Writing: Art or Business? + Read Alouds, Panels, & Publishing News

Intersection of writing, art, & business; World Read Aloud Day links; DVCon; Amanda Gorman's Super Bowl poem; publishing news; herbal tea for snowy mornings

Greetings readers & writers,

In discussions with students in my seminars last week, I came up against an interesting question: can writing be both an art and a business?

As a young person, I would have said no. Somehow, I decided for myself that what made art ‘Art’ had something to do with purity and sacrifice and I strongly resisted any attempt to turn my writing inclinations business-ward. I think I was afraid that turning the ‘art’ into ‘work’ would take the beauty (and likely the fun) out of it.

What I have since learned, through much trial and error, is that to be “a writer” means I have to understand how I want writing to fit into my life as the first step to making it fit into my life. Deciding my creative writing would be a career and a business actually made the art side of things come easier. It gave me the confidence to pursue publication; to accept feedback; to justify putting my butt in the chair, even when I wasn’t inspired, and put in the work of writing.

Writing is art because we’re creating stories (fact or fiction) we hope add value to the way people experience the world. Writing is a business because we want to get that art in front of people and make sure we can continue doing so. They can go hand in hand.

What you want to write and who you want to write for drive both the art and business of writing. These questions are also at the heart of any marketing plan. Author and writing coach, Leigh Shulman, in her article “Why You Need to Run Your Writing Like a Business,” challenges writers to think deeply about what they want to write a mission and vision statement and goal-plan from there. In her video on starting an art business, pop artist and entrepreneur M. Falconer urges artists to “make sure you’re passionate to be in this for the long haul.” With that mindset, she says, you can begin assessing your audience, niche, and business with a Business Model Canvas.

Writing is many things to many people. What is writing to you? Do you look at writing as a career, a hobby, or somewhere in between?

ICYMI, check out my in-depth marketing interview with rising-star Namina Forna whose debut novel, The Gilded Ones, releases in the U.S. today!

Stay tuned for my upcoming interview with Tara Sullivan, award-winning middle-grade author of Golden Boy, The Bitter Side of Sweet, and soon: Treasure of the World.

Upcoming (Virtual!) Seminars

Not available these dates? Connect with me for one-on-one coaching that fits your schedule!

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Writing/Marketing Resources

Looking for inspiration for your next adaption or twist on a classic? Check out the books entering the public domain this year, including, most significantly, The Great Gatsby and Mrs. Dalloway. (Here’s a full list!)

Last Wednesday was World Read Aloud Day! Did you read aloud to your kids, a class, or just to yourself? If you missed it, here are LitWorld’s author read-alouds and workshops available online, plus a great sampling of author-readings from forthcoming titles, courtesy of Kate Messner.

From the team that brought you #DVpit, comes DVCov, a free virtual conference aimed to “educate and connect writers and illustrators who have been historically underrepresented and marginalized in the book publishing industry.” Their sessions are available to everyone for free on YouTube; they cover marketing topics in micro-videos, such as: identifying the age group for your book; comics v. graphic novels; answering publicity questions; plus longer, amazing panels/talks on craft from authors and industry professionals. (Love their content? Consider donating!)

Industry News


We’ve had lots of snowy mornings lately, in New England. My herbal morning choice recently has been MEM Tea’s Ginger Lemon. It’s a more mild take on the ginger/lemon combo (made slightly savory with linden and marigold) that warms you up from the inside out. Especially if you have to go out and shovel.

Take care of yourselves. Keep wearing a mask! {Rafi Nova has great masks and a pay-what-you-can option}. Let me know about upcoming events, marketing campaigns, and projects so I can help signal boost!

Happy writing!

Writer & Marketing Coach
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