Saturday, December 14, 2013

Where is Your Passion

I was looking forward to this post being about an editor I met on FB, but she didn't seem to have the time, stating a busy family life and the coming holidays. She wanted to post a short list of generic editing tips, whereas I wanted you to get to know her, to get a feel for her passion for the job, her love of taking a rough diamond and turning it into a polished gem. I wanted to showcase her to her advantage, but she didn't want to, didn't have time, sadly.

So...what is your passion? Where is your passion? Have you thought about it? It doesn't matter if you are in the writing business or not, are you passionate about what you do?

Writers? What of your soul do you pour into your stories? Are you excited (and terrified) to put your labor of love out there for people to read? Are you thrilled at every review, good or not so good, or even the bad ones? Even if you've written twenty or more books, is the passion still there? The excitement? The love?

Editors? Do you like taking that labor of love, that rough work, and turning it into a gleaming gem to be proud of? Are you thrilled every time you hear about or see a book that you know you had a hand in making it what it is?

Cover artists? Do you love putting together that perfect picture together and hearing how thrilled the writer is about it. Does it make you smile when you see it on a shelf somewhere, or on Amazon?

Publishers? Do you love taking these beautiful gems and putting them out there under your moniker? Does it make you proud knowing that book is such a culmination of so much work, and there it sits, glowing, waiting to reward everyone for all their hard work.

Notice I didn't mention money until the very end. Publishers are in the business end of things and so money is a large part of their concern, but the rest is no less important. Writers, editors, cover artists, and publishers too, if you are only in the game for the money, you are cutting yourself short. Of course, we all need to make a living, and yes, we should all get paid for our work, but if there is no passion, no excitement, why are you doing what you are doing? Life is too short to commit yourself to a job you have no love for.

I don't care if you are 'good' at telling a story, and being 'good' at editing can't be good enough either. I've worked with a 'dry' editor; I even spoke with him on several occasions. He always sounded bored on the phone, or maybe he was just tired. Creating an eye-popping cover takes attention to detail and a desire to create something beautiful. The bland, barely good enough cover simply isn't going to generate any sales. Believe me, I know. I have one like that.

If we all work together, with passion, excitement, and pride, the end product can only be a wonder to behold. You low budget publishers who can't afford to hire an editor for what they deserve to be paid, need to hire one passionate enough to make up the difference; your business depends on it.

So where is your passion? Is it somewhere here in the writing world? Is it perhaps in the reading world? Or somewhere else? Whatever it is, are you passionate about it? Are you proud of your work?


William Kendall said...

These days I've been less passionate about the writing process- but that's not because of the writing itself, it's because of the curveballs life has thrown my way that have been so emotionally draining. It'll come back... I just have to give it time.

Anna L. Walls said...

One day at a time, William. One day at a time.