In a comment on my previous post, mrkelly2u mentioned he’d recently made an 8 minute documentary. It’s called The Life of a Writer and interviews author Kate Harrison.
It’s beautifully put together and captures some important moments of a writer’s life.
If you haven’t seen it yet, take a few minutes to watch.
I think in some respects the writer’s life is going through a state of change with the rise in self-publishing. It would be interesting to see what a similar documentary would be like in 5 to 10 years.
What are your thoughts on the documentary? Let me know in the comments.
February 13, 2013 at 6:51 pm
Thanks for sharing the film, Jessica, it’s much appreciated – and I think you are right to ask the question. It will be interesting to see how things play out over the coming years. My personal view is that the main factors will be:
Firstly, I think in order to be successful a writer will still need to write – lots! That won’t change – and if anything, productivity will become even more important.
Secondly, without the financial support of large publishing houses, writer’s will need to work much harder to find and connect with their audience.
Finally, content is still king. If the product is consistently poor it is unlikely to find an audience, regardless of how much time and money you throw at it. Ok, I know there are exceptions to this as a number of freak blockbuster series have proven (they shall remain nameless).
What are your thoughts on where things are heading?
February 13, 2013 at 8:07 pm
I’m very happy to share the doco and I’ve already heard positive things from people who’ve seen it in my house. 🙂
I think your points are spot on.
I would add to point 2 that writers who want to make it in the self-publishing world will need to think like a publishing house. They’ll need to invest in the cover art, editing and critiquing services which contribute to good product. The difference between those who invest these elements and those who don’t is already becoming obvious.
But, as you mention in point 3, content is still king. Just because we write something doesn’t mean it should actually see the light of day as a self-published work. Slush piles do have their advantages in that they force us to make things better or let some things go. Some work actually gets far better because of the number of times we’re sent back to the drawing board.
I’m not sure how that filtering process translates into self-publishing. We writers are usually too in love with what we’ve written to see whether it meets the grade. Also, if it’s our decision when something is published, I wonder if we’ll stop short of actually forcing that extra rewrite which would make our work even better.
Then there’s the other problem that at times we could edit something till kingdom come and eventually we have to let go and send it out into the world.
I’m not sure how that balance between editing and finishing will work as writing and publishing changes.
However things change, I think it’s important to remain positive and flexible. Often change leads to opportunities never before possible.
February 13, 2013 at 9:52 pm
I think you are spot-on, Jessica. Self-published authors need to be able to establish networks of other professionals – including cover artists/photographers and editors.
Editing is vital and I think there definitely has to be some filtering process, some way of getting a useful critique of your work before you let it out of the house.
Do you have a Google Plus profile? I just signed up and have found some really interesting conversations and posts around this very subject. I have also found it a great place to get critiques of my short stories. Let me know if you are on there – it would be good to connect.
February 14, 2013 at 9:54 am
I don’t yet have a Google+ account. I’m easing my way into social media so as not to overwhelm myself. I’m currently mastering Twitter (@JessBaverstock) and then I’ll possibly move over to Google+.
I’m glad you’ve found a place to get feedback on your writing. And thank you so much for taking the time to leave your comments. I found them very insightful. 🙂
February 14, 2013 at 4:44 am
Love this. I visited Brighton in 1986. The only thing that seems familiar is the beach 😀 Thanks for sharing it.
February 14, 2013 at 9:56 am
It’s a very distinctive beach, isn’t it? I recognised it and I’ve never been there!
So glad you enjoyed it. It’s a nice little reminder to keep to our word count goals. I hope yours is still going strong. 🙂