As a writer, will I ever become famous?

Orwell

One of my all time literary heroes – Eric Blair aka George Orwell  1903 -1950

~~~

Probably not. All that any of us who are serious about what we do can ever hope for is to keep on writing. Most of us are lucky if we make a few pounds/dollars per year. Very few ever achieve fame and fortune. J.K.Rowling immediately springs to mind as an obvious modern day exception to the rule.

Even once you have shuffled off this mortal coil, there are still no guarantees of fame, despite the world’s book shelves being full to overflowing with dust covered books penned by dead writers. But then again back here in the land of the living, so is the list of those who were never read, or are ever likely to be by all accounts, despite the majority of them being gifted writers.

But will anything I write do well? Who knows? It’s all a matter of luck as to whether or not your book sells. Tastes change. One year romance is the most popular genre, the next its the turn of adventure or crime.

Face facts – it helps to be insane if you want to write for a living…

Then there is the thorny issue of being financially rewarded for your work. I’m sorry to burst any potential writer’s bubble here, but the only people who are always guaranteed to benefit from all of your hard work are your agent (if you have one) and your publisher, whether you are alive or dead, especially in these days of the self published ebook and Kindle Edition Normalized Pages Read.

This reality doesn’t just apply to writers. Think about some of the most famous painters the world has ever produced. Did Vincent Van Gogh make it during his lifetime? No! How about Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn, or my absolute favourite in the long list of old masters – Michelangelo Merisi da Carravagio. Like Vincent, did either of them make it in their lifetimes? While its true that they both never went hungry, neither of them grew rich or were considered famous during their lifetimes.

So, whatever you do, don’t be disillusioned by the brutal reality of our calling. Instead, gird your loins, toughen up,  and just keep on writing…

~~~

Has what I’ve just said made you feel depressed? Then hopefully listening to this recording from The Goons will help to cheer you up. Please note, I did say listen!!!  🙂

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57 thoughts on “As a writer, will I ever become famous?

  1. I have decided, I write for myself. It takes all the characters out of my head and puts them safely on paper. I know I will never make it big, but writing lets me go into another world, a world that I control completely (well, until the characters take on a life of their own – then it is out of my hands). I will always have a day job, but that’s okay, because I will always have my writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Considering the magnitude of talent behind that song… it is a bloody good thing they didn’t rely on it to achieve fame and fortune. The lesson I took from that song is, “Do it for fun and for nothing else.” 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on mira prabhu and commented:
    “So, whatever you do, don’t be disillusioned by the brutal reality of our calling. Instead, gird your loins, toughen up, and just keep on writing…” says Jack Eason, as he concludes an interesting post on the possibilities of a modern writer achieving fame….now read on! And thanks, Chris Graham, for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: More on the subject of selling books – Have We Had Help?

  5. Great post, Jack. Its not depressing, it’s a fact, now let’s get on with it. I realised that I never check on books sold, but regularly check for reviews, which I guess means I’m more interested in being read than in earning money. But I do wish readers would not assume that every author is as wealthy as JKROWLINGS, and begrudge us the (low) price of our ebooks. And it would be nice to earn a little something as compensation for our efforts. I’m fed up of indie authors feeling obliged to give away their books for nothing, aren’t you?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Just as the little song suggested, Jack, you have to have a sense of humor. I’ve found that helps. We can take ourselves too seriously. We should take our writing seriously but be able to handle the bumps in life by using a sense of humor to soften the blows. Well done. 😀 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I believe a true artist, author, et.al. is driven by passion, not fame. Van Gogh is a clear example. He lived his entire life as a pauper. Years later, his genious was ‘discovered’ by the work he left behind.

    Liked by 1 person

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