Being Successful as a Writer

Being A Successful Writer

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I lost my way for a short time. I got involved in the social media thing … you know the Facebook novel promotions and that sort of thing that ‘people in the business’ say is what you need to do. Quite frankly, I think ‘people in the business’ are full of shit. They want you to think they know what they are talking about. But if they are so good at telling you how to sell books, how come they aren’t selling their own? Why are they writing articles on “HOW TO DO IT.”? How come there are so many authors turned into publishers? I don’t really think a good publisher can also be a good author and vice-versa. Just my opinion. Personally, I think when that is done, someone is looking for a way to make more money because they suck at being an author or they suck at being a publisher… they can’t be good at both. It’s not a job you can multi-task well.  They’re in it for the wrong reasons.

Those book promo sites on Facebook are people doing the same thing. Sell the book. It might get one or two sales, but that’s not the place you want to put your time and effort into promoting and selling your books. I thought I had to do what everyone else was doing because “they said” that’s what you have to do to be successful. I can tell you right now, I’ve been doing this writing thing for a lot of years. If you ask me if I think I’m successful at it, my answer would be, “Yes, I’m very successful at it. I’ve written millions.”

Does that mean I’m successful at making money at writing my millions? Well, not exactly. That’s a whole new nonfiction novel — which I don’t do. You see, the way I figure it, there is success in writing and there is success in making money. So far as I can tell, the two don’t really go together, unless, of course, you are Stephen King. I like to tell people I’m not in it for the money. But that’s kind of a lie because who doesn’t want to make money? It would be a sweet gig if I could make a lot of money doing what I love to do. Right now that doesn’t seem to be the case, but I’m too old to find a new hobby as so many people like to refer to my addiction that I have with writing.

Seriously though, I’m in it because … well if I don’t write I get really moody and sometimes I need to do it to vent. It’s almost like an addiction to, say, cigarettes. I can use that as an example because I quit that habit – in fact next month will make eight years. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’ve slipped up quite a few times since then and had me a clove cigar every now and again. I will probably continue to slip up every once in a while, but I don’t have that nagging desire to go have a smoke every hour or so like I did for 22 years. Now writing, that nagging desire is there even in my sleep. I do some of my best writing in my sleep. I don’t think I could ever give it up. I’ve tried, but it just keeps coming back to haunt me. I have to get those ideas and thoughts down.

So I have published a few books and am working on a new novel and a holiday cookbook. I’m also looking for new innovative ways to promote my writing. That’s the hard part of the business. In a few days I’ll see that some of the followers on social media will suddenly be doing the same thing with a holiday cookbook or something to that effect. If you are good at what you do, people are going to try to duplicate you. The way to find out if you’re successful is when you look around and see others copying what you do … this means they are watching you. This means you are good at doing what you do. It’s like that saying on the Mike’s Hard Lemonade label, “If you’re gonna be original you can count on being copied.”

Not that I’m original, there is nothing new under the sun. I just look for innovative ways to make old shit look like new shit. When people copy you, accept it as a compliment and move on to the next task at hand. People can write about the same topic as you, but they can’t write like you. You are an original writer and no one can take that away from you. Do what you do and don’t worry about anything else. If you were meant to be successful at making money, you will make lots of money. If you were meant to be successful at writing, you will write a lot. If you were meant to be successful at making lots of money from writing, well you have one hell of a talent!

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One thought on “Being Successful as a Writer

  1. This is insightful and inspiring. And as a word of encouragement to authors and writers and poets, it’s the society, not you. In other countries, authors are highly respected. Art is artful and encouraged and beautiful, and people see it that way and understand that it’s difficult and time-consuming and self-consuming. So until you “hit it big,” stay calm and focused on your writing rather than your income from it. Write yourself with love and people will notice eventually.

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