8# The Business Side of Art

For art I bleed through my words for the want of my purple prose.  My pen flies and I enter the zone.  Deeper I sink to the depths of my core where the need to express emerges.  I scribble the final word and rejoice in the glory of each vibrant word that gleams from my page.  There are no doubts.  Everyone will want this.  Art lovers will line up, hungrily bidding for the next masterpiece.  My masterpiece.  I google and search and ogle the agents, but my pen is checked at the door.

“What is this!?”  I bellow.  “Are you mad!  You dare call art…a BUSINESS!  What debauchery…what madness has crept into your veins overnight!  How long was I cooped up in my studio apartment!?”

Its true. Nothing sends an artist running faster than the concept of business.  A cog in the wheel of the Man.  I detested that Man as much as the next artist.  Once, I named him Mitchell.

“Mitchell!” I cried to that ‘they’.  “You, who decides with your anonymity!  No more, I say!  You, I deem Mitchell!”

But business is   exactly what publication is.  It isn’t a part of publication.  It isn’t a sub-genre.  It is the business.  Publication is just the pretty word Mitchell uses to hide it from the artists.  Unfortunately, this means, a lot of artists aren’t getting through the front door without an understanding.  Every artist, this artist, believes that their work is so moving, so breathtaking, so innovative that they need no more than their pen and their prose.  But really, there are a lot of great authors out there.  And if you ever plan to make it through the front door, you need to accept that publishing is a business.

But what does that mean?

It means, you write a resume, not a query letter.  You design a platform (another artsy word Mitchell uses to hide “buyers”).  Really, Mitchell has done everything he can to disguise that publishing is a business.

My advice to the novice writer, embrace that aspect of the job.  Proudly set aside your pen and paper, crawl out of the 1890 Bohemian mind frame we all love to embrace.  Take Mitchell by the horns and embrace this concept.  It’s going to be a long ride.  You may as well enjoy it.

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