Absolute Write Blog Chain Question for me! Answer included!

On July 26, 2009 by Aimee

I received a question today from rosemerry who answered a separate question from Lady Cat who got her question from … well, I think you get the picture!

It’s called a blog chain and it’s a fun way to learn about other writers while sharing something about yourself! In this blog chain, started on Absolute Write (highly recommended for any writer!) the person before asks a question and it is answered by the next and so on and so forth. Today is my turn!

Do you write short stories or novels or both? What made you choose that medium? If you write short stories, is it disheartening that you can’t make a living writing short stories like in the heyday of short story writing? If you write novels is it discouraging that it is a longer time period to see any return on your writing or that it gets rejected after all the time you put into it?

Technically, I have been writing professionally for 4.5 years — as long as my photography studio has been open. Not many knew that I, yes, little ole me, wrote all the content for our website, blog, flyers, marketing, PR, etc. But I did! None of that, though, has anything to do with short stories or novels. So read on …

When I got the idea for MIRAGE, I decided, right then and there, to write the whole darn thing — a novel. And I did. 99,971 words (I think) in about 60 days. It wasn’t the first time I was called crazy — shoot, opening a photography studio amidst the saturated industry where anyone and their mother can buy a fantastic digital camera was also crazy — but I digress.

It was then I decided that I was going to add writing to my resume — officially. It quickly became apparent (to me anyway) that I enjoyed writing more than just the pieces for the studio. I enjoyed taking my words and penning them into something creative for the benefit of not just me, but others around me.

Since writing novels, by their very nature, includes a long time-intensive process, I found I needed a creative outlet for my creative outlet and started adding flash fiction. I don’t consider them short stories since they are under 500 words. I could probably write 2000 words faster than I do 250 in a flash fiction piece, but I find it very rewarding to sit with a photo, that I or one of my photographers took, and create a little story — or even just a scene.

Do I expect to have them published, ever? Nope. They are totally for me, for fun.

I don’t think I’ll ever really get into real short stories — not because there isn’t a market for it, but because if I’m going to write 2000 – 4000 words, I want to make it bigger and tell an even bigger story which then leads me to 10,000 words, then 20,000 and on and on.

So, I would consider myself a writer of novels. Anything outside of that is just fluff fun.

Now, on to the next portion of the question … am I discouraged by the time it takes to get something in print? Um, well … not really. Yes, it’s a loooong process. I’ve been querying MIRAGE for, well, about 2 months now and am up to 15 rejections. In the meantime, I’m working on Little White Lies and have reached about 8,000 words.

Because I don’t come to writing from within the confines of an English degree or a “that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do in life” philosophy, I probably look at this a little different than others.

First, let me clarify something about myself. I have a Math degree and an MBA. I didn’t get into photography by virtue of an art degree either — it was a business decision and I happen to love the art side of it. Well … books are much the same way … for me.

I will learn from the industry, follow its rules, move forward, move backward, write, submit, rewrite, resubmit and if all else fails … well … the way I see it, the #1 thing writers want is publication and the success of publication is in marketing. Since I have a DEGREE that focuses on marketing (my MBA) then I will publish myself and market … myself.

Why you ask? Why step on the toes of every agent, editor and publisher out there? Because I have never been one to follow all the rules. The photography industry is going through a serious state of flux. I see the publishing industry going through something similar. Will I make millions off a self-published novel? Probably not. Will I make millions off a published novel by any of the big houses? Probably not.

Why not then take the marketing into my own hands? If I want to see my book in B&N, Borders or the grocery store, then yeah … gotta follow ALL the rules. At least today. If I want my book to be in book form then there are very strategic ways of doing that that requires that I do the marketing — which apparently is one of my greatest strengths.

I will caveat all of the above with this … if I decide I want, with absolute certainty, the ultimate agent-publisher-writer arrangement, then yeah, the time it takes is a loooooong one and for that I’m sorry for all the writers out there who want nothing more than a shot at the big time.

And I just may be in their shoes too …

Thanks for reading my ramblings! I hope something in there was insightful. 🙂

For Proach aka Deanna, my question is this,
I see that you’ve just graduated from college. Kudos! Assuming writing is your career choice, do you have an ultimate goal for it and if so what is it? What are you doing to achieve that goal? Where do you see yourself in 5 and 10 years?

All comments welcome on this or any of our blog’s entries!