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.