The Managing Writer…

This is a strange title isn’t it? I think it is, but the duties of a writer and the duties of a manager (as in retail management) are not that different. Are you wondering how this can be? Think of it this way, what do managers do?  They are responsible for the following things in the course of their duties:

–protecting the money

–protecting the assets (property and such)

–protecting the merchandise (if applicable and they do their best although no industry is “thief proof”–including the writer’s market)

and making sure others can tell when they walk in the door of a business that these things are all part of a manager’s job.

In retail management, they make plans based on observations, direct labor so that areas of the businesses are covered throughout the day, and then they follow through with those plans. When a manager fails in making plans and directing labor–that goes to leadership and in time a manager failing to produce a plan that will get results will result in demotion or termination.

Why? Because if customers can see such weaknesses in a manager, they will work very hard to find the “weakest link” in the store so they can walk out with whatever they can get.

Anytime there is a failure, it goes back to the manager…Why? Usually because of a lack of leadership skills in getting things running as they should.

How does this pertain to writing?  It does so in the following ways:

–The writer has a responsibility to ensure credibility and integrity by ONLY pertaining to what is KNOWN with hard evidence, unless he/she is writing fiction. Then again, it is important to be true to the Historical perspective from which one is writing–even in comedy. When writing well, the author is protecting his her potential reward, be it money and/or recognition. Not all writers do this with an expectation of becoming the next Louis L’Amour or Elmore Leonard–or Stephen King.

–As a writer, there is a responsibility to preserve (protect) the integrity of all aspects of the written work. This goes from the framing of characters and plot all the way up to the copyright and such. If one is writing an original piece of work, it is important to copyright it so nobody steals the idea, but it is also important to make characters and plots honest, believable and credible. There is a difference in the 3 aspects of those things. Credibility is probably the most important of the 3 in my opinion.  Even in fiction, a reader likes to believe that something could happen if certain elements became reality.  If this is hard to understand, all one has to do is look at the Star Trek stories.  In the 1960’s it was doubtful that these things could become even a remote possibility–until man landed on the moon, right?

–Protect your vision. It doesn’t matter what any critic says. What you write is your vision. You own it. If you have an audience for that, then enjoy it. Critics usually aren’t the ones who will buy your work anyway. The same holds true for scriptwriters and songwriters. I agree with the late Elizabeth Taylor when it comes to reviews. In my opinion, they are only good for lining the bird-cage, because I do not need anyone to be paid mega bucks to speak for me as a reader when I’m quite capable of deciding whether or not I enjoy a certain work that someone else is being paid to condemn.

The last thing I want to point out is not to let yourself get discouraged. If you want to share your vision, then do it. As you do more of this, you will only improve in the areas you might be weaker in, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Alright…Want Better Pay? A Better Position? READ AND LEARN!

Even in an entry-level job, one can learn skills that will enable them to move up in their own field or they can transfer those skills to another industry once they get them. The key is watching, learning and asking questions. Those who advance take on challenges and other responsibilities. They become leaders. If you want better pay, become a leader. Lead by example and for God’s sake learn how to use some critical thinking skills.

Learning to make snap decisions in a tough situation is often critical and right or wrong, be an adult an accept responsibility for it. Don’t pass the buck to someone else. It’s a good way to lose your job. I can’t even begin to tell you about the times that even though it seemed to be to be something small, I’d call my bosses and say, “Hey I screwed up. This is what happened.” and I’d tell them everything. At least those things could be taken care of because they did turn out to be minor and they helped me to learn to fix those things on duty so I wouldn’t be calling them up with confessionals! However if you pass the buck to the new person, or try to hide it, you’re basically signing your own termination papers in the end. Once you bring your integrity into question, you’re toast. Don’t do it. Don’t even think about it. if you think something is wrong, ask the boss!

For those of you in this dilemma, I am going to suggest a good book for you to read that changed my life. It is a fiction book by Paulo Coelho, but it will really help you if you follow Santiago’s example…That book is called “The Alchemist”…It is for young people but there is so much wisdom packed into it…Check it out!