There's a part of me that hate going to writer's conferences and groups. There's a lot of advice and egos that I don't like surrounding myself with, having to deal with a lot of that at work and the corporate structure already takes bland to the next level.
In saying that, I do go every once in a while to see if the are good publishing ideas I can leech. There was this self published writer who puts out books several times a year and from what he says, which I took with many pinches of salt, then drank a cup of seawater from the Pacific, is doing alright. A woman had asked a question and that guy jumped on her, stating that you shouldn't call your book your baby: it's a product. You're writing a product, marketing a product, and ultimately selling a product.
What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet
I watched the movie PRECIOUS, a movie based on the book PUSH. Afterward, what I love to do is watch the special features on the DVD. The author of the book, Ramona Loftin, Sapphire, was hesitant on letting her book go, her baby as she affectionately called it, to be made into a movie. If this guy jumped on her for calling her book her baby, I think she would have tore him a new hole to go along with the one that expelled all that hot air.
I know several very successful self-help authors who call every book their baby. They would be a little bit more enlightened when it comes to this, but it doesn't take away from the fact that some writers, not this guy whose ego jumped in his way, just care about their projects. And why wouldn't they? Many of us put our hearts and souls into our work because its a work of art. And if we are to believe the famed photographer, Rodney Lough, art is the language of the soul.
Chancing on another writer's group with the subject on self publishing, I heard an architect turned writer state that the DA VINCI CODE was a horrible book. Then the leader of the group said the publishing world publishes things like HARRY POTTER like it was a bad thing.
Oh mah lawd.
So there are two things going on here. On the one hand, the guy with a lot of hot air has a point, artists who want to make it big in the big world of big business has to think like a business person. No doubt. And artists who want to make it big have to create works that are commercial, meaning that the babies we're creating can be sold as a product.
I remember watching a documentary about how Asians are portrayed in Hollywood. And Justin Lin who directed the new up coming FAST AND FURIOUS movie was one of the featured subjects, given that he's Asian and works in Hollywood and took a huge chance by making the amazing BETTER LUCK TOMORROW, an Asian-cast movie. Yah. When he was in film school, he saw both sides of the fence: film makers who were pure artists, stating they would never sell out, and those who were willing to sell out. Lin said something that I'd never forget, the only thing I thought worth remembering from that documentary: it's hard to sell out.
So as writers, we have to determine what we want out of our projects, which can vary. Do we want to do it for the fun of it, do we want some mid level success, or do we want the whole freakin' world to read it? Since we cannot control what happens, we see evidence of this in the industry since no one really knows what makes a best seller, I suggest do it because you find it fun, do it because you have something to say, do it for whatever reason that gets you to write, but do it if you want and let the world decide if they want to read it.