Monday, September 21, 2009

What happens when a writer finishes writing?

When To Type 'The End'
By Susan Cross

At what point would a writer be considered no longer writing? My book is gaining momentum and going into final edits. That feels good.

Suddenly I am faced with the question: What will I do when the book is completed?

When I started working on Leroy 'Hog' Cooper on Sax, I was already a contributing writer to several magazines. I did interviews with local and national celebrities and then wrote articles about them. Often, it was my good fortune to attend a concert or a show as part of my job. Afterwards, I sat tapping away at the keys happily.

Each month, magazines would be delivered and I would look for my articles and their placement. I also checked to see if there were editorial changes. I was pleased to see that most of them passed my editor's tests. I have built a nice, thick portfolio in which I take pride, but things have changed. The magazine business has been transitioning from print to web. I have watched Rolling Stone, a music bible, go from a volume to something resembling the size of a Bed Bath & Beyond Catalog.

In mourning Mary Travers, I found myself singing, "Where have all the magazines gone?" I don't mean to make light of Mary's passing. I learned to play guitar while listening to Peter, Paul and Mary records. Looking out my window, however, I see flowers blooming in the garden (here in Florida) and magazines disappearing from book store shelves.

So, back to my original question: What will I do after the book is published? Market the book I suppose. At that point, will I stop being a writer and become a marketeer? (No, silly, not a Muskateer; no Disney ears here, although I'm close by).

When I'm reading I always hate turning that last page and finishing a book when it's really good. I want to drag it out and make it last. I don't feel that way about writing this book. I just wonder, what next?

Copyright © 2009 Susan Cross – All rights reserved


Jai Joshi said...

It's hard to figure out what to do to fill the void after a book is finished. Some people go straight into writing something else. I spent two years in intense marketing and found it really hard to find the mental energy needed for writing.

Do you have any ideas about what you want to do? Another book you want to work on? Articles for online publications?


Susan Cross said...

I was just up at Borders trying to get ideas of what to do in between. I'll probably just keep writing, only this time it will be (based on) my own memoir. I've led a pretty interesting life. I don't know if it would interest anyone else, but at least I'd be writing. The days of articles is over for me, at least for now. It's my strength and I love it but the Internet markets don't pay anything near what I was making. Who knows? Maybe something will fall out of the sky. I keep looking up just in case -- I wouldn't want to get hit in the head by a falling star!

J. M. Strother said...

"What will I do when the book is completed?"

Start on the next one, of course. Maybe not a memoir this time. ;)

Susan Cross said...

The only memoir I'm going to write next would be my own. My flash fiction would each be a chapter, but you probably already sensed that. I have no imagination; just 58 years of life experience. I hate roller coasters. Maybe I have a better understanding of why that's the case.