hard work that goes into it. But the main thing I hope is that people will read my stories and like, even love, them.
So maybe it’s not enough for me just to write. 😛
Margot Kinberg says
Pat – I hope you feel better soon – what a week! Such an interesting question about the business aspects vs the passion aspect of writing. I write because of that passion, but do I want my books to sell? ‘Course I do. It’s finding the time to do it all that’s hard.
Alex J. Cavanaugh says
It probably would’ve been enough. Even just one book would’ve been enough, as I never planned to continue that path.
Glad Gary’s works are being shared even if he’s not around to enjoy it.
And hope you feel better.