I wrote about the Creative Commons earlier and I thought I’d take some time to rehash it here. I said, then, that I wasn’t sure how well the Creative Commons idea could apply to a book. I was listening to Jonathan Coulton talk about his life-changing effort to be more creative after the birth of his daughter on TWIT and that got me thinking.
The idea seems to me to be that personal creativity requires two main ingredients beside the desire to be creative itself: the honing of your craft through a committment to put the time in, an audience who return criticism and, if warranted, praise.
As Stephen King writes in his book on writing, as many other authors interested in the next generation have said, you need to set aside whatever allottment per day you can afford to write. That’s what it takes and that is how your craft is honed. But the audience, that I so casually joke about in my last post… well there’s the problem.
I’ve tried having people close to me read my stuff but that doesn’t work. Either they have no interest in doing the chore or they are not interested in the style, format, etc. I’ve had better success, recently, by joining a writer’s group. But that doesn’t, in itself, lead to a publication. So what’s the answer here?
Well, why not the Creative Commons? Get your work out there and posted somewhere. You run the risk that you won’t be incurring revenue and that a publisher may not want to work with you since you’re circumventing their treadmill, sure, but what of it? You will, at least, be able to fill out that terrifying sentence in your cover letters about what you’ve already published/accomplished. You will also be honing your craft and if you post your work on the internet you have an incredible potential audience. Don’t think about it as giving away your hard work… think of it as your road to improving your skill.
Some links I’d recommend: