Work it

I'm not one for spreadsheets and math. Excel is my takes my super powers away. But, recently, we had a family discussion.

After being asked this question at work [and knowing the best answer, of course], my husband came home to ask it of the kids.

If I hired you to work for 30 days, would you rather have $10,000 dollars a day or starting at 1 cent, earn double everyday for 30 days. I admit, I've known my husband long enough to know the right answer wasn't the obvious one. He didn't like calling it a "trick" question. Afterall it's not a trick, just math, but the kids all answered with a resounding...give me 10k a day!!

Go the Math. [I'll wait...] Did it look something like this? [only without the cutest little girl in the world?] [and yes, my husband came on and made this Excelsheet for me!]

Sooo, this got me thinking about the writing industry and work, work ethic, longevity. With a market flooded by novels--romance in particular, I'm starting to wonder how many people are willing to take the 10K a day. 

For the really big bucks, you have to be willing to work at least 25 days; you have to be able to work for almost TWENTY DAYS before you see what you'll make in one day at 10K a day. And those first days will be the hardest to get through. Earn a penny?? Work your butt off and not see the results? Ugh. Yuck! In today's age, work for the sake of work is hard to swallow. We want results, now. 

But I really believe that the person who can see this kind of growth, who is willing to hold off on reward and just work, will see a bigger outcome. The truth is, I read a lot of books that I think could have used more work, needed more editing, or just weren't up to par--in general. So, what happened? Was the lure of self-publishing a temptation that couldn't be denied? Everyone else is doing it. Other people are making that 10K a day... 

What happened to the work? People poo-poo traditional publishing, but ten years ago most writers worked for ten years before seeing a return, before making the cut. I think we've lost some of that cut.  There's no need to get the story right, to even listen to the people who know better. The idea of 'this is my story and no one can tell me what to do' has grown out of proportion. I love self-publishing. This isn't a slam on where the industry has gone. I swear it. But...I think the loss of those dreaded gatekeepers--the agents, the NY publishers and editors, even the smallpress publishers and editors--have left the readers with no direction.

I don't want to buy another book that leaves me wanting. I guess, when it comes down to it, I hope the industry can swing back the other way just a little. Find a happier medium than where I feel it is now.

That is all!
What would you rather? $300,000 at the end of the month or $10 million dollars?
Work hard, friends. Be willing to work for nothing. Always push yourself for the sake of doing something to its best.
With Love,

T13 - October 25, 2007

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13 Things About Nathan Bransford
and his Largely Indispensible First Paragraph Challenge

1. Nathan is a literary agent with a few minutes on his hands...apparently.

2. He works for...or with Curtis Brown Ltd.

3. …in San Francisco

4. and likes bourbon and books.

5. …and creating sensational movements like the LIFPC.

6. Nathan writes his truth
I actually secretly think (I guess it's not a secret anymore) that this is a fairly good distinction between professional writers and for-fun writers. Professional writers are RUTHLESS with their own worlds and work. They will walk away from something or delete 150 pages faster than you can say Justin Bobby, and half the time they won't even really sweat it (the other half of the time they'll start the drinking and wonder why in the world anyone thinks writing is fun). Professional writers press the delete button because know they can do better. For-fun writers linger and linger in the same world or with the same characters and can't bear to start a new world or delete anything. And unless you press that delete button or start fresh or create a new world it's impossible to get better. ~~Nathan Bransford, October 18, 2007

6a. My first MS, unpublished as yet, is the first in a series. I love that world and will eventually go back to it. But, isn’t that the pull of story telling??? Loving the world only we can create. It’s special because I knew absolutely nothing about writing… *sigh* it's the worst ms I have completed and let me tell you, it's not going to be easy to fix.

7. Guideline One for the LIFPC: anyone may enter...One opening paragraph [3x]. Yup, that's pretty much it. Not so bad, is it??? Actually, that's the only guideline

8. Deadline: Thursday evening

9. Nathan Judges with the help of Good Girl Lit - wow, just visited their Blog. Vera Good.

10. Winner recieves a partial MS critique and a book of his/her choice from Nathan’s elustrious selection of authors. There are more but...jeez, I can't sit in front of my computer all day!

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11. Runners-up will win a query critique [mucho greatness People!]

12. My first entry

The sheen of topaz liquid at the bottom of the glass moved with the trembling of her hand as she contemplated this new venture. Tipping back the shot glass, she gathered the last few drops of whiskey on her tongue. The burn she desired was absent as it coursed down her throat. ~~~The Storm, a work in progress

13. My second entry

I was partnered with Matt for a science project in my senior year of high school--the skinny boy who sat in the back and had been in my class for only a year. His hair was brown and curly--long enough to touch his forehead and fall over the tops of his ears. His eyes were hazel with a rim of green. When I'd tripped on Barbara's trombone case early that year, I'd landed at his feet. He hadn't helped me up but instead had looked directly into my eyes...and winked. ~~~short, really short. A prompt, less than 2k. :D

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