Monday, September 23, 2013

When to put away childish things

Okay, so I’m taking a little license with that title.  I mean, after all, we are writers, we don’t exactly have to.  Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t, but that’s for a whole different discussion.  One that you should probably have with a professional.  Know what I mean?
Yes, you do.

But sometimes it does make you wonder about dreams, you know?    If your dream is to be a writer, is that something you should put away for the ‘real world?’

Only you can really answer that.    Being a writer is not easy.   Or perhaps I should say being a Good writer is not necessarily easy.
It’s a lot of hard work.    Least it is for a lot of writers I know.

Which some people who just decide they are going to be writers and crank out that book to sell, find out.   
Or maybe they don’t until they try to sell it.    And make enough money to take themselves to dinner maybe.
I’ve seen that a lot.
Especially once you’ve gone beyond selling it to all your family and friends.   And sometimes maybe their friends.  If you’re lucky.
And do you want to do more than one book?   Are you going to force them to buy it too? 

With the world the way it is today with self publishing so easy, and cheap, it’s so easy to be a writer.   Or think of yourself as one.   Or tell everyone.

But are you a Good one?

And working all the time to be better?

These days there’s still a lot of discussion about self-publishing.  
Or no discussion, just publishing that way.
Which gets mixed feelings.
There can be good out there that is self-published.
And as a lot of us have seen, there’s a lot that ….isn’t.

There’s a lot of feelings, on both sides of the issue.  For self-publishing, or for going the traditional hunting down an agent [yes, that rather does sound like a sport, huh.  Hmmmm…] and going with the traditional publishers.   
And to contort the issue even more — there’s the ‘traditional’ agents who will help you self-publish.  Uh….  ???

Or even the small publisher route, which I know a few authors who are extremely happy with that option.

Recently Hugh Howey did a really great post.     If you don’t know who he is, do a quick google.  He’s one of the Great success stories of Self publishing.

“This past week, my latest self-published book debuted at #7 on The New York Times bestseller list. Crunching some numbers, it appears that I’ve sold a million books in the last two years.”

But I met Hugh this year, and I can tell you, he’s not the ‘normal’ writer, that I’ve met anyway.  Including me.  
Yes, writer friends kid around with each other about not being normal, but I think the most normal thing about most of us, is the tendency to not be super social outgoing people.    In the computer jargon of the past, people like that were referred to as ‘back roomers.’     
Most of the writers I know and have met are not the tops of the social outgoing personality scale.  

There are exceptions to that of course, the Great Adriana Trigiani is one of the big exceptions.  But she is one of the traditionally published authors.

Hugh Howey is one of the other Big exceptions.    And Successfully self-published.    He’s a success for part of the reason, is his wonderful outgoing personality.   He’s nice.   And very personable.
So if you are going to self-publish, it wouldn’t hurt to read his blog.   
And interviews he has done.
Like this.

If you are a writer.   Or thinking about it.   Or even dreaming of it.  You should read it.

He gives you some great perspective and thoughts.

Told you.

And after you finish reading Hugh’s great post, take a look at this one I found about looking at your writing and knowing when to put it away.


Yeah, Hard one, Huh?

It came to mind because of all the self-published books out there - and no, I’m not saying some aren’t good.  Maybe they could have been better.
Maybe they should have read this first.

All I’m saying.

I’ve put away a few of my own stories.
*Ahem*   quite a few.
I don’t consider my ‘drawer’ a never-never land of ‘lost things.’   
I am always growing and learning as a writer.    
The things that made me spend time with those stories are still there, but maybe I wasn’t the writer I needed to be to do it justice.  Right then.   Doesn’t mean I can’t get there.  Someday.   I’m working on it.

And if this is all getting you down — or making you think too much.

If you need encouragement — I mean, Really, are you a Real writer?   Then you need encouragement.
At least some time you are going to need it.
Join up with James River Writers.
We are great people.

And if you really want encouragement and an atmosphere of it, come the JRW Conference in October.
There’s still openings, and openings in some of the Terrific Workshops being offered the Friday before!!!!

We have Literary Agents coming.    So you don’t have to go safari game hunting.  They’ll be right there for you to talk to.   And if you move quick, even get one-on-one pitch time.

We make it easy.    Or easier.

Hey, I'm a writer, I take all the help I can get.

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