Anti-Asshat Indie Authors discussion

Writing > Should I stay or should I go?

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message 1: by Rick (new)

Rick Gualtieri (rickgualtieri) Figured this might be an interesting discussion point.

At what point will you either decide to keep at it as a professional writer or decide to move on?

This can be a stressful business. So what is your tipping point? Is it money, reviews, trying to get published by the big six, etc?

message 2: by Armada (new)

Armada Volya | 130 comments I'm too stubborn to go. Money flow increases with every new book, so if I'm not making enough it just means I have to write more. Negative reviews mean imperfect writing and need of experience, so I have to write more and the big six (or is it 5 now?) I don't really care much about.

message 3: by Rick (last edited Jun 04, 2013 12:10PM) (new)

Rick Gualtieri (rickgualtieri) For me the original question was simple. "Am I good enough?"

Forget the lip-service that friends or family say, I wanted to know whether my writing was good enough for a wider audience, or if they would slap me on the back, say "nice try, sport!" and send me back to the minors with my tail between my legs.

Mind you, there would've been no shame in that. At least I would have known I had tried and could thus move on with my life with one less question to pester my existence with.

The truth is, I don't think I'll ever know 100% for certain the answer to that question. I will say, though, the results so far have made me hopeful. :)

message 4: by Kerry Kerr (new)

Kerry Kerr (bkmcavoy) Rick wrote: "For me the original question was simple. "Am I good enough?"

Forget the lip-service that friends or family say, I wanted to know whether my writing was good enough for a wider audience, or if they..."

I just checked out your profile, Rick. You have a pretty impressive list of published books. And, they all have a lot of reviews! If you don't mind me acting like the shrink, what has prompted this question?

message 5: by Rick (new)

Rick Gualtieri (rickgualtieri) Hey Kerry. I actually do find it to be an interesting question. Over on some other boards I frequent, I've seen a few authors throw in the towel for a variety of reasons.

I also think that since this whole industry is in flux, there will be a lot more like them in the coming days for whatever reason (cost, pressure, etc). Figured it would make an interesting discussion and get people to think about what their line in the sand is.

message 6: by Kerry Kerr (new)

Kerry Kerr (bkmcavoy) Very interesting question and explanation. I almost threw in the towel. Self-publishing a few years ago felt like a huge mountain to climb without the help that is currently so available online. I took a few years "off" and hung out in places like GR. A fellow author inspired me to get back to work.

It is going better now, although I am very far from being able to quit my day job. I think the time off made me reevaluate my motives and goals. Now, I am in it for the joy of the process rather than getting rich (what a joke!). I also love meeting fellow authors and the wonderful readers.

How about yourself? Where is your line?

message 7: by Rick (new)

Rick Gualtieri (rickgualtieri) I have two lines actually.

The first harkens back to my "am I good enough?" question - if reviews and feedback indicate that no, I'm not. That was my plan all along. Give it a few years and if that was the general consensus then bow out with grace and dignity.

My second line deals with where I see this in my life: career or hobby. I'm giving myself 3 yrs on this one. Where will I be then? Will I continue to grow or will I plateau? That's the point where I want to be able to decide that either this is me full time or if this is just me writing stories in my spare time.

message 8: by Kerry Kerr (new)

Kerry Kerr (bkmcavoy) Both are great indicators. Your question does require careful introspection regarding one's motives.

Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell (neniacampbell) | 177 comments Mod
I like having control over when and where I publish. I also like being able to interact with my fans and readers individually. On the other hand, if I were contacted by a publishing agency I probably wouldn't say no. I'd love to be able to travel and do book-signings and give talks at panels - and, of course, it would be nice to have a steady paycheck with benefits.

At this point, I'm just kind of chill about the whole thing because if I think about it too much it stresses me out. I am considering going back to school and getting an MFA though, so I will be saving my indie author paychecks for that. (:

message 10: by Kerry Kerr (new)

Kerry Kerr (bkmcavoy) MFA?

Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell (neniacampbell) | 177 comments Mod
Kerry wrote: "MFA?"

Master of Fine Arts.

message 12: by Kerry Kerr (new)

Kerry Kerr (bkmcavoy) Oh, thanks!

message 13: by Elly (last edited Jun 04, 2013 10:16PM) (new)

Elly Helcl (ellymae) | 118 comments Mod
Rick, you are one of the few who rocketed to being a successful author with seemingly no effort (yes, I know it took A LOT of effort...but you made it and most of us never will).

I say, you keep right on writing...I can't even imagine how you would stop. I would go crazy if I tried!

ETA...geez...this isn't meant as mean as it sounds. I just mean that you are wildly successful and it sounds like it is only getting better...Keep doing whatever it is that you are doing...

message 14: by Rick (last edited Jun 05, 2013 05:09AM) (new)

Rick Gualtieri (rickgualtieri) Elly wrote: "Rick, you are one of the few who rocketed to being a successful author with seemingly no effort (yes, I know it took A LOT of effort...but you made it and most of us never will).

I say, you keep r..."

Thanks, Elly! Don't worry, I'm not planning on going anywhere at the moment. :)

Seriously, though, I find this a fascinating topic because I firmly believe we're in the middle of a boom, not entirely dissimilar to the Internet boom of the 90's or the more recent housing boom.

The thing is, with every boom comes a bust. When the dust settles from that bust I have no doubt there will be many who pack it up and go home.

A lot of them will be the gold diggers that every boom brings out of the woodwork, the folks who are there only to try and make a quick buck. Probably not much loss there.

The rest will be people who genuinely made a go at it, but it didn't work out for any of a variety of reasons.

Just off the top of my head some of those reasons might be:

- Too much pressure in this industry
- Discovered the costs of doing business were just too high
- Got bad advice which led them down the wrong path
- They discovered they just weren't as good as they thought
- Were good, but were so niche as to get lost in the slushpile and don't have the patience to wait it out
- et cetera

Christopher-Michael Snyder (christophermichaelsnyer) | 13 comments I firmly believe that the main reason for doing it is because of the love of the art/craft. The love of coming up with an intriguing story and then creating characters who actually live again with every person that reads them.

With my first novel I felt that it was a story that deserved to be told with characters who have lives that should be lived. I am under no delusions that everyone is going to love what I've written. But I just know that SOME people will enjoy my work and be entertained by it and I hope that over time those people will actually learn that my work exists and therefore be able to enjoy it.

But I cannot imagine myself putting in the time and effort required to write a full novel based solely on the fact that JUST MAYBE I will make ridiculous amounts of money from it. I simply love doing it. And I believe that when people DO read works that I've written that they will enjoy it more because they will feel my joy in writing it when they read it.

Certainly there are things to consider such as the availability of time and exactly what priorities you have in your personal life. But I feel that if one loves the actual process of creating and writing a novel then you should fit it in where you can. And see what happens with the final result. Being a realist, I am aware that there is very, very little chance that I would be successful enough in this pursuit that I could give up a 'day job' and therefore have to earn enough from writing to live. But that's one thing I am enjoying about the self-publishing route I've taken. I can take as much time as I need to write. I don't have to put my entire life on hold to finish my next 'masterpiece'. It allows me to do something that I hold very dear, make it available for others that might be interested in what I've created and use potential feedback as extra motivation to do what needs to be done.

In summation: if it gets to the point where it is no longer fun then change things up a bit to try to make it fun again. And if it is never fun again then there is probably something more enjoyable you could do with your time.

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