It is a hurdle race.
This writing saying is new to me. This is not a marathon, it is a hurdle race.
When I had coffee with a writer friend last week, I realized how fully it encompasses a writing career. There is no made it. No end goal to attain. Once a story or book is published, it then must succeed. Once that occurs, the next piece must be written and published. If an award is won, there is still no telling what a next book will do.
Recently, on Book TV I watched a slew of Giller and Governor General award-winning authors speak about this very subject. What was interesting, (and reassuring), was that not one of them felt that their success helped them write. Most stated that, if anything, it impeded them, knowing that their next novel would be scrutinized to a larger degree.
I paused to think about this, relating to it completely. Writing as a business is a whole different thing to writing. Writing is solitary. It is done in a quiet space each of us finds even if we are surrounded by chaos. Yet, these hurdles we must pass are done in full view of an audience. A terrific agent recently asked me to send him my work so that he could decided if he could sell it. Not if it was good, but if it was marketable. As a young writer (not in age but experience 🙂 ) I was thrown into reality with this one sentence. I categorized my work, compared it to specific novels, but still, I had not seen it as an item.
When you write, do you think about marketability?