I self publish. I’m an Indie. At some point I heard it was good advice to create a business plan. I did, even though it was simple and not filled with some of the intellectual language I’ve seen in other samples.
I also heard it was good to create a production plan, which I do. It’s on a digital sticky note and it goes into the year 2016. At some point I had to stop going so far into the future because I kept changing my mind. New ideas would rise up, demanding to be written. Or flashy ideas that I thought had merit needed more time to simmer.
That is the delicate balance between art and publishing.
If I were a robot, spitting out words just for profit, different stories would be on my production plan. Ones that made more sense. Ones that were part of a large series and with romance and kissing. Ones that fell into commercial genres. And sometimes, I write those stories.
Just today, based on the Create Bravely theme from NESCBWI and everything I talked about here, I deleted every project past this coming December. I will finish projects I’ve started and there’s a certain sequel I want to write. But then it’s all free and clear. And I love it!
Sometimes I have to follow my heart and write the stories that are a challenge, that are scary, that seem to fall outside those genres that sell well. Sometimes I need to write the stories that call to me, those that I will love writing, those that won’t let me go.
There’s nothing wrong with writing to sell, with choosing a genre that you know sells well. Nothing at all. I’m just saying that there is no guarantee no matter how you publish or which genre you write that a book will sell well, so you might as well write what makes you happy.
Anyhow, I am always thinking about what I’ll be writing next, trying to find that balance between art and running a small business. It isn’t easy.
So for now my calendar is open while different ideas push at the envelope of my creativity, wanting to be written. I honestly don’t know which one will win.
How do you deal with this balance? I would imagine a similar struggle exists for those pursuing the traditional path.