To me, Writing at its core is a very personal and individualistic endeavor. We can join writing groups, network with others who share our interests, and increase our knowledge through interactions with the online “Community”.
However, if we are to be completely honest with ourselves (and we have to because we can kid others but not ourselves), we have to occasionally question our reasons for writing and publishing.
Why do we do it?
There are several negative aspects to pursuing a writing career. The pay isn’t that great (unless you’re Stephen King or James Patterson), the work often involves long hours in solitude staring at your writing medium of choice, tons of competition, the potential evaporation of anything resembling a social life and let’s not forget that wonderful riddle-wrapped-in-a-candy-coated-enigmatic known as Writer’s Block. Sounds pretty depressing when you look it from that perspective, huh?
Well, before you start throwing towels and raging about how negative I am, let’s discuss the positive aspects of pursuing a writing career. First off, there is a tremendous satisfaction potential for taking an idea from inside your head and turning it into an entertaining story. I find that aspect to be particularly pleasurable. Yes, a living can be made from Writing and I believe that if you really kick it into High Gear, you can make it happen so long as you keep things in perspective and leave the Ego in the Box. Oh, and have something to say, ignore the competition out there, having a social life is overrated and Writer’s Block can be bested through planning.
The Title of this article is Creating a Body of Work and that’s what I have been leading up to here. Many people out there try to hang their hats on each book they put out because Society has spread this fairy tale of The One-Hit Wonder who makes a million bucks before retiring to Never-Never Land to go fishing with Captain Hook and The Lost Boys. The Reality of the situation is far less glamorous with many new writers making far less on each sale and borrow than they expected and holding on to day jobs with two hands. That doesn’t mean you stop creating. Each book you finish means another to start. Over time, those two books become four and so on and so on until you have at last created a body of work that truly represents your talents and abilities.
Now, if you will excuse me, I’m off to see if Expedia books to Never-Never Land. 😉