Does Going Indie Mean Less Time for Writing?

I have finally caught up a bit on indie publishing stuff (and other things in life) so I can turn back to the new Haxan novel in progress.

I am glad. I was starting to feel I had lost touch with it. I think this can happen if you don’t keep looking at a WIP and staying connected. It happens to me, anyway.

I still have a lot to do this week. But it is looking less bumpy that it was last week. I was also thinking about how busy this summer will be for me. I have a lot of things planned and I will have to juggle all my time. Not a problem, except if I fall behind again that means less time for writing.

I don’t like that.

It’s one of the reasons I am a little irked with the whole new indie trend in publishing right now. From my own perspective it leaves a LOT less time for writing. I understand the need for it, and these changes in publishing aren’t going to stop just because I find them personally inconvenient. I don’t like having to wear all these new hats, but I have to and since I have to I am going to do my absolute best.

But I do not like the fact it takes away so much time from basic writing.

I don’t like it, Sam I Am. I do not like Green Eggs and Ham. I don’t think I ever will.

Look, here’s how it breaks down for me. I’m an old dog. I know I have to learn new tricks. Fine. This won’t be the first time I’ve had to change directions. I’ve done it before and I am doing it again. I am adaptable. I think most writers are, when push comes to shove.

But I have yet to hear a cogent reason why this new business model is stronger purely from the basic writing side. Because, you know what? It’s not.

Less time for writing means less time for writing. You are never going to convince me that is a good thing. I’m a writer, first and foremost. It’s who I am and it’s how I define myself. And, no, I don’t care if this is the new trend or not.When you take less time away from my basic writing you do not make me happy.

Less time for writing is not a good thing. Period.

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15 Comments

  1. Definitely!

    Reply
    • I know, right? I mean, we can’t escape the fact the publishing world has changed and we have to change with it. But meanwhile we get pegged on less time for writing. I hate that.

      Reply
  2. Melissa

     /  February 8, 2012

    I agree. Sitting on the indie sidelines, as an unpublished writer and, truthfully, one without a completed project that would even be fit for self-publishing, I don’t like the trend. I have a hard enough time focusing and staying motivated with the normal writing obstacles that to have to do all that you’re doing to get your work out there would set me back months and months.

    Reply
  3. I love that you’re talking about this issue, as I’ve been closely following the new indie market to see where it leads. And it sounds as though you are at the fore of this movement, so any writing of yours on this subject commands my attention. Thank you so much for talking about this issue.

    From my perspective as a fellow professional, to me this feels like an old issue wearing a new hat. When I was freelancing a lot as well as working on my “real” work (fiction, poetry), I was constantly having to do things I never expected to do, such as constantly thinking three months ahead, pitching work on a regular basis, and keeping a very strict schedule (that often worked into a 12 hour day/7 days a week).

    I guess the only difference for me, now, is that the online presence of writing creates a different type of interaction that is much more immediate and, in its own way, intimate. That is taking some adjustment.

    But, now that you and a couple of other indie writers are on my radar, I’ve got some new considerations to make as I look at this wave in the market. Nicely done!

    Reply
    • I know. I’m not trying to be one of these “It was so much better in the Old Days” type of people. Because, to be honest, I like the fact writers are much more empowered today than every before.

      But it really bothers me we have lost so much writing time by adapting this new model. I guess that’s the price we have to pay?

      Reply
  4. You’ve brought up some extremely important points that have been really weighing on me this month especially. The new model and the old model differ so much on the direct connectivity level that I am just starting to figure out what parameters I need to set to protect my writing time.

    Here’s what I’m going to start doing– setting a kitchen timer to limit the amount I devote to social media versus writing itself.

    However, even as I write this, I am remembering that a really fruitful conversation is happening right now on my FB page, which is lending new information to a piece that is still in the notes stages. In fact, this conversation added a deeper tenor to my original idea that would not have occurred to me.

    So… I’m still not sure what I think. But I am protective, as you are, of my writing time. And social engagement does encroach on that time, which is necessary to what I do. Ah! No easy answers are there?

    I do have a question for you– have you been reading any of Chuck Wendig’s writing on writing? I’m curious as to what you think of his approach to both DIY publishing and the new writing model.

    Reply
    • I haven’t read any of Wendig’s advice (though the name does ring a bell) but I have read Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s stuff on how to do indie and find it very helpful.

      I am with you on the connectivity level. I think there is no doubt social networking has enabled writers to become more tuned in with readers. I myself have developed some very helpful networks with them and they have borne fruit in that I have been asked to submit to anthologies and the like. That would have been less likely to happen without the advent of social networking, maybe.

      You have hit on an important theme, however, in how we protect our writing time. Writing time has always been precious. Now that it’s become limited it’s more valuable than ever, I think.

      Reply
      • Thanks again for writing this piece as well as opening up a fascinating dialogue in your comments section!

        This discussion with you on this topic is really steeling my resolve to be more structured about the time I devote to the purely social networking part of my writing life. Although I love it, and although it can be fruitful and affirming, I need that breath and space in which to write without interruption.

        Thanks for this, and so much more. If you come to any conclusions about how you are going to handle this yourself, I am all ears. Meanwhile, I have a kitchen timer sitting on my desk to help me keep a time limit around my online socializing, and it’s about to go ding!

        Reply
        • As writers we have always had to be structured. Well, I have, anyway. But with all the new hats we have to wear it is now more critical than ever.

          Reply
          • I’d like to second that comment on structure. Without it, I don’t write. Period. I don’t need muses. I don’t need a lot of space. What I need is structure and a chair that doesn’t kill my back. And I prefer to listen to music, but I know people fall on either side of that preference.

            Reply
  5. I think the problem right now, is that it’s new and everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon and see where it goes. People are being told that they have to spend so much time doing this or that (Twiter or marketing their book), but no one really knows the key to sucess.

    I’ve always said, if you don’t like doing it, then don’t. Don’t force yourself to do something just because other people are doing it.

    Reply
    • There is a definite bandwagon mentality to it all. I just need to find a way to balance my writing with all the new duties that are required of writers. It’s difficult, I find.

      Reply
  6. Less time for writing is totally NO GOOD, agreed! However, I do welcome the opportunity for writers to have more control over how their work is presented and distributed to readers. I have stuff I really, really, really want people to read and absorb. I am one of those disgusting writers on a quest!

    Reply

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