For a lot of people, making a living off your creativity and individualism is a lifelong dream. Instead of working in a cube all day or getting yelled at by consumers inside of a big chain store where you are a number instead if a person is a lifelong dream for anyone. For many of us, writing is the key. Hell, you are reading something right now. And lots of people read books. Someone has to write those books right. Someone has to be making money at all this right? Why can’t I?
Hell, I thought the same way.
But there is a lot to being a fiction writer that you don’t see and many times no one wants to tell you. It is not an easy deal and even harder to be successful at. The notion of the creative writer lounging in their big house and sitting on a mountain of royalties over their creativity is not the real picture. Heck, Jack Nicholson slaving over a typewriter with his sanity slowly disappearing and repeating the same words over and over tends to be more accurate of a fiction writer’s ordeal.
So, as a fiction writer who isn’t exactly “living the dream,” Here are a few points of reality for any aspiring writers out there.
Chances are no one knows you write.
The adage “Write it and they will come” is not true. You can be an amazing writer with a crapload of books. But unless anyone knows about them no one will care. This goes for print or online written work. There is a LOT out there and just because you have written and published something does not mean the entire world will turn their head and pay money for it. No matter f there is a big publishing house behind you or not, YOU have to be the one to promote it more than anything. Talk to the retailers and find ways to get people’s attention!
A big-time publisher won’t care.
You can get a literary agent, but there is a good chance most of them won’t care either. BUT before any of them will sell your book for you, you have to sell yourself and your work. Honestly, at this point, the only one to believe in your work and what you can do is you yourself.
Publishing, especially in the real, brick and mortar world is a business and publishers only want stuff they know will make them money. Wonder why many of the popular YouTubers and tabloid house celebrities have books? Because someone at a publishing house figured with Someone’s audience, they have costumes who will buy something with that person’s name on it. Their audience is what gave them that opportunity, more so then their writing talent or grand vision (even if they have it!). For the rest of us, we have to do things the hard way and try to convince publishers, readers, and anyone else that you can create someone that will make everyone involved a lot of money. If you aren’t “established” than that could be really hard to do.
Figure out why you are writing.
If you are writing because you think it will make you rich, chances are you are in for a really bad time. If you are writing because you are being creative and come what may with the money? Go to town with it! Knowing what your real motivation is and what you really want out of it will make this ride easier. Find your sense of accomplishment. Find out what you want and how to get there and hopefully you will.
Don’t quit your day job.
Even in the BEST of circumstances, this is not something that’s quick. Keep making money for yourself and keeping up with life. It’s still important to be able to keep yourself going and even if you are writing the book you think will get you out of where you are now, you still gotta keep yourself fed, warm, and the power running to get this written!
Like many things, typically what people see is all the good stuff that goes along with writing, and don’t see the work that went into it. And always remember to promote yourself and your work. Mine can be found here!
But, above it all. Don’t give up on yourself. YOU can do it, even if it is not easy.