Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Money Isn't the Goal

Seth Godin had a blog post last week entitled "Getting funded is not the same as succeeding." Seth gives business advice, which can often be interpretted as writing advice, heck, even living advice.

But this time he preached a parallel sermon to one I've given for years. Getting a writing grant is not the goal. Your project is the goal. The grant is one of many tools you use in the development of that project.

A grant is to writing a book as a flathead screwdriver is when my project is constructing a chicken coop. I'll still build the coop. It might be harder without that screwdriver, but I'll figure a way to complete the project. After all, I have chickens depending on me.

But many writer confuse the grant with the goal. If the grant will diffuse your writing project, then it's not a very important project, is it?

A grant is a step on a long staircase to your goal, not the goal itself.

The big picture is more about your writing, your customers, and your purpose. Look at Kickstarter, where dreams abound, all asking for money. You can't convince me that these innovative individuals will give up and find a nine-to-five job if their plea for funds falls short. Instead, I imagine they'll fall back, regroup, and revamp their quest for financial support, while likewise pursuing that project goal. They might streamline a process or compromise on some travel, but whatever the project, they'll tweak it to still make it work.

They might ask other grant providers. They might contact potential partners. They might find a part-time job and save all the money just for this project. They could sell shares in the project. They could sell other products, with the profit going towards the project. If the dream is important, it continues, just maybe in another color, shape or direction.

Writing is your dream. A particular project is your goal. Answer this...if you couldn't find money to research a particular book idea, would you quit writing? If you couldn't find money to self-publish, would you give up?

There's where you stand as a writer.

1 comment:

Diva Jefferson said...

I would never give up. Even though the rejection letters pile, and times seems to be my worst enemy. Great words to live by, Hope.

-Diva J.