James Palmer's Journal - Day
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
7:30AM - Noodling
I haven't been here in while because I'm trying to get my copywriting business going. But the other day I noticed something, chiefly how getting a writing business going can have so little to do with actually writing anything. I've finally realized that this isn't necessarily a good thing, because to be a good writer, you must write. There is no other way to get there from here. The musician's equivalent of five finger exercises, or noodling, as my old guitar teacher called it. Practicing oddball keys and chords without playing formal scales or practicing "Mary Had a Little Lamb" for five hours a day.
Now, I thought I was being clever. Being time-wise. Using business savvy. I thought it was foolish to try to write anything that you won't--or likely won't--be paid for. So I stuck with spending most of my time just trying to get writing assignments. It's great a great feeling to write something and be paid for it, even if it isn't very much, though it's the amount of payment that I'm trying to increase by getting into copywriting.
But there's a middle ground, somewhere between writing for the sake of writing, noodling, that I'm trying to stick to here. For I believe that writing and never having anything published is sort of a waste, though there are people out there who don't feel this way, who get other things out of it. Emily Dickenson was a recluse, sliding finished poems under her bedroom door, after which they were stored in a trunk until after her death. Horror writer H.P. Lovecraft fancied himself the last scion of a decaying line of aristocrats, and believed that writing for money was somehow beneath him. In fact, the thousands of letters he wrote to correspondents all over the country make up more wordage than all of his fiction combined.
Consider the fanfic authors who unleash their Harry/Draco fanfiction upon an unsuspecting Internet. Do they think they're learning how to write? Sadly, some of them do, and they have shelf upon shelf of Star Trek and Star Wars novels at their local Borders to reinforce their belief. But for the most part, I think they just like playing in someone else's universe and violating numerous copyrights. They have their reward from writing, even if it isn't monetary.
But I gotta tell ya, the money's not overrated either. And there's ways to make it work, just not by writing science fiction. Or fiction period, for that matter.
Enough of this. It's time to get back to work. In other news, I just got the cover art for the anthology from celestialstudio, so it's going out the door and on its way to the person doing the cover layout later today. I'll keep everyone posted and when it's ready, you'll all be the first to know.
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