Show me the money!
What money? Some writers write for years and years before they see any income from their efforts. What today’s market helps writers avoid are years of rejections, and the time-suck cycle of submitting and resubmitting your manuscript to different publishers, and waiting months to hear back from them.
But if you keep going back to something you love, even when there’s little or no gain, then you’ve found a passion. If you have a passion in life, consider yourself lucky. And if someone tells you what you love to do is a waste of time because you’re not making any money, you tell that person to shut their pie hole.
You wouldn’t stop your honey or spouse from going to the park and shooting hoops with his friends, would you, if there was no guarantee he would get drafted in the NBA? You wouldn’t stop your girlfriend from taking art classes because her work may never wind up in an art gallery, would you?
Some things are creative outlets, not meant to make any money. It doesn’t mean you can’t stop trying because you never know in this business, and the good thing about being Indie is that you or I can choose to walk away from it all, and come back to it later if we wish. Because I have several books I’d like to release in the next two or three years, I’m going to keep doing what I love to do: write.
If you’re submitting to traditional/royalty paying publishers, rejections are not a bad thing if a writer can shut down their ego long enough to learn from them. Learn and listen to any crumb of advice an editor takes the time to share with you. I was lucky enough to have been rejected by one of the biggest, as well as being invited to submit more of my work to them. By then I was dead set on going Indie, and it was one of the best moves I’ve ever made as a writer. I also have the benefit of being contracted by two publishers, one for my erotic romances, and another for my audiobook and its distribution.
Negativity from friends/family, harsh criticisms, trolly folk, bad reviews:
If you’re reaching a broad audience, you’re bound to get a broad reaction. Yet, there’s never been a better time to reach a wide audience. If I threw in the towel because not everyone liked my stories, I would have given up this business after my first book, Boss With Benefits, an erotic comedy which became a #1 Bestselling Erotic audiobook on Audible.
If I had given up, I would never have known how it felt like to achieve. There is a dark side, too, the ugliest of dangers lurking anytime you establish a presence, so I can’t stress enough: Be careful, be careful! Some people want to gain your trust online, and have ulterior motives, so if you’re out there establishing yourself as a writer, please don’t fall prey to snake-oil salespeople, sweet-talkers and charmers.
There are so-called publishing houses out there that make promises they can’t keep. Sure you’d like to hand over your manuscript and let a company handle it all for you, but they rarely do to your satisfaction, and you’ll still be expected to promote and market your own work, not leave that up to the little people because guess what? You ARE the little people.
So, if you’re going to Indie publish, study your craft. Read books in the genre you’re writing in, and read hundreds of them. Figure out your voice. Pay an editor to clean up your junk, but know that it’s all still going to fall on you to sign off on the finished work.
If you love what you do, and can stand not making any money doing what you love to do for the first decade of slaving over a keyboard, you might just be okay. Have fun and happy writing!