Getting Down to Business.

I'm gonna let you in on a little secret here:

Writing is a business.

No matter how you do it, if you expect to receive money for it, writing is a business. 

That doesn't mean that you can't do it for the love of it, for the joy of it. It doesn't mean that you can't let yourself get carried away by it.

It just means that that part of it, the fun part, isn't all of it. If you don't do the other side, you're half-assing it.

I've never pursued any of the other arts for money, but I assume they're pretty much the same. 

It's this way even if you decide to chase a publishing contract through one of the traditional publishing companies. Sure, there are some things they'll take care of for you, but nobody is going to take care of all of it and in the end, you have to be a business person. You have to look after your own interests, manage your rights, and advocate for your work. You have to market yourself and do your own taxes.

Some of us expose ourselves more to the business side of this than others do. The more control you want to have, the more exposed you will be.

Most of us don't want to deal with that side of things, or want to deal with it as little as possible. I'm no different. 

It's not that I don't like the business side of things; it's that it isn't comfortable for me. It's not natural. I sit in it like it's an ill-fitting garment, counting the minutes until I can get home to change. It pushes existing boundaries.

And I think that's the key part there.

That's how I make sense of all of this, and make peace with my role as a business person. Taking on that role from time to time forces me to use skills that would otherwise atrophy or remain undeveloped. And as long as I'n pushing those boundaries, or indeed any of my personal boundaries, I know that I'm growing as a person.

That's kinda what it comes down to, for me. No knowledge is wasted; every bit of experience makes me a better, more interesting, more capable person. And that includes day jobs. The comparative hum-drum tasks that are required to run even a tiny business like ours develop skills, and even now I find that tasks that once took a great deal of effort on my part are now easier, and things that I once found stressful and/or terrifying are a matter of course.

Perhaps more importantly, these things make me a stronger writer. They improve focus and organizational skills and discipline, and they add to the catalogue of experiences that I can draw from when writing. As unpleasant as I find some of these things, that's vital. That's what we're here for; to write books, and to write the best damn books we can.

And the business side of that isn't a distraction from writing; it is itself a part of the craft, as vital as putting the words in the right order.