Thursday, 23 April 2015

You have to get your butt in the chair and do the work

We're deluged with advice, articles and blog posts like this one from HowlRound that tell writers and artists that we need to focus more on becoming ‘creative entrepreneurs’—and by implication less on the actual writing? So it was an interesting counterpoint to read this interview with bestselling crime author Harlan Coben in The Guardian. Here’s a snippet:

‘Coben points out that “people waste a lot of time doing the marketing and networking rather than trying to write the best book that they can”. When people ask him how to go about growing their Twitter or Facebook presence, he cites Gillian Flynn, a friend and the author of the breakout hit Gone Girl, who avoids Twitter and Facebook: “I’m sure someone will find exceptions, but I haven’t really seen that many authors who have completely broken out because of their wonderful social media skills.”

What does make a career go, then? [the interviewer asks] Coben. “Every successful author I’ve ever known still has to treat it as a job. You have to get your butt in the chair and do the work. If you go into it thinking that the muse is going to come whisper in your ear every morning, that’s the kind of nonsense that drives me batty, and it’s just not true. And that’s true for the most commercial writer and the most critically acclaimed writer.”’

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