how to make a living playing music | Ol' Danny Barnes
My dad pointed me in the direction of the above link and I had to share it. While I'm not singing and writing music like I used to (read: 15 years ago!), most of the advice is solid for any creative person trying to live on their art.
As I read through the different points Mr. Barnes brought up, I realized they could be boiled down to 3 main points:
1. Do your art because you love it, and commit to doing it well.
2. Keep doing it no matter what - don't let obstacles or people get in the way of your art (think: nagging voices, reviewers, or finances).
3. Avoid all dramatic bullshit in the form of fellow artists, business people, or other entities (in my case, publishing houses).
It was nice to read this because it was well timed. I'm in the process of downsizing my life (yet again) even while I'm pushing pretty hard to make my writing work (and by work, I mean keep me fed and clothed). Trying to publish 7 books by summer's end is intense, especially as I try to get into the marketing aspect (which is a whole new realm for me).
However, I've read all these different articles specifically about book marketing and the most interesting advice has been "focus on writing and write A LOT!"
I like that. I wish it was that simple for the indie author who can't pay someone else to make cover art or edit. Because I do have to take some time to make cool covers. I do have to take a lot of time to edit as well as some to properly format things. I can't JUST write. And this is a good thing. It keeps me from going completely bonkers.
That said, I write daily and in many ways (i.e. blogging, fiction novels, short stories, essays, and non-fiction). The art stuff helps break up my day. The marketing keeps me thinking about who is interested and who I should talk to...and I miss schmoozing.
Let me say that again... I miss schmoozing. I actually kind of like it. I'm going to blame this on being a pastor's kid and a total performer (maybe politics isn't such a bad idea after all!).
There are lots of areas of being an indie author that require different skills than being able to write well. And I have them. And I'm working on them daily and I'm researching and getting better all the time.
Over all, as I read Danny Barnes' advice, I realized I'm already doing a lot of those things. And the thing is, I'm called to write. I would write no matter what. So guess what? According to him, it's going to work.