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Is it worth it?

(9 Posts)
MapMyMum Fri 05-Aug-16 00:40:11

Lurker here with first ever thread so be kind blush
I'm writing my first book. Have had loads of plot ideas over the years but Ive never written more than 1/2k words as Ive struggled to find the time to write and when I have it felt disjointed. But Id never planned my story before so I felt this time, with lots of work on the main characters and details on plot etc, I felt I was finally going to finish a book. But now Im it worth the effort? Am I just being big headed thinking little old boring me could ever actually get published? Is it only huge celeb type authors (thinking JK Rowling) that can live off of writing? I dont want to be a celeb, but my dream us to be a full time author. Should I carry on regardless or focus my effort to more realistic goals, like maybe shaving my legs and losing a few stone?!

schmalex Fri 05-Aug-16 07:08:16

It's difficult to make a full-time living from writing fiction, but people do it.
However, if you're only doing it with the aim to make money, I wouldn't bother. There are much MUCH easier ways to make money!
You need to enjoy the writing itself. I have always written and would always do so, even if I hadn't got published. I'm sure JK Rowling is the same.

schmalex Fri 05-Aug-16 07:09:31

Sorry, that wasn't intended to sound harsh! You have every chance of getting published, but it's hard work and there is no guarantee of financial reward.

GetAHaircutCarl Fri 05-Aug-16 08:13:08

Well map here's the thing; no writer ever really knows if they're fooling themselves when they start out. It's very tough to judge your own work (I find it impossible even years later) because you're close in (or should be).

The best thing to do is to stop worrying about that and crack on.

Being a writer requires a certain level of arrogance. You have to assume that you have something to say, assume that people will want to hear it and assume that you can get what you have to say across. To strangers. On a macro level grin.

Getting a publisher is something to worry about down the line, when you've proved to yourself that you can write a full novel and that (for the most part) you enjoyed it.

Yes, it's hard to get published. Plenty of good writers never make it. That's because it's a business and a ruthless one at that. That said, there have never been so many debut novels published as now. The market wants more and more new books. Be optimistic wilst understanding that the being published or not isn't the definitive judgement on a writer's chops.

If you are published, will you make a living? Statistically, no you won't. The flip side of all those debut novels is crap advances and almost no effort on marketing. Publishers throw thousands of books out onto the market with the view that the cream will rise (personally I think this is a shite business model based on nothing true but there you go).

Writers must assume that they will need another source of income.

For balance, I'll admit that I do make a very good living from novels. I'm not JKR or even a household name (in the UK). But I have sold a book a year in very respectable numbers. I have sold lots of foreign rights of each book, audio book rights etc etc. I have also sold lots of options along the way (note to writers: keep option lengths short then when the production company can't raise the dosh, it reverts to you and you can sell it elsewhere).

So it can be done. Unfortuneatley there is almost nothing you the writer can do to influence such things. All you can do is write to the best of your ability, be prolific (I can't advise this strongly enough) and professional (stick to deadlines, don't strop over revisions).

Chelazla Fri 05-Aug-16 09:59:43

Both Martina Cole and Sue Townsend had books tucked away for years before they were published!!! Look what they've achieved!!! If you love writing do it!!! I don't think you can be an author unless you do!! Good luck X X X

MapMyMum Fri 05-Aug-16 11:14:47

Thanks for the replies! I do love writing, but with being very hard up for money I always feel a bit guilty spending time writing when I could be ironing or something to earn a few pennies hence why I havent allowed it too much time before.

But you're all right, of course, I love writing so Ill do it and if I get published and become a multi millionaire from it then great!! grin if not then Ive had a very enjoyable hobby

CocktailQueen Fri 05-Aug-16 11:19:06

Hear, hear, Getahaircut.
Great advice.

Chelazla Fri 05-Aug-16 13:58:12

Getahaircut are we allowed to know what name you write under I'm intrigued!!! Also agree great advice!!

GetAHaircutCarl Fri 05-Aug-16 14:36:53

I don't give it out here. Sorry.

I like to be able to post about all sorts of rubbish freely.

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