Question – “Why did you decide to write your novel, xyzxyzxyz?”
Answer (After a long pause) – “I’m tired of getting paid $xx. an hour. I want to make some big money and not have to be a slave to my work to do it. I can’t think of a better way than writing to do that.”
I got this answer, or some variation of it, when I asked the “why” question of five of the eleven would be authors I’ve been writing about in my last couple posts. One lady, unpublished, with a first time novel, explained that she expected she would to have to write two or three additional books after “this book” was printed to meet her objective of buying a small island in the Bahamas and retiring. I guess reality is something that you can be ignorant of, or blissfully ignore, convincing yourself it doesn’t pertain to you.
Lets discuss reality. I’m trying to keep my posts short so ……
Making large dollars from writing is normally achieved from an enormous volume of effort through the traditional publishing route. Do self-published authors become rich and famous? Yes. BUT, as a percentage, they’re harder to find than hen’s teeth.
Unlike my friends pictured above, successful authors don’t decide to slide out of bed if the inspiration strikes them on a particular day. Vomiting on the keyboard, sending your visionary words to an eagerly waiting publisher, who will assign hordes of editing staffers to polish your Socratic wisdom, which the editor-in-chief will send a limo to pick up … isn’t going to happen. No one is going to beg you for your manuscript. Cancel your Porsche.
Writing is an everyday grind … your breaks are normally spent in research … most writers, if they took the time to calculate, would be ebullient making minimum wage. I average seven to eleven rewrites for each of my books. Rewrites are tedious and intense WORK. If you love what you’re doing it’s worth it. If you’re looking for a hammock and a Mai Tai way to make a living, writing isn’t for you.
If you work your rectal area off, your chance of becoming a name author is miniscule. This is particularly true when writing fiction. Read my post back on April 14, 2015 titled, “Publishing to Enterprise – Beam me up Scotty – from where-ever I am.” It details that reality word. (less probably than making an NFL roster by many, many times).
After all that, for those beating the odds and becoming traditionally published, today’s reality is that you’ll be out promoting your book(s). Even “name” authors like Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants) are out hustling their work. I shared a signing area with her at a small book festival last April. YOU ARE A USED CAR SALESMAN – LIKE IT OR NOT.
If you believe being a successful author is going to work in your undies, while sipping wine, eating lotus, and having Brinks Armored delivered sacks of cash to your door, you may wish to revise your thoughts.
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