It used to be pretty easy to pigeonhole ourselves professionally. He's a plumber, she's a dancer, I'm a writer.
It's not so simple anymore. The plumber has to be an accountant; the dancer is a nutritionist, and the writer... well, the writer has to be an entrepreneur.
I don't think it matters whether you have a high-powered agent or if you're going it alone. Writers today just don't have the luxury to sit in their garrets and polish their prose.
I thought they could - or, at least I could - for a long time. Then I met Susannah. Susannah is a high-powered exec in my building. She has sleek hair, wears tailored suits and is surgically attached to her Blackberry. On the surface, we have little in common.
I met Susannah during one of the endless rounds of meetings we both attend - she as a manager, me as a minion. I discovered she was funny, smart and a voracious reader. She found out I was an author. She bought my book, and she liked it.
And in her spare time, she gave me advice. You're a business, she told me - develop your product. Market yourself.
Me? What? The artist in me rebelled ... but my ego understood. So I listened. She told me about brands, about customers, about what works and what doesn't (This post, for instance? Waaaay too long).
Changing my perspective has helped immensely. My stories are the same, sure. But now the author thinks more like Majeske, Inc.