The Business Rusch: All Good Things

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April marks the fifth anniversary of this blog. Not of the Business Rusch, exactly, but of me writing every Thursday about business or writing or something to do with publishing.

Five years at 52 weeks per year at about 3,000 to 4,000 words per blog. That’s damn near a million words about various topics, more than some business writers have written in their entire careers.

This morning, I had no idea what to write about. Oh, there’s this study or that survey; there’s this cool fact or that neat change. I have a list of things to cover that interest me…somewhat. And I’ve said I would redo dealbreakers. I should finish blogging about estates.

I’ve been looking at traditional publishing contracts. They’re so disheartening that I really don’t want to write about them again.

In fact, the word “again” is what keeps cropping up. The publishing industry is stabilizing. We’ve found our future. We’re still not sure how it will go, but it’s pretty clear that e-books are here to stay, traditional publishing will continue (although maybe not at the heights it reached decades ago), and writers finally have a career path outside of traditional publishing.

The writers who work hard will be the ones who will succeed. Those who don’t work hard or don’t learn will be the ones who will fail.

The road ahead looks good to me, finally. I feel like we’ve come through a pretty dark wilderness and we’re heading into a new world together.

By the afternoon, I still didn’t have a topic. Dean’s teaching a workshop and I went up there to ask the students what they wanted to see me cover in the blog. They gave me a great list.

The problem with it?

I’ve touched on all of those topics over the past five years. Not a single topic they’ve mentioned is one I haven’t already thought of and written about. Not one.

I don’t expect people to read everything on the blog, so of course they didn’t know. But I did.

And that’s what I’m facing now.

I’m looking at updating everything. From the contracts and dealbreakers posts to the bits of the Freelancer’s Guide, to a tweak on the way we look at self-publishing versus traditional publishing, all of it needs a slight revision.

But it’s a revision, not an exploration.

And exploration is what interests me.

So…

I think it’s time I end the Thursday Business Blog. Not because you guys have failed to support it. You’ve done a fantastic job, sending me e-mails, links, commenting, and donating. I appreciate every single bit of it.

No, the reason I need to end the blog is that I’m looking on it as a burden, not as something I look forward to. I’m not enjoying writing it any longer. I have so much other writing to do that the blog is actively interfering with.

For the first 4.5 years, I always looked forward to tackling a blog topic. Since the fall, I really haven’t. And when something goes from fun to work, I usually don’t last very long. I finished the discoverability series, but I don’t really want to tackle another.

What’s exciting to me about the new world of publising these days is the fact that I can write anything for any reason at any time. Novels and short fiction are my true love. Nonfiction is something I do on the side.

For the past five years, my writing life has revolved around Thursdays, and the nonfiction. The never-ending drumbeat of a hard deadline.

It’s time I end that, for my writing. I need to focus on the fiction itself.

Thank you all for taking this journey with me. I’ve truly enjoyed it. I greatly appreciate those of you who supported the blog regularly (and those who put in a few dollars now and again). Those of you who have regular donations set up, it’s time to cancel them.

I hope that the discussions we’ve had here will help all of you in your careers. I know they’ve helped me with mine.

Thanks for the regular visits. I can’t tell you how much I’ve appreciated them.

THURSDAY: 2:30 PM:

Wow. I came to the blog to discover nearly 100 comments since I put it up. Too many to answer individually, but boy, oh, boy do I appreciate them all. You guys made me tear up. 

Many of you asked some questions, and I know some of you won’t go through all the comments to find my answers, so, in no particular order:

1. I will continue Free Fiction on Mondays and the Recommended Reading once a month.

2. Everything will stay up, although the website’s new design will premiere in May, so some of the older posts might get a bit garbled. If they do, let me know, and I’ll fix. But I recommend printing up the ones that mean the most to you or capturing them in a file or something, just in case.

3. Yeah, I’ll probably get on my high horse at some point. But not for a long while. I really need fiction time.

4. The Fates (Grayson), a new Nelscott series, some major short stories, and finishing the Retrieval Artist story arc are all on the agenda, as well as a new Diving novel, and some other things. (And, and, and…popcorn kittens strike!)

5. Once again, everyone, thanks so much. You all brought tears to my eyes. Thanks.

163 thoughts on “The Business Rusch: All Good Things

  1. Man, I go on vacation and look what happens…

    ;P

    I’m sad to lose my Thursday blog fix, but I’m happy that you’re going to be focusing on writing that makes you excited. That’s why we write, after all.

    Thank you so much for all the wonderful articles and information and all the work you put into the blog over the last five years. Your articles have really helped me out, and lots of other people, too.

  2. Thanks for the years of work on this. It’s been very educational, and in a sense, inspiring. Looking forward to checking out more of your other writing. Thanks Kris!!

  3. I also want to add in my thanks and appreciation. I wouldn’t understand this much about the business of writing and weathering out these changing times if it wasn’t for your Thursday posts. I always looked forward to them – but I also look forward to reading your many, many fiction series. Thanks, Kris!

  4. Many thanks and much appreciation to you for all the incredible work you’ve done here. And equally, I can’t tell you how much respect I have for a creator who recognizes when they feel they’re re-treading old ground, and moves to something new and fresh.

    You’re incredible; keep it up; and I’m glad you’re able to focus on whatever brings you joy!

  5. This column has changed my life and my ideas of what is possible, what I am allowed — what I have the *right* — to do, and I will away be grateful for it and will continue to force, um, I mean send the book versions to my peers.

    But I’ve also been an avid reader of your fiction since the early 90s so I can’t complain about more of that happening.

    Thank you, Kristine.

  6. Thanks for your work. You and Dean made me believe that I could write for a living, something I had pretty much given up on.

  7. Many thanks for all your posts. I’ve read, enjoyed and found useful a very large number of them.

    I’d like to commend you on making this hard decision. Last year I stopped work on a project where I had written one or two items each week for around 13 years. I’d developed quite an audience and initially really felt I was letting them down.

    However, it was the right move for me – in fact it was overdue. I felt an overwhelming sense of relief and have been able to move on to new ventures.

    You’ve made a fantastic contribution with your business blog and that’s enough.

    I wish you all the best from here on out. I’m a huge fan of your fiction and am looking forward to reading your new works to come. 🙂

    Warm regards,

    Miraz

  8. I’ve appreciated everything you’ve written in these posts.

    It’s a gift to be able to realize when it’s time to stop something. You have it. It’s a mark of integrity, too.

    I’ll keep following your blog, though, because I like your fiction as much as your non-fiction.

  9. Adding my thanks the pile. This blog gave me hope that I could fearlessly tell the stories I wanted to tell AND sell them. I will forever be indebted to you for it. Thanks so much.

  10. Kris, I am one of your many followers who has learned so much from your blog. You have been supportive, generous beyond words, and now you deserve to do whatever is fun for you. You’re a wonderful writer no matter what you write. You have been a guiding light for me since I decided I wanted to abandon traditional publishing. Thank you for your tremendous gift to your fellow writers and for sharing all your hard-won information. I’ll be reading your fiction!

  11. I don’t even know where to begin to thank you, Kris. This blog has been a weekly education for me and for — well, I’ve lost track of how many — writers I’ve told in no uncertain terms: you must read this blog. This does not mean I won’t continue to tell everyone and all to come read the blog; you’ve left us a book of high-level thinking and information. What did you say the word count was? A million?

    I’ll miss my weekly reader of publishing insider know-how. So, what will I do? I’ll go back and reread the blogs; I know I missed alot — so much to learn.

    a million thanks and more,
    Jude

  12. My initial thought was, Oh, no!

    And then it became, Good for you!

    Words can’t express how much this series has meant to me. But I’ll go with: thank you, thank you, thank you!

  13. Thanks for all the food for thought! I’m still thinking about a lot of it…it will all bear re-reading, I think.

    Best of luck with your fiction! I’ll be keeping an eye out for new publications. I know how it is when you want to just shut yourself into your fictional world and not deal with outside pressures and obligations.

  14. My Thursday reading downloads will now be much more barren, Kris. But I completely understand your position. I wrote a weekly column for two years. I loved doing it, but I eventually ran out of things to say without repeating myself. And the weekly deadlines became onerous; the column was no longer fun.

    I hope that, as the spirit moves you, that you’ll post more from time to time, whenever you have something to say and want to say it.

    Thanks for all your past columns. I’ve saved them all. They are a gold mine resourch for all writers.

  15. I will add my words to all the rest. I have only discovered your blog in the last six months and enjoyed every one of them. They have been insightful, helpful, quirky, in-depth and thoughtful. I’m going to miss your inspiration. Hope the writing goes so well, you won’t even miss this. Best, Sylvia

  16. Impossible to say how much the Business Rusch has meant to me as a writer–informative, encouraging, and bell-ringing. Thank you so much for all the sweat equity over the past five years, Kris.

  17. “We’ve found our future…and writers finally have a career path outside of traditional publishing.”

    Five years . . . already! We have been busy. I remember, Kris, when you told me this blog was being born. My favorite Bob Dylan quote: “He/she who isn’t busy being born is busy dyin’.” You’ve kept us busy being born.

    Brava for the five-year run cataloging this period of sea change in writing, publishing, art and career. Brava for bringing us the hard head of business to guide the beating heart of creativity. I’ve referred many confused writers, including myself, to your blog, and will so miss my Thursday morning ritual of a low-cal homemade latte and your latest post to digest.

    But if there’s any theme that rules the Business Rusch, it’s that we all must (and now have the ability to) choose where and how to expend effort in what’s best for us as writers. You have more than earned “retirement” on this front.

    Thank you!

  18. Does this mean we’ll get more cat stories?! 😉 (I’m currently enjoying the heck out of “Feline Fancies”,)

    Thank you for your willingness to share your experiences and know-how. It’s been both unstinting and very much appreciated. I can’t even guess the amount of hardship you’ve saved other writers from. And it can’t have been easy being having to deal with people whose self image or income was tied up in old ways of doing things. Thank you again.

  19. Thank you so much for all your blogs over the years, Kris. You’ve been my Thursday morning ritual for a long time. Your work and knowledge has helped me in my writing career, and I really appreciate it 🙂

  20. Thank you so much.

    I know I’m just another non-entity in the world of publishing, but I intend to change that. When I do get into the wider world of the publication, I can do so being aware of just how much is out there.

    You provided insights into business aspects that I had never even peeked at. You shared horror stories about the pitfalls along the path. You gifted wisdom that you’d learned years of experience. You hammered in the value of common sense, which isn’t always common.

    You’ve done a great deal to sculpt the path of dozens, hundreds or even thousands of writers to follow.

    In short. . .you’ve kicked ass.
    Thank you!

  21. About time! Enjoy those adoring kittens!

    *is especially interested in THE THIRD PLACE OF POWAH!*

    Hugs and love, with more appreciation than I can ever, ever say,

    Phaedra

  22. You know, when you’re done, you’re done. I know that I’ve looked forward to coming here every Thursday, and I will miss your thoughts. But you need to do what’s best for you. Thanks for doing this for us.

  23. When I set out to revitalize my writing career a few years back, I did two things. One was push myself to finish my novel, learning new and better ways to write. The other was to research the current state of publishing, particularly electronic publishing. TPV and The Business Rusch were my two go-to sites for advice. I spent many hours reading your back posts until I felt caught up on the business end of things, then made sure to keep reading weekly.

    So thanks, Kris. Not only were you and Dean the editors who gave me my first professional sale, you had a great influence on my career as an independent author.

    Enjoy the fiction time. I look forward to reading the next installment of this blog whenever you feel the urge to write it.

  24. Ah congratulations!! This is one of the first blogs I found upon tentatively entering the ‘sphere, and it remains one of the very best! I still have lots to catch up on… Thank you so much for 5 years of so much hard work.. Super happy the fiction will still be coming – that’s my first love too 🙂

  25. Thanks for these blogs, Kris, they’ve been challenging and educational and something we looked forward to. Happy writing!

  26. Thank you Kris for a great series and for sharing your experience and insights with us. So much of what I’ve learned about this business, I learned here first. Thank you!

  27. Thank you, Kris. You’ve helped empower a lot of people to make changes for the better, and been a crucial voice of reason as the publishing world shifts under our feet.

    I’ll miss that, and your ongoing contributions, very much.

    But I completely understand your reasons. The fiction writing should always come first. So, here’s to more words!

  28. Thanks so much, Kris. Everything changes, but for five years, you were faithful to an every-Thursday publishing appointment. It felt good to me, having that to count on. I imagine you took a deep breath or two when you decided to walk away; thanks for your courage, and for demonstrating that “what you did yesterday” does not necessarily bind you today. You’re still teaching: when a story’s on rails, it’s time to find a strong ending. Same’s true for a blog, I guess. Peace. (… and oh yeah, there’s always FaceBook.)

  29. Oh no – this is not good news. I consult your oracle regularly, and always recommend your blogs to students at my workshops. Yes, of course there was something else you could write about. I am most curious about the trend I perceive … a split of streams between the looks, design, interiors, typesetting and even language quality between SOME indie books and others. Some follow and imitate trad industry standards, and other don’t, or won’t. And I want your opinion as to whether you can see this and whether it will go on to become a discernible divide. Arghh – and now there won’t be a blog about it. But good luck – although you work so hard you hardly need it.

  30. Great job, Kris! We’ll miss your regular column, but I suspect that somewhere along the line you’ll have some small insight or piece of information to share, and you’ll let us know about it, however briefly. Either way, thanks again for all the help you’ve given writers!

  31. Thank you, Kris. I only discovered your blog a year ago but it and the business articles on it have been my weekly reads. You have given us so much in these articles, so applause, and now its time for you to find your bliss or rather return to it. We have been extremely fortunate and well informed through your generous posts.

    Lily

  32. Thank you so much for your hard work on…everything. Standing up for, and spending time for, other writers is always appreciated. That you have done it for well-nigh 5 years is incredible. Thank you!

  33. I’m sorry to see it go, but thanks for a great series that had me tuning in every Thursday. I made a donation on the previous post as a thank you for the entire series.

  34. All I can say is thank you. This blog changed my life. I asked for my rights back (and got them). Plus I turned down a publishing contract with a non-compete clause. I wouldn’t have done any of this without your advice, on and off, the site. I can’t thank you enough for helping me see the business side of publishing.

    I’ve finally stopped taking bad agents, editors, and contracts personally. That was the biggest step. They didn’t hate ME or my writing. I was a solidly mid-list author filling holes in the catalog.

    Now that I’m no longer a cog in the machine, I write what I want, make more money than I EVER did traditionally publishing, and my days are a lot less stressful. Oh, and for that my husband would probably thank you as well.

  35. In the summer of 2011, I faced a quandary. I’d been accepted to an awesome week-long writing workshop, even though major life events had put a lid on my writing for years, but had lost the willingness to participate in the query-wait-rinse-repeat-rejoice in crappy contracts game.

    I can’t even remember what led me to your blog. I clearly remember the excitement, though. What you showed me were options and possibilities, ways to move forward, and solid information. And it’s how I learned of the workshops, and why I attended in July 2012.

    Life rolls slowed my progress between then and now, but even that was covered on your blog! I’m just now getting back in the swing of things, putting up new material, and still find myself thinking through the ideas and issues you’ve discussed here.

    I’m a writer because I want to be a writer. I’m a self-published writer because I found your blog. And though I still feel like the little newbie, I don’t feel lost, uniformed, or taken advantage of.

    That matters. Thank you so very much. 🙂

  36. I have read ALMOST all of your posts. Marveled at how much you know and how much you digested and regurgitated for all the baby birds in your enormous nest. (And us old birds, too.)

    Much needed and much deserved rest, old friend.

    And thanks from all of us, especially from luddites such as moi.

    Jane

  37. So… does this mean more Retrieval Artist ? 🙂

    I smiled to read how many people read the blog with their morning beverage. As a West Coaster, I usually read the blog late Wed night, sometimes waiting up past bedtime, clicking the refresh button and hoping…

    There is so much important information here, and from a perspective — the perspective of a self-responsible carreer writer — that I think will remain relevant even when the industry details you reference have changed and dated. So I’m really glad you’re keeping your work up.

    Thank you Kris. You make a difference.

    1. Oh, yeah. I’m not getting the story arc done as fast as I wanted to–partly because of the lost day each week. (Mostly because of a recalcitrant brain.) So yes, more Retrieval Artist. And thanks.

  38. Kris, I add my little voice to the chorus of gratitude.

    This blog has been my weekly taste of the workshops I miss so much…only more of a series of square meals compared to the “drinking from the fire hose” experiences at the workshops!

    You’ve done good (and well). Thank you.

  39. Thanks you for the gift of this blog for so long! I’ve relied on it and enjoyed it immensely. I look forward to all the great stories you will set your mighty mind to now! It’s been a great education, this blog. But when it’s not fun? Time to move on.
    Thanks!

  40. Thank you, Kris for all those years of awesomeness! I’ve learned so much from reading your Thursday posts, and I’ll miss them, but I’m happy I’ll get to read all of your wonderful fiction.

  41. Thank you so much! I don’t think I’ve read all the early posts — though I’ve done my best since finding you last summer — but this and Dean’s blog have made me so much stronger as a business woman and a writer. I hit “publish” on my first piece today (a short story; the novel’s still in editing), and I really doubt I would have done so if it hadn’t been for your wise and sensible words. Thank you.

    I’ve also really enjoyed your short stories, and will come back for those if you keep them going.

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