Monday, April 22, 2013

To Sell or Not to Sell

So, a friend of mine sent a link to an article about writing, penned by a writer at Pixar. These were the "22 Rules of Writing". 

What struck me about these rules is that it sounded to me (and I am oft guilty of reading into something) as if it were a writer writing about writing to sell to an audience - there certainly are good points for writers, because let's face it, writing is writing no matter why it is done. On the reverse though it seems that writing a sellable piece for a specific industry (like the film industry) involves both formulae and the freedom formulae brings.

Don't hear critique here: i would find it fun to write a science fictiony tv show and get paid to do it, but at one point I think the intent to sell overshadowing my intent at writing would become draining.

Which leads me to a thought, and something else discussed in the arts group i attend : it seems a antiquated and cultural lie which gets us confused as authors, the idea that to be successful we have to have a national platform. The old model of the author platform was that the publisher promoted the book, arranged signings, ect. even gave advances. Now, the writer is tasked with doing that, and only if they have a significant platform can they even get noticed by a publisher, so most writers are tending towards alternative forms of publication. 

There is an article in Forbe's about this very thing.

The question of getting published is so far off for me it is irrelevant, but, the idea that my writing can be successful if effective only on the scale of my community is a freeing notion to me. We have tons of local artists (no really, if you loaded them all up on a freight scale they would all weigh tons) all of whom are well known in this city, and that is enough of a significant impact and success. 

I could make grandiose observations about the nature and relevance of local impact, and local politics being the only effective form of voice we have, and wax poetic about the ancient Greek city-states and the post-modern semblance in attitudes towards the local civic involvement; and you could return with a rejoinder about a prophet not being respected in his home town, and look what they made Socrates drink, blah blah blah.

I could. But, really what do you think?