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Wednesday, 28 November 2018

The Frustrations of Being an Artist


Everybody in the arts business - be it music, writing, drama, film, painting and the like - struggles. Even once you're making a successful living it's a struggle. We're constantly facing criticism and judgement. Some of us want to produce more than we are able to. It always seems like there are so many ideas and not enough time.

Stephen King and Prince are two of my favourite artists - one is an author and one was a musician. Both of them faced problems with their publisher and record label because they wanted to produce more than they were contracted to. King wanted to put out more than one novel a year so he started writing under the name Richard Bachman. Prince wanted to put out more than one album a year so he changed his name to an icon and left Warner Bros.

I'm not currently signed to any publisher or label so I have the freedom of doing everything myself. As you can imagine, being twenty-one and not very experienced, this is has its drawbacks. Like having to pay out of my part-time-employed pocket to get my books edited - if I had a publisher they would do it for me. Or having paid earlier this year to have my debut EP (still work in progress) mixed and mastered - again, if I was signed the label would pay for it.

Me and my books.
Then again, both the label and publisher would take most of the royalties whereas I don't have to give an editor a cut - once I've paid for the edit it's done and dusted. Editors are not cheap. My first published book Every Last Psycho cost me almost a grand for developmental and copy-editing because I wanted to do it right. I didn't do any editing for my poetry book Art is a Waste of Time because it's poems (and I couldn't fucking afford to anyway). For my third book which I want to have out next year, I'm just paying for the developmental and maybe a proof-read because I can't afford a copy-edit (luckily I know how to format it properly after having the first book formatted for me).

Why am I bitching about this? Because it's frustrating as hell. I can't be arsed with this shit. All I want to do is sit and churn out my books. Like Mr King and Mr Nelson Rodgers, I have too much material that I want to just be working on - this is just the literary material, don't even get me started on the music. I just want to sit and work on my books and not have to bother with the business side and being practical about how much money I need to put aside to pay for editing.

In short, I'm an artist. I'm not a business person. All we want is to write our novels or screenplays or play our guitars or tap our fingers to a two-step. Having to think about all the other stuff - like, I need to promote my books so people actually buy them rather than just throwing words out into the sea - is going over my head. Fact is, I'm an overdrawn kid living with my mum trying to weave my way through this confusing world of the arts sector without much knowledge of what I'm doing. But aren't we all in the same boat?

If you'd like to check out my books that would be massively helpful to me. Available via this link to my website: https://www.zarinamacha.co.uk/books

Related post: https://www.thezarinamachablog.co.uk/2017/10/being-musician-is-hard.html

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If you enjoy my posts check out my novel Every Last Psycho. Available to purchase on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07F44CMNJ