Prompted Posts

Deadlines and Free Reign

In this post, I have been asked to find a video about the marketing and publishing of books, and then to reflect on it. I’ve chosen this vlogbrothers post in which Maureen Johnson subs for John Green and talks about her experience as a professional writer. This video is put in a very laid back format which may seem deceptively simple. In it, Maureen Johnson talks about her own experience publishing a book and what writing professionally means.

She makes light of the isolated nature of writing and especially doing so professionally, but still touches on the topic. She says that the writing profession is necessarily isolated and that those who are turned off by the prospect may not be of the right temperament for making a profession of writing. This can be taken back to the point that writing does take a lot of effort even despite the colloquial idea of it being an “easy” task. In reality, writing is a highly self-motivated task that involves a lot of self-control, even taking into account those ever-looming deadlines.

Maureen also spends some time relating the propensity of writers to procrastinate, which she says is practically a requirement of the profession. While this is no doubt true, making those deadlines does involve a lot of self-control. As any college student would know, the lure of procrastination is always hard to fight off when one large assignment is due at a later time. Easier is many small assignments with closer deadlines. In the professional world, those aren’t the kind of deadlines you get. You get the big, nebulous ones. That’s a good thing to keep in mind during this time of training in how to perform in our desired work fields.

This video makes the argument that the best thing for aspiring authors to do is write for the love of writing, and to do it a lot. Practice is emphasized just as it is in most facets of life. Overall, the publishing world of books is a demanding but rewarding system of deadlines and free reign used together in a mix that promotes self-controlled work ethic but also demands accountability.


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