Sunday, December 4, 2011

How does writing for a living impact the writer?

I don't think we can generalize but for me I’d have to say it’s been a negative impact. Too many distractions on the internet and too much or too little time spent self-promoting. Either we don’t sell books or we make those around us crazy with spam. Balance can be difficult to achieve. Setting aside time for writing, time for promotion, and time for self and family seems impossible. Often times when we feel we are pulled in too many directions, we simply shut down, that’s what I seem to do.

I recently blocked an author on Facebook because day in and day out my wall was filled with her novels; I counted 8 in a row. She is very successful and prolific, but enough is enough.

I’ve always been self-employed and learned the balance between work and marketing, but the book world is a whole other story. In a new way we post virtual ads in the paper and hang up signs in our grocery stores and then we wait! It reminds me of fishing, we pour or heart and soul into our work, then throw it out there to see what bites and sometimes the reader bites back…ouch.

I think for me I’ve always written because it’s what I love to do, but over the last year I lost that love when it became a job, a goal and an ambition to achieve success.  I have always had a pencil in my hand, writing is something that I do for myself, but my world changed the day I went indie and decided to make it a career. I haven’t decided if I have lost more than I gained. Instead of being about words and emotions, it becomes about number and rankings and dollar signs. The publishing world is something like Nascar for writers. We spend our time jockeying for position and the power it brings us. I see people proudly boast their current Amazon rankings. Hey, I hit #13 for a while last year, too. No, I don’t know what is with the sports analogies

My 2012 resolution will be less time on the net and more time writing, no one will notice because I have achieved the long sought after invisibility, growing up in my house that was a good thing.
 I struggle with my health, so the added stress isn’t what I need. Being unable to work in the ‘real’ world anymore this seemed like a good idea at the time. I’m considering turning my work over to a small press so I can have some peace of mind, but will I miss the complete control? I’m not sure a small press can make enough of a difference, so I keep putting off my decision. Book trailers and blog tours and endless self-promotion will never go away, so…

I’ve seen the Eisler vs Hocking debate and I see the validity in both sides. If I had the fan base of either one, I wouldn’t be sitting here, I’d be writing in FIJI!! The money is great in self-publishing but at what cost to the writer? For many, there will little impact, but others will drown in the chaos.

2012 will be about balance and letting go to some degree. I hope to see a 2013 so I can be #1. ;-)
Take care


  1. Well I recently started and almost drowned in the first two months. I decided to quit looking and just put everything out there. Since I am new, sales are at zero lol, but yeah twitter, FB tra lala is draining so I figure throw it into the wind and do not count on it as a career. I think I used to write more when I did not obsess about publishing. So back to writing for writing and publishing for publishing. No stress... I agree 2012 should bear some balance, but it is all a learning process anyways. Thanks Jodi for sharing btw;) wish you the best for 2012.

  2. I think success is a matter of being prolific. So put your head down and write!
    I just started The Thinking Man, it's humor based in fact!
    Best of luck in 2012!!