On Writing is My Business and Business is

Well, it is.

And you can’t deny it.  Writing (i.e., My business) is certainly.  It certainly is.

Is what? (You might ask.  But don’t count on it.)

Writing is like the snowball in those old comics and cartoons that one character starts rolling from the top of a snow-covered hill.  Whether it shows the slow accumulation of layers and layers of new snow as the ball rolls downhill or simply cuts to the giant bus-sized monolith engulfing the rest of our beloved comical and cartoony characters, the result is the same.

Suffocation under a ton of snow.  Unless emergency personnel are standing by.  Are they?

Writing as a business is a process that takes years. (For me.  Your mileage may vary.) The more that your work is published, the more your name gets out there, and the more likely that editors, fellowship boards, and hiring committees will recognize your name when you submit your work to them.

The more awards and fellowships you get, the more likely it is that you’ll get more awards and fellowships.  This isn’t quite as catch-22 as it sounds, nor as underhanded (for those softball players out there).  The problem with fellowships and awards is that to be competitive, you have to be known.

Okay, that’s not quite true.  To be competitive for awards and fellowships that don’t require an application, yes, you have to be known.  Who wouldn’t want to be a MacArthur Fellow?  But in order to be awarded a MacArthur fellowship, the fellowship committee has to know about you.  Which means you have to get your name out there.  Since you can’t get your name out there to the committee specifically, you need to get your name out in your field.  Since my field is writing and fielding is…

Enough with the fielding.  I never played baseball and I don’t much like the idea of intercepting dense spheres by putting my life and limb(s) in their way.

With each year, I feel like my writing life is recursively building on itself.  I’ve been solicited for poems and fiction.  I’ve been nominated for jobs and fellowships.  My submissions – whether through improvement in my actual writing or through more careful aim – have been garnering more success.

How to continue rolling down the hill, burying myself in the snow which is certainly a metaphor for something but I’m not going to specify what?

Here’s my plan:

At long last, treat writing as a job.

1. In the morning, go to Inversion (my new Empire) and write new work.
2. Go home for lunch.
3. Return to Inversion to revise.
4. Go home and work on the business side of writing (submissions, applications, etc.).
5. Repeat.

Oh, and somewhere in there, rinse.

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