I don’t know when it was that I somehow started thinking of writing as not being work. I guess it’s because I enjoy writing, I acquiesced to it. It may be something contagious and I caught this form of idiotic thinking from someone else. If it is a disease, I am cured. Writing IS work… hard work. It’s blood and sweat, heart and soul that goes down on the page. So why is it that I have complied to give my writing away? For FREE! Why do so many other writers give their work away for FREE?
I’ll answer my own question – we do it because we are amateurs. We want to have our writing in print so badly, we will give it away and we are blissful about it. Some of these publications that so graciously agree to publish my writing don’t even give me a copy of magazine or book it appears in. If I want to see my work in print, I have to buy it. I have to pay them to see my own writing. Absurd.
Yes, it’s a way to get my writing out there and read, but when I give it away for free, I am saying my work, my writing and art is not worth anything. If I don’t place a value on it, why should anyone else? I can’t speak for my peers who are doing exactly what I have been doing. I can’t judge them for giving away their creations, but I can stop. I can say, “Pay me for my work!” It’s hard to compete with free and in the publishing world, I am but a whore trying to get paid on a very crowded street corner packed with sluts who will give it away to anyone who will take it. How do I adapt?
I have to change my market. Stop pandering to the publications that do not pay and step up my game, going to bigger publications; the ones that get submissions from established authors all the time. I have to try to swing my bat in the same league with them. It’s not like I didn’t before. But when I was struck-out, I would then go to the non-paying publishers and let them have it. That stops now. Today.
I’m also figuring out the self-publishing game and have published two books. I am sure I will do more, but I will always pitch new novels to paying publishers first and see if it gets picked up. I really need an agent that knows the market and which publishers will like a certain novel, rather than me just sending it out repeatedly hoping whoever will like it. Yes, it’s a harder road, but my writing is good and it is worth something. It’s time I started respecting that and then maybe others will as well.