Thursday, June 4, 2009

The No Waiting Zone

About a month ago Jane Friedman's blog discussed how the basic rules of business apply to writing. Inspired by the scene in Glengarry Glen Ross in which the famous "coffee is for closers" line is uttered, she created a list of lessons to be learned for the writer. For someone who says she never had a sales job, Jane was spot on. And that is coming from someone who held one for over twenty five years.

One of the things I have learned in the last ten months is how much my sales/business background is helpful to me as a writer. Her words helped to confirm that.

Today I am having one of those anxious days in which I am impatient for my first “big sale” to close. And I am remembering a common mistake rookie salespeople make before they seal the deal on their first big piece of business. They wait.

They haven’t yet grasped that they need to be prospecting for more clients, making the next call, setting themselves up for the next sale, no matter how big or small.

In the case of the writer, that would be posting a blog, submitting a story to a contest and yes, working on that next book, even though the first one hasn’t sold yet.

Today I have been wanting to wait even though I know better. There is no waiting in sales as there is no waiting in writing. If you don’t make a call, you can’t close a sale. If you don’t submit work, you can’t get published.

I’ve been sitting in the No Wait Zone a bit too long today. I’m hitting publish before I get a ticket.


Butterfly Goddess said...

well done! this is such a useful thing to remember. i will keep this in mind in the coming days and weeks. it is true for an actor/singer as well!

Nancy Moon said...

I always enjoy your blogs, thanks so much for sharing this reinvention of yours!

Jane Friedman said...

Thanks so much for your wonderful comments. It's often true that the most talented writers are less likely to get published due to mediocre sales/business skill, and mediocre writers are more likely to get published due to talented sales/business skill!