I muddled through on my own for a few years and learned the hard way that in Indie publishing writing and business were twin pursuits. I had to learn my craft as well as learn how to do business. I had to learn the difference between what I perceived an artist was and become a craftsperson.
To succeed in the indie publishing trade you need to run a business and make money or at least break-even. It may be semantics, but craftsperson is probably more the closest term I’ve come across to describe what I do.
Writing is an artistic enterprise, but it is also one that depends on solid craft to be successful. The Twin Towers of my indie publishing journey have been craft and business.
If you just want to create, but not run a business, then you may consider yourself to be a creative artist. (There’s nothing wrong with being either or both by the way)
When I had a ‘real’ job I had to turn up every day. I had to attend meetings, attend professional learning opportunities and attend to the everyday business of teaching — and I was paid for the privilege.
When I decided to take up writing full-time and become an author/publisher it was a little more difficult to identify what my real job was.
I’ve outlined the learning journey I was on in the previous blogs here: Part of that journey was learning that writing and publishing were more of a ‘real job’ than I ever realised.
Sitting around in comfortable pants, drinking tea and writing all day was lovely, but I needed to go about learning a craft and building my business into something tangible.
It’s much more fun to play at writing and publishing than actually do the real work! To be honest, for a lot of time, that’s how I would function. I’d do stints of working really, really hard and then take a break.
It’s been a journey towards integration — integration of a career as a writer/publisher and as a creative artist.
In Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert writes:
‘Creative living can be an amazing vocation, if you have the courage and persistence to see it that way.’
Gilbert goes on to say that we sign up for uncertainty when we want to live creative lives. We don’t sign up for the money!
There’s a drive within each one of us to create that originates with the Creator. It doesn’t mean that each one us has to make a career out of our creative pursuits. It does mean that we should honour the creativity sown deep within.
My creative journey has taken me around the world, caused me to try things I’d never contemplated and taken every creative piece of energy I possess at times, but I’ve never regretted it. I’m a creative artist and a craftsperson.