I have been promising to focus some posts on the writing side of writing for a change, rather than promotion and collaboration through social media. However, because of my general focus here, I want to focus on writing in the new media rather than the old, and I want to begin at the beginning.
What is the beginning? Well, its deciding to be a writer. What do you need in order to do that? The ability and drive to write, plus actually writing. If you can write (and I have read some people I can definitely say can’t write) and you are writing, then you are a writer.
Now, will you write passionately and artistically while pursuing a day job? Or will you go all in and write full-time? The secret to answering this question is answering the question of what kind of writer do you want to be…new or old media. If you want to go old media, then don’t quit your day job, because you are going to be spending a whole lot of time waiting on editors and a whole lot of money on postage.
If, instead, you have decided that your time is precious and manila give you hives, then new media is the way to go. Waiting is minute and communication is digital. Don’t be surprised if you never want to deal with snail-mail again.
But here is the real reason why new media rather than old. Remember back when we all found out that the music industry was scamming most artists, and that they had created so many paid middle-men in the industry that had to take their cut that the artists, the actual musicians, mostly made their money on concerts and t-shirts? Well, if you are in print media, look in the mirror, because that is us, too.
Think about it…how many different people and structures are in place between you and a full-time career in the old media? First, you need to write the material, shop the material to agents and publishers, who each get a cut. Then they will negotiate deals with promoters and distributers, and they all get a cut. And editors and their secretaries and hard-working people with slush-piles a mile high from people that want to be writers just like you…and the whole time you are waiting for checks. Checks I tell you. Who the hell pays for anything with a check anymore?
Or, you can get a computer, master some basic skills, and pay for an internet connection. Whee! Your off. You find a few resources like my site and start looking at freelance sites, job boards, and social media. You start blogging, and talking and networking with other bloggers. The next thing you know, you have more work than you can shake a stick at and you are getting to turn down people who want to publish your work, rather than sitting in some slush-piles, waiting your turn.
The choice is yours, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls (oh yeah, did I mention kids can get started writing in the new media without getting laughed at by frowny faced meanies in suits?). I have made mine, and I hope this post has given you some good reasons to join me.
Here, in this virtual world, we do not have to compete or wait on bureaucracy that exists only to profit on our creativity. Here we go straight to the reader, on our own terms, and in our own way.
Now tell me, who would choose anything else?
What about you, folks? Any horror stories to tell of trying to make it in old media? How about the new? Success stories? It would be interesting to take a poll.