Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Stance on Publishing

With the end of my first longer-than-a-short-story story in sight, the topic of publishing has come up in my mind more frequently than before. It's definitely something I should think about, and it's about the right time to do so. The issue is that I need to first understand what I actually think about the whole idea.
The way I see it, I have three options:
  1. Seek publication from some sort of publishing house
  2. Self-publish on e-readers (Kindle, Nook, etc.)
  3. Upload to my website for free
 The way I see it if I do go the route of option #1 I'm not going to try very hard before moving on to option #2. Not because I'm one of those stubborn authors who believes that if their work isn't loved immediately then the publishers are evil and don't know what they're missing, but because as much as I am serious about writing I don't feel all that serious about going through too much trouble to try to profit from it.
"But Ryan, isn't it every aspiring author's dream to get published by a major publisher and make a living off of writing forever?"
Yes, and that would be very nice, but it's not why I write. I don't write because I want to profit from it, I write because I love to invent, plan, and create stories that interest me. Publication and economic gain is an afterthought, kind of like "well if I happen to be sitting on a pile of money, why not take some?" rather than "gee I had better find a pile of money". This is also justified by the fact that I am a college student with hopes of getting a degree and job in a field unrelated to my love of writing, so it's not like I'm depending on my writing to stay above the poverty line.

Now if only I could think of a title for this story.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Year Three Begins

My third year of college has begun, and although it's so similar that at times it seems that nothing has changed, so much is different.

For one thing, I spent my first two years firmly believing I was going to become an English teacher at some high school after college, but dreading it. Now with my major changed to Advertising I'm thrust into fifteen credits worth of classes revolving around the world of Advertising (and three credits of world philosophy to finish off my General Education courses) which is an incredibly different experience. Surprisingly I stay in the same building for the most part, as my school categorizes my major under Journalism (or at least my particular slant of it) but the classes have shifted ever so slightly from "interesting and fun" to "interesting and demanding". The workload may be mostly the same as before(I'm only one week in, so I don't know for sure about that yet) but it's an entirely different type of workload. Reading fiction and analyzing sentence structure and syntax is very different from learning the business of getting a product noticed and sold to a target group.

Seems like a huge shift right? I guess it should but (partially with the help of my summer Introduction to Advertising class) it's seeming quite natural right now, and I suspect this is mostly because of my genuine interest in both my old and new field. People often talk about having to chose between either what you're passionate about or what will make you money, I'm fortunate enough that what I am passionate about doing in the future is actually potentially more profitable than what I thought I wanted to do before.
Of course that doesn't mean I'm not totally scared out of my pants. What if I don't enjoy it as much as I hope to? What if I don't understand it or do poorly when exams begin? I'm getting loaned thousands of dollars I need to pay back plus interest, so there's a lot of pressure to make it worth it.
The one thing that keeps me from calling it quits and focusing purely on writing (which would be a huge gamble) is knowing I've found the love of my life, and knowing I want to be able to live happily and support her for as long as I live.

It's amazing how she influences every little aspect of my life.