“Artists are people who are not at all interested in the facts—only in the truth. You get the facts from outside. The truth you get from inside.” --Ursula K. LeGuin

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Calling All Entrepreneurs, Or, Maybe I’m Whistling Dixie

For you Entrepreneurs, I am passing on information I got from one of my favorite writing gurus Steven Pressfield. He borrowed it from Dan Sullivan, a Strategic coach.


(So this is he said, he said, she said.) 


Sullivan says that every entrepreneur must make this statement: 


“I will expect no remuneration until I have created value for someone else.”


(That just says you shouldn’t expect to be paid unless you give your precipitant something of value. It’s doesn’t say you shouldn’t create to give value to yourself.)


To further quote: “Create value” is a hard-boiled business term. There’s no art to it. No romance. But you and I, as writers and dancers and actors and photographers, live exactly by that dynamic—whether we realize it or not.


“We write a book. It’s got to find readers. It’s got to sell. It has to ‘create value’ for the person who lays out hard American greenbacks for the privilege of scanning through its pages. Otherwise, we’re not artists; we’re artistes. (A person with artistic pretensions.) We’re living in a dream world.”



For a long time, I have written because I liked being in a “Zone.” That is going with the flow, entering into a no-time space. But if being in the zone doesn’t produce anything of value, then I might as well be meditating. At least not expect to be paid for spewing my thoughts onto paper.


This is a hard look at the facts.


“Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t” (The title of one of Pressfield’s books.) Not that you shouldn’t write; you should keep doing it until your work isn’t sh*t. That’s his point.




I’ve followed blogs, only to have them drift away, or I got tired of them and just stopped reading. 


I know those writers have put time and effort into writing their posts. They are sharing their lives, but readers, of which I am one, have so much time, and where we use it becomes of primary importance. 


I’m sure that applies to you as well.


I wonder, as a blogger, if I have added value. 


Yes, at times.


Some say blogs are passe’. I don’t know. Seth Godin, a primer blogger, blogs every day and says that everyone ought to. It’s a process. It teaches us to observe, to think of something every day that we haven’t thought of a million times before. But that’s for our own edification.


I do believe that expressing oneself creatively has value to oneself whether anyone sees it or not. Most creatives who are are expressing themselves in some manner, are not out in the streets raising a ruckus. They just love doing whatever they are doing—writing video games, making videos, painting, sewing, knitting, painting, you know, whatever.


As a blogger, I’ve been learning, and I am grateful to all the readers who have traveled with me. 


I’m at a crossroads. Should I keep blogging, or is it time to move on?

Thursday, June 16, 2022

The Long and Short of It.

"I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead." –Mark Twain.


This morning I experienced what Mark Twain was talking about. I was trying to write a short synopsis, 500 words, they said. Hum. I had written three pages. Well, there you have it, begin editing.  


But then there is the other end of the spectrum when writing a book, and you are trying to get your word count up to the sweet spot publishers like or require.  


In the past, I heard 92,000 words was the sweet spot for a novel. Now I see many Publishers will take 50,000. A novella is 30,000 to 40,000.


Yet writing gurus say, "Write until it ends."  


That's the not-fun part of writing. And probably what Michelangelo meant when he said writing is making me poor. Yet, and this shocked me, Michelangelo amassed a fortune in his lifetime that, by today's standards, would be 42 million dollars. There goes the myth of the starving artist.


 (I think Van Gogh brought that myth into vogue. Yet, look where his work went.) 


 People write, paint, sing, dance, and begin businesses, not to inflate their ego (well, sometimes) but to put them in the zone. That's the reason I write-- to be in the flow. The flow is that no-time zone when you are working. It's like a child playing for fun, not to become great or physically fit—those are after effects.


No, be creative because it feeds your soul.


And get paid for it.