Thursday, February 9, 2012

Conversation started, jump right in.

Used to be everyone wanted to be a writer because it carried with it a certain cache, a certain mystique, and it was just dang good info to start conversations at a party. Today, everyone not only wants to be a writer, but they want to be published, and heavens above, make MONEY at it. Well, what a novel idea! Wish I had known about that before I set the course and was already six books in the hole, because my idea was to find homes for my babies, and if I got some pocket change along the way, well, that was just dandy. I never thought I would and I certainly didn't plan my award party in advance.

To date, I haven't disappointed myself with too high expectations and I am certainly not crowing over the pittance I have made. It wasn't for the money, or fame. I thought it was more important to tell a good story, write an interesting book, and share them. I just wanted readers. And those, I think I managed to acquire.

So what do writers today want, expect, and need from the powers that be in charge of making their digital files into a tangible piece of something?

Fame! Fortune! and to get on an afternoon talk show (cannot say Oprah anymore as she is no longer in business, but you get the idea).


And what are they turning out in the land of books? Well, I have read two lately that made me reassess everything fiction. I really think the non-fic peeps are pulling ahead right here at the finish line for me. I am reading a book on ways to be happy, and one that talks all about parents who text. Good info, and funny as all get out.

Wonder if either of those authors have made it on a tv show yet?


Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Funny, Kim, I was just thinking about this today. I've always harbored the hope that some day... SOME day...I would be able to live off the proceeds of my novels. With 14 in the can and another in the works, I still hope. But the reason I started this whole thing was the same as you - I had to write, the stories had to get out of my head, and I wanted to share them with humanity. That part has happened and I'll always keep writing, whether or not the day job is still required. ;o)

Thanks for a great post today!

Marta Stephens said...

Ah, Kim. Great question.

I've come to the conclusion that chase is far more exciting than the eventual capture. Translation, I’d rather write than worry about all the stressful stuff that happens after you type, “The End.”

After several years of marketing, promoting, and trying to sell my novels, it's clear to me that the very best part of the entire process is the writing. I love trying to come up with the perfect "what if" and then working the puzzle. And nothing is more exhilarating than to see all the pieces fall into place. That's what pumps me up and keeps me going.

So … I’m perfectly okay with the idea that l may never make a living from my writing and, walking away from that stress factor frees my mind to write the story that’s itching to get onto the page not the story someone is looking for to improve their bottom line.

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Well said, Marta!

Dorothy James said...

Thanks for the post, Kim, just picked it up on Facebook, thanks Aaron! I've been thinking about money and writing lately from a different angle. I've been writing on my blog about writers who write "literary novels" and also crime fiction, sometimes under a different name. As soon as someone says, well, they write detective stories to make money, this somehow devalues the crime fiction -- and yet, literary novels that bring in prizes and are highly praised in the press also bring in money. I personally never expect to make money from my writing because I am nowhere near the best-selling level, and my academic writing never brought in a penny. But writing for money does not seem to be a dishonorable trade. Well, can't go into the whole argument here -- but there's lots to say! Thanks for the conversation!