Sunday, February 10, 2013
It's Not Easy
(I stole the pic from Cafepress, but I'm thinking it's okay since I'm basically giving them free advertising for their AWESOME T-shirts, yes??)
Oh. You can buy this one here. ;-)
NOW it's advertising...
And now for a healthy dose of reality from Jolene.
Being a writer is not easy.
I love it.
I don't want to change it.
But it's a lot of hard work.
I can spend two hours on the computer, do no writing, catch up on no blogs, and still not take care of all my small little loose ends - like my inbox that regularly gets up to between 900 and 1000 before I have a panic attack and "fix" it.
At any given moment, in any given day, there are a million other things I could be doing besides writing. Very often, at least a few of those things are urgent. If you really, really, really want to write, you make time.
I joke about my family sacrificing good meals, but when I'm working on a new project, we eat stuff from the bottom of the freezer for a couple of nights, have Mike pick up fast-food a couple of nights...
I do not like eating this way, but sometimes we do.
People ask how I write so fast, and the answer is that I really, truly, honestly think about almost nothing else when I write. I'm probably a very strange person to be around when I'm immersed in a new project. I would have no idea about this, since I'm half inside the story, night and day. I make notes on my phone and grab my laptop in the middle of the night, shut the bathroom door, and write on the floor until I can find my way back to bed.
I actually need to do collabs sometimes b/c when the doc isn't in my hands, I'm on forced break.
It's not easy deciding where to send copies of my book for review. It's not easy spending hours online trying to figure out the best blogs with the right kind of audience.
And I've met some really fun people who review books.
I want to give away paperback books all the time but it costs a LOT of money.
I figure I have to sell about 10-15 ebooks to make a paperback copy worth it, and I don't think that happens often, but I also don't want to be the stingy author.
I LOVE giving stuff away.
It sucks to have people ask for things and to have to say no.
It sucks to have one star reviews when you know for a fact no one has read your book.
It sucks that people I don't know have me on lists like "authors behaving badly" and "will never read"
I have NO idea who these people are, or what on earth I could have possibly done to offend them.
It's not worth feeling bad about, or stressing over, but it does suck. I don't want to be reminded that there are trolls out there. I want people to be full of rainbows and sparkly ponies, unlike my post today.
You get rejection at every stage of the game. Whether you're querying, on sub, or your book has been released. It just changes forms.
Writing the first draft of your book is the easiest part of what you do when you publish. The EASIEST.
Making it good enough to be out in the world and taking care of all the "extra" stuff is where the real work is.
If you're struggling getting your first draft down, you are really going to have to find some determination within yourself because you're still doing the easiest part. (I'm so worried I just destroyed a few people with this comment - you're probably cleaner writers than me - I do type on my phone and bathroom floor)
Formatting? Took me forever to figure out how to do right. But the point is - I worked at it over and over and went to site after site until I figured it out. Again. It's not easy. I researched. And researched. And then researched some more. I researched hard when I was learning to write queries, when I was looking for an agent, when I was learning about publishers, when I was trying to decide if I wanted to self-publish. I made a LOT of mistakes, but that's how we figure things out.
I create people and stories that other people are not going to like. That some people will hate. That some people will be totally "meh" about because that story just didn't hit them in the right way. I'm going to go through all of this work and my book might not do very well.
I can promote my book to death and have it not take off, or almost not promote at all and have it be my best selling book.
When people ask me for advice, all I can do is share my experience. I have NO idea what works and what doesn't work when trying to sell your books.
I know your writing needs to be good.
Your story needs to not only be strong, but stand out and offer something different.
And even then... I've seen more than one book sell gajillions of copies w/ sloppy writing, so that's not even necessary.
I know. This seems like such a downer kind of thing, but I think what I've learned is not to take any bit of the process personally.
Been hit with any realities lately??
Or maybe I should be asking you guys for rainbows and sparkly ponies??
Or links to Ryan Gosling's abs...
Because that always makes a day better ;-)