If You Can’t Stand the Heat…

Over the past four years, the number of fellow writers I have had conversations with via social networks numbers in the hundreds. Most are like me, simply happy that other people read our work. But there are a few who delude themselves into thinking that writing equals fame and fortune. The simple fact is that fame and fortune via writing happens to only a chosen few, whether they are in an establishment publisher’s stable, or are independent i.e. self-published, like yours truly.
In the past seventeen years I have written dozens of short stories, hundreds of articles and posted about all kinds of topics over six hundred times on my blog. I have also written four novels. Am I famous and rich? No. Will I ever be? I seriously doubt it.
One thing I do know for sure is that my readership has slowly but surely grown as evidenced by the sales figures for my novels as well as the feedback I get.
By publishing your work you automatically expose yourself to criticism, some good, some not so much. It is fair to say that there is a lot of bitchiness in the world of the written word, as evidenced by recent articles on the internet too numerous to mention here. While certain people within the publishing industry snipe at one another, no matter whether they are in the traditional or indie camps, the fact remains that we all have one thing in common – our love of the written word.
To survive you need to develop a thick hide and refrain from entering into the many bitch sessions, no matter how incensed you may feel.
Do you still want to write? Then in that case go ahead, but know that you are entering a world of jealousy, both professional and private, envy, intolerance and even hatred. Will your work be taken up by an agent – probably not? Will a publisher have the time or indeed the inclination to want to read your book’s synopsis? Again – probably not. Why – because most establishment publishers are highly selective due to financial constraints and their own publishing targets. After all, they are running a business which needs to show a profit if it is to survive.
One thing is certain; the world of literature is a tough one with no room for the faint hearted. Enter at your peril.

 

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12 thoughts on “If You Can’t Stand the Heat…

  1. I think a lot of the nastiness is coming from 'one book' authors who discover quite quickly that publishing a book isn't followed by instant success. Then when they see a little success around them, their response is jealousy and spite. I'm guessing a bit, but I would think that perhaps only one in about every five hundred books that are self published achieve a reasonable level of sales and success.That leaves 499 disappointed authors. Of these though, experienced authors know that the response is to get to work and write a better book. But some newcomers don't understand that part about being a writer.

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  2. I quite agree Derek. However, there are some extremely bitter individuals within the publishing establishment also. No matter which side of the fence you sit on, there is no guarantee of success. 🙂

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  3. I purposely stay away from the drama. I hate drama llamas. But, I've also a good reason in fighting clinical depression. It's been easy for me to sink into a persistent pity-party about my books not selling well, but now that I'm seeking treatment, I'm back to writing again to hopefully churn out an even better book and keep working on my skills. It's a little easier to be realistic and stick to your goals when you don't have a depression cloud fogging up your mind every day 🙂

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  4. We as the writers of the stories can only do that – write them. We are then at the mercy of the reading public Mysti. Either they love, loath or are indifferent about our books.

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  5. The author Michael Jecks tried several times to deposit his comment. As usual Blogger was playing up. Here is his comment in its entirety:Michael Jecks A good piece. I responded with: I just typed a lengthy comment and it disappeared. Here goes again! I agree with Derek. In the old days there were the respectable gatekeepers at the doors of the editors, and only 1% of manuscripts would get past to finally end up in print. The rest received a look through and polite letter of rejection. Now, the members of the 99% tend to assume that there can be nothing wrong with their prose and condemn publishers as being unable to find their backsides with both hands. They all have the sense of the poor editor who rejected JK Rowling, and should be fired. So now all the 99% appear on the internet. Some are good. I have my own books up there. But too many are sloppy, badly written, and really need, badly, the help of an editor and copyeditor. The sad thing is, so many hopefuls are being put off by few sales and thinking that there's no point writing any more, when they could have made it as moderately successful mid-listers in the past. But the bitchiness is irritating. I have had my fair share of that in the past. Hopefully I'll be lucky enough to make a few bob and get a load more jealousy in future! Your blog wouldn't take it, sadly, so I've put it on my author page with the link. M

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  6. Jack,I saw your comments on Duncan's Blog about the artwork for The Ouroh Trilogy. You seemed interesting so I clicked on your name. This article is directly to the point. We write because we love the words and the worlds they create. The pursuit of fame and fortune is foolish and the love of words, paramount. I am a bit reclusive and feel that either would only interrupt the pursuit of my passion. From one oldman to another, I salute you!The price of wisdom is time, the wisdom of joy is a rhyme, and unto the end that is mine – I dance with the words.Oldman

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