Monday, October 17, 2011

It's All About The Hustle, Writer

It’s all about the hustle, folks. Get yours, or sit in the corner out of the way.

Is that harsh? I was reading a blog post where the author stated her dissatisfaction with people who had ‘too many twitter followers’. I wrote about this as well, from a slightly different viewpoint and the conclusion I made is also similar but different the one made by the blog’s author.

We agree that people should come first. One of the emerging principles of the new writing dynamic is community-centered support systems; kind of gatekeeper-ish, kind of self-help, kind of online group counseling. Basically, writers helping writers to get ahead.

Now, it is critical to define why exactly you write (beyond of course the innate passion you obviously need, the driving desire to communicate the thoughts and dreams, the whims and fancies, that bounce in your head-or creep and slither).

Hobby and pleasure and fellowship; worthy reasons to write and I can’t find fault with any of them. Go to it and write casually, bring pleasure and joy to yourself and to others.


The moment you put anything you write up for sale (or place ads on your website even), then it isn’t all about hobby and pleasure and fellowship. You have added an element of commerce that changes the equation.

You are trying to make money.

Now, that doesn’t mean that you loose pleasure or that you have to sacrifice fellowship. I do believe that it isn’t merely hobby, however. It is work that you enjoy, though it may only be part time work, it is still work. That means making business decisions, that means that you are mindful of brand, of networks, of intent. That means that even if you do have thousands of twitter followers, you can still have mutually beneficial relationships that are meaningful. You can find as much fellowship as you could ever want.

No sacrifices needed, folks. If you write for money, don’t be ashamed or embarrassed. It is perfectly fine to make a living or have the desire to make a living. Making money does not make you a bad person, it doesn’t make you evil. Embrace your inner business person, but understand that you can be a positive business person who helps your competition instead of trying to crush them.

I find it annoying when I read a blog or a comment from a person who is selling a book or putting ads on their website, who then decries the practice of making money. We all have the right to make money, we simply have a responsibility to make money conscious of the impact has on others. Ruthless and cutthroat or mindful and mutually supportive?

So, make your money, be proud, or stop passively selling and then complaining that others are doing better because doing better isn’t all about being underhanded, not for everyone, not anymore.


Anonymous said...

Great post, Michael. Writing is a business, and business takes hustle if you want to be successful.

MT Nickerson said...

Thanks, John. Writing is a business and for people who believe good things just kind of happen are not doing their writing career the justice it deserves. You have to go out and get what you what becuase it hardly ever happens that someone will just hand you something.

Sandra Bunino said...

Interesting take, Michael. I am a new author just getting my feet wet. The author community on Twitter is overwhelmingly supportive and helpful. I am honored to be among such talent. I dont mind the occasional link or 'sale-sy' post. It's their livelihood after all.

MT Nickerson said...

On twitter, I have found that mutual support is most important. I think I read somewhere that you should mention/ RT at a 15 to 1 ratio to your own tweets.

If everything a person tweets is promo stuff, then it feels spammerish. Help your fellow writer by tweeting to your followers helpful links and information. People on twitter are great about reciprocating.

Thanks for the comment, Sandra. Us newbies need to stick together :)

A.M.Supinger said...

Great post! I think it's funny that one author would care about another author's twitter followers, but that's just me, I guess. Writing is what you want it to be, and to each their own in my book (ha, pun intended).

MT Nickerson said...

I think we all find our way, in our way. (Wish I had a pun like AM- but alas, I am punless.)