Writing is a solitary undertaking. I’ve said it. You’ve probably said it.
But wait!

I spend many hours writing in front of a computer, seemingly alone in a room (discounting our dachshund, Winston). But I’m not really alone. I’m in a setting of my own creation with characters I’ve come to love (or not). Together we’re telling our tale. At least that’s how it is for me.
Along the way, I talk to other writers and people close to me about the plotting of the story, testing to see if I or my characters have led us astray. Then I attempt to include even more people in the process by sending my work to agents or editors, hoping they like it enough to take it on or follow through on a proposed project. If they do, another set of people enter the project. You get the idea.  

Long-time authors tell of the past when a writer sat and wrote stories, then sent them in to editors who had the time to do a lot of advising and to lovingly usher the book into the eye of the public. It’s a whole different ball game now.
Editors are overloaded with submissions, meetings and number crunching, along with the editing work itself. Agents are overwhelmed with the number of people wanting to break into the industry. The publishing business has changed a lot since those seemingly blissful, lazy days when editors and agents actually responded to submissions. And huge changes are taking place once again with the advent of self-publishing, e-books, and the explosion of apps and other media opportunities for a writer’s work.

Today the writer must be a people person, immersing her/himself into the media frenzy that accompanies publication in the present world. I’ve heard it said that writers, as a group, tend to be on the shy side which is why they’re willing to spend so much time in front of a computer. That may still be the case, but when those people aren’t writing, they’re forced to market to family, friends, groups and mere acquaintances. Gone is the time when writing was known as a solitary business. It simply isn’t.
How has your writing life changed in the last few years? 

 

7 comments

  1. Patrice // September 19, 2012 at 10:14 AM  

    You're so right - solitary is so many ways and yet that's why we need our writer friends, our critique groups and blogging buddies. And being introverts, it really sucks that we must push ourselves to market our books, when we've already done the creative work. But it gets easier with time.

  2. Mary Marvella // September 19, 2012 at 3:31 PM  

    Actually, I started formatting and publishing my own books. I am on Facebook, Linkedin, and Pinterest and I blog, all relatively new and NOT part of my original dream.

  3. Mary Ricksen // September 19, 2012 at 6:51 PM  

    Your own world to share! It has to get out there, we're so lucky to have the opportunity to self publish!

  4. Mary Marvella // September 19, 2012 at 11:27 PM  

    I sooo agree, Mary R!

  5. Pamela Varnado // September 20, 2012 at 1:43 PM  

    Solitary, that's what I love about writing. It's just me and my thoughts. No one needing me or making demands. Without it, I'd go insane.

  6. Autumn Jordon // September 21, 2012 at 4:58 AM  

    Today's publishing world is love hate relationship for me. I miss the days of taking your time and writing your heart's desire and having someone give you feedback before the public see the work. But yet I love the control of self-publishing. With the control however, comes the business side of it and while I'm a people person, it can get trying. I wonder how mega stars handle it. Oh yeah, they hop on private jets and fly away to seculded islands to be pampered. Me I take breaks and load the dishwasher and fold the laundry. I am my own boss, though!

  7. Josie // September 23, 2012 at 9:44 PM  

    A writer definitely multi-tasks these days and wears a number of hats, Judy. Interesting post.