The last decade, and especially the last five or six years, have been a struggle for most of us trying to earn a living. As soon as we seem to figure out how to do it, things change. The continuous mix of new technology, the current economy, trends, and worldwide needs and concerns keep every industry in flux. The arts are no different.
It’s no surprise to anyone that the publishing industry is not what it used to be. Hardcopy magazines, newspapers, and books are dwindling as online and e-content rises. It’s becoming more and more difficult to make a lucrative career in writing, although in every industry there are people who are incredibly successful.
I’ve been writing professionally since 1972. I’ve worked in radio, cable television, newspapers, advertising, and the book industry. The last fifteen years I’ve been able to write on topics that appeal to me the most but now am finding getting published to be more challenging.
The first question every publisher must ask before publishing is how large of an audience the work would draw and how many copies can be sold. Writing books for a minute audience, such as Catholic children, is limited in its ability to generate enough revenue to support the production expense. Unfortunately, very important works such as these are going to the wayside. It’s becoming more difficult for publishers to take on these types of projects even when they see their need.
The one advantage creative people have is their creativity. We can think “outside the box” and therefore should be able to develop new ways to use our talent and get these works out to our audience. We just have to be open to new ideas and methods of doing things and then patiently wait and watch for our audience’s response.
Writing is solitary business. We research alone and write alone. Sure, there are times our research brings us to events and people. There are interviews and curators to speak with. But mostly, we are at our computer, plugging along, sorting through information and thoughts by ourselves.
The little books I write take years to compile. After a market analysis, I diligently research, write, and rewrite countless times so that what remains is clear and to the point, uncluttered, and easy to read. But after all of that, I really don’t have any idea as to how a book will be received. Even after publication, it takes months before reviews, responses, and sales indicate its success or not.
Articles and these little posts are similar but on a much smaller scale. Feature articles can take weeks to write. Most of these blog posts are researched and written within a couple of hours at most. I appreciate all of you who comment, like, and sign up to follow. Without that, I have no idea if anyone is out there – if anyone cares to read the posts, if what I write is at all helpful.
Crazy to non-writers, I enjoy all the time I put into my writings. It’s my passion and vocation. I love gathering my thoughts and ideas and putting them into beautiful words. It is my pleasure to offer my readers a bit of information, something to think about, a moment of fun, hope, or inspiration in the package of a book, article, blog post, or personal note.
I encourage all you writers out there to keep plugging along. Give birth to that writing inside of you. And I ask all the readers out there to respond. Let us know how you feel about our writing, especially if we hit the mark with you.
©2013, Mary K. Doyle