Monday, September 29, 2008

Yin and Yang.

I always find it a tad remarkable how life's moments sewing back and forth from sorrow to joy, suffering to rapture, in just the span of a few days. This past week was certainly a prime example of this, and it just cements the idea in my brain that I don't worry about going to hell or heaven in a world to come. They are right here, on earth, and we live these moments every day of our existence.

The beginning of last week, as you might have read, was punctuated by the sudden death of a 27 year-old co-worker; the reasons for which are still unexplained as of today. It was the low point of the week, and I was truly looking forward to attending the professional conference that I signed up for a couple of months ago, not only to learn things, but to put my brain on a different course. While one of the sessions went slightly over my head , (it revolved around editing in MS Word and the use of macros) the rest of the sessions gave me excellent insights into what I need to do to ramp my business into high gear.

The toughest part of this endeavor has been getting my brain to think in a business-like manner. I have never had to do that before, to think and be a businessman. Now, I know that can have some negative connotations, but it is a discipline I will need to develop if I want to make a true go at this. There was one speaker whose public speaking style needs refinement, but, gave a lot of valuable information on this very topic. He's a six-figure freelancer, and he didn't get that way by sitting on his ass. The only thing that I disagreed with him on was that in order to succeed, you need to think of yourself solely as a businessman, not as a craftsman, or an artist. I think you can do both, be a businessman when it is called for, and an artist or craftsman (as this is what a writer is) when one is writing. I always keep a saying from "Finding Forrester" in my head. Sean Connery tells his young pupil, "You write your first draft with your heart, your second draft with your head." This I think is the balance one needs if one is to succeed.

Oh, and on top of all this, an absolutely fantastic thing happened to my theatre this week. I am not at liberty to talk about it just now, but will in the coming weeks, maybe even the coming days. It is something we have been working on for about the past year, and will greatly impact our future. I promise not to keep you in suspense too long.

So, I started today on my first step; getting my home office organized, and setting realistic goals. Let's see what happens tomorrow.


VioletSky said...

I've heard that quote before and love it. There's nothing like getting yourself organized - new pencils sharpened?! - to kick start the brain into gear. Good luck.

Peter said...

Much like yourself, I feel that balancing the business with the creative part is the way to go.

To think of yourself solely as a businessman sounds like a surefire way to kill off any true creativity, although I do realize many current top 100 authors are into rather predictable concept-writing.

Guess it all depends on your goals ;-) Good luck!

Mr. Nighttime said...

VS - Thanks for the good wishes! Ooh! Pencils! Thanks for the reminder, I need a new pack.

Peter - My main goal is to be independent of being employed by someone else by this time next year. We shall see what happens, but I am more motivated now than ever.

Guyana-Gyal said...

I had a book called The Business of writing, which discusses this, selling your writing.

I can't find that book now, hm, I wonder if it's been stolen from my bookshelf, I'm about to panic...

Jay said...

I'm very glad to hear that something good and positive has happened to balance out the bad stuff! I think maybe you needed that. ;)