Monday, August 5, 2013

The Entrepreneurial Writer


I see a couple days ago Graeme wrote a post about being an artist versus being an entrepreneur.  While Graeme is firmly on the artist side of the spectrum, I think I'm much more on the entrepreneur side.  I approach writing like a business.  Of course, I still treat it like an art -- I have complex characters, an engaging plot, and moving scenes.  I try to create a book that readers will care about (and judging by the reviews Autumn Fire is getting on Goodreads, I did a pretty good job with my debut title).

So maybe there's a little artist in me.  But at the end of the day, I think I'm much more of an entrepreneur.  As I commented on Graeme's post, I currently have a novel in the hopper that is taking much longer than I feel it should (dang homework!).  Now that my course is over and homework is no more, I should be able to buckle down and power through the manuscript and (hopefully) submit it to Champagne Books by the end of the summer.  Alongside that, I want to write a couple short stories for anthologies that have due dates of September 1.  And after I do all that, I know what my next novel project will be, and there's another call for short stories that I want to submit to.  And I might know the next novel project after all that.

Approaching writing as an entrepreneur versus as an artist have similar outcomes, but for perhaps different reasons.  Both approaches want the final product to be damn good.  The artist wants it to be damn good for the sake of art, for the sake of having told the story as best as the artist is able.  The entrepreneur wants it to be damn good for the sake of the reader.  To the entrepreneur, the reader is everything -- without the reader, there's no reason to write.

So that brings me to the dilemma of my work in progress.  It's a contemporary new adult gay Scottish erotic romance -- yes, that's a rather narrow sub-genre of romance.  About half the reason I'm so behind on it is because of homework; this course I'm just finishing up was a doozy and now that I'm just about done, I should have a lot more writing time.  But the other half of the reason I'm so behind is that there's a little voice in the back of my head telling me that I have to be better than my first book, that I have to grab the reader and not let go.  That's the entrepreneurial voice.  It can be demanding sometimes.  And since I'm rather new to the world of being professionally published, that entrepreneurial voice can also be intimidating.  It's not quite the same as writer's block.  Writer's block implies my mind is drawing a blank, but I know exactly what I want to write.  I'm just afraid to sit down and type it.

But, being an entrepreneurial writer, I also know that holding off from writing due to that intimidation means that I am also letting down my readers who are waiting for the next book.  So, I sit down and hammer it out.  If the fear affected my work, then when I revise, I slip into artist mode and make it the high quality I expect of myself.

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Cameron D. James is a writer of gay erotic romance.  His first title, Autumn Fire, was released this past July by Carnal Passions (an imprint of Champagne Books).  To find out more about Cameron or Autumn Fire, check out his website at www.camerondjames.com

2 comments:

January Bain said...

I wish I could juggle both being an artist and an marketer better! I love to write too much to give marketing as much time as it requires, so I hire Book Tour people to help out! Works for me. best, January

fantasywritingjourney said...

I enjoyed reading this - particularly since I heard mostly from artists on my post about the artist vs. the entrepreneur.

It's interesting to see how even one who identifies as an entrepreneur has many of the same experiences with regard to making the product great.

I look forward to seeing you continue to refine your craft - sure you have many wonderful stories ahead of you!