Monday, October 4, 2010

Reinventing the Wheel

Things are quiet in the world of Internet writing. I suspect the arrival of October and PYP's fantasy submission month is the cause. Writers are terrible procrastinators and perfectionists. I bet October 30th will be a day of nervous emailing and crammed inboxes.

Oh well. On with the post.

Big Brother has a saying. "Don't reinvent the wheel."

TT: He has a lot of sayings, actually. His most frequent is "If you're gonna be a bear, be a grizzly," but we already know I don't follow that advice.

Reinventing the wheel. It has several connotations. Don't work harder than you must. Use someone else's groundwork to build your "fill in the blank." Don't waste time doing what has already been done.

Has it occurred to anyone else much of what a writer does is "reinventing the wheel?" If this business of writing is first who you know then what you know, each writer must reinvent the wheel through networking.

I can't capitalize on someone else's relationships. I have to make my own. I mean Writer A may introduce me to Editor B, but that doesn't mean Editor B is gonna give a "C" about who I am or what I write.

TT: Nice sidestep, huh?

And what about marketing? Yes, there are steps to follow, but it's wheel reinventing. It's me, going out there and investing that sweat equity, whether it's real or virtual sweat. I have to do the research. I have to write the proposals. I have to book appearances and whatnot. All Wheel Reinventing.

There's no way around it, either. Some steps are covered by a huge publishing company but to sign with them you have to reinvent the wheel to get noticed. And, while it may be easier to get accepted by a smaller publishing company, you have to reinvent the wheel of marketing. 

I suppose the only way to cope with the dilemma is to make it a game. Why care that I'm reinventing the wheel if I'm having a good time doing it?

I haven't quite reached that point yet, but I think it's a good attitude to adopt. A spoonful of sugar and all that.

The marketing books are helping a little. If you want to change your mind, fill it with new ideas.

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