Sunday, December 6, 2015

Fast, Cheap, Or Good.

There is a phrase in project management that I also think applies to writing, and especially to self publishing.  It has multiple names but the one I like the best is the Iron Triangle.

This phrase breaks down to this:
You can do it fast.
You can do it cheap.
You can do it well/good.
Pick two.

As writers we often want to get our stories out there for the world to see, and get them out there as soon as possible.  Ignoring the expense of an editor, and deceiving that our self editing or editing by that one guy we know who really knows his grammar is good enough. In doing this we risk sacrificing quality. 

Don’t get me wrong there are those snowflakes and unicorns that can pound something out and it is good to go as soon as they type “The End”.

I always err on the side of caution. I assume I am not that snowflake. I am not unique. And by trying to keep my ego I check I truly think I have become a better writer, and possibly even a better person for it.

That is just one combination of the triangle.

If I want quality and speed that means I am going to have to shell out the money for some of the best editors in the business.

You check those rates out?  Over a thousand dollars and that’s on the low side.  You wrote your book fast, but man oh man are you going to pay to make sure it is up to snuff.

If you’re as broke as I am these prices only leave you with one option.  Taking a long time, writing it and editing all while trying to track down that affordable editor, and then double checking THEIR work.  You don’t have to go and layout over a thousand bucks, but it is going to take time to find that editor who is just starting out. Vet editors you meet on our, if they are starting out you have no way of knowing if they are really good at their job or just another putz trying to make a dollar and a cent off of desperate writers.

In some ways I like the idea of working with a new editor. Establishing a relationship with someone while they are trying to get their name out into the community that they have a skill others will want to utilize.  

 I am the same way with new and eager writers. I want to know them and I want to help them.  I want to be able to say I knew the next King or Rowling and that I helped to mold them.

If I am not known for my writing (even if I do follow my own advice with the triangle) I at least want to contribute in some way to the next generation of writers.

Maybe it is a bit selfish or egotistical but I am at least being honest that I am may not have the talent or the luck (some say it is mixture of the two, with the focus on luck) to have my writing take off. Being the Muddy Waters to the Rolling Stones of the future is not a bad thing.  

Side Note: Muddy Waters did have some of his own success, but I think the analogy still holds up.

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