Weekday Wisdom Episode 103
Do you fully comprehend all that goes into writing a book? It’s more than just craft and marketing!
In today’s episode of the Weekday Wisdom, we pick up where we left off last week, with me interviewing Joan Gelfand. Today we talk about all the things that go into writing a book beyond craft and marketing.
Writing a book is more than just sitting down and, well, writing a book. It’s more than the craft of writing. It’s also more than the marketing of the book, which you also have to do. So there’s the craft. There’s the business. And then there’s all this other stuff that makes those two things happen and work together. That’s what we’re going to talk about in today’s episode of the Weekday Wisdom with my interview with Joan Gelfand.
CARMA SPENCE: So what inspired you to write this nonfiction book if you started off with novels?
JOAN GELFAND: Well, it kind of kept haunting me that I wanted to bring to writers my business background. There’s some memoir aspects to this book. And I talk about how I had worked in the business world for over 20 years. Well in the business world, you can’t get paid unless you do certain let’s just say activities or use certain tools to make sure that you’re going to succeed. And I happened to be in sales. So in sales, you really don’t get paid if you don’t do the right things. So you start to learn how to develop certain life disciplines, I guess, to get a project from point A to Point B.
I felt like when I went out into the art world, and I met writers, they didn’t know the first thing about these very basic elements. Like you start a project, you set your own deadlines, you commit to finishing that project. That’s point one.
You take it out in the world. I mean, people were overwhelmed just by doing the reading and submitting to a magazine. And so I wanted to break it down and make it as we used to say in the business world, when you have an elephant, how do you deal with this? You cut it into small pieces.
So that’s kind of what I wanted to do. Because I think that the idea of people … They want to write but then, how do we get published? It just kind of it’s like this gap. You know? And I just want to say, there’s actually a roadmap. They didn’t teach it to me in my BA They didn’t teach it to me in my MFA. But I figured it out.
And what’s interesting, there are a lot of books on the market on the business of writing. Because people are starting to realize, writers need to bone up on their skills. But there’s no book that saying it’s both, it’s spiritual is too strong a word, but it’s this confidence on top of this commitment on top of building community, that definitely craft is not enough.
There is a lot of very highly educated, very good writers out there. In the introduction, I actually call the book a “holistic approach” to becoming a published writer. Because, yes there is the business of writing. And people and authors should be talking about it. And I think you know some of the authors that are out there talking about it, as well as I do. But it’s not just the business part, too. It’s the inner work that we have to do.
How do I say this? It’s like, most of our writing is very close to the bone. Very personal. So you could teach someone the business aspects, but unless they’re really feeling like they have a good foundation, they’re not going to want it take it out there either.
CS: Right. And you know, that was one thing I mentioned in the intro, is that you have this sort of unique look. Because if you think about it, there are plenty of books on the craft of writing. I’ve got an entire bookshelf loaded — and that’s just science fiction craft. And I’ve got another bookshelf that’s all more marketing and business craft. And then of course there’s tons of books about how to market your book. How to become a freelance writer. How to get your work out there. But you’re talking about two different things in addition to that, which are probably implied by those other books, but aren’t actually addressed. So I thought it might be kind of interesting if we broke it down and talked about each the four Cs and how you see them. Let’s start with craft.
In next week’s episode, Joan and I will start of with this question: “What do you think are the best ways for someone to develop their craft so that they can feel like they are good enough to get started on a long term project like a book?”
I hope you enjoy today’s video. If you did, please give it a thumbs up on YouTube. And let me know in a comment below.
Think outside the box.
Spread your wings and fly.
Because you are capable of more than you know.
And that includes everything we just talked about with Joan.