So this may seem like a strange article to write, since I am a published Author, but the purpose is to show you the cons of writing, so that you can let those dreamy notions go BEFORE you send your work out to be published.
I am by no means discouraging you to write your dream novel. In fact, I wholeheartedly encourage it! But know why you’re doing it, and know the truth that’s out there. If you do it for the wrong reasons you will be sorely disappointed.
- It’s not as glamourous as it seems
Now you might be a reader, scrolling through social media, and you see all these tweets from JK Rowling and Stephen King, and you think that if their lives are glitz and glamour that yours will be too? That’s not necessarily true. Firstly, their careers went through a long process to get where they are, and they are the elect few living that life.
- It can get lonely
Imagine all the hours you spend in your head, just you and the characters you write, in a room all day alone. No colleagues, no lunches with friends. You have deadlines to meet for your publishers, so you have to sacrifice and lock yourself away. If you don’t like your own company, and if you aren’t happy living in your own thoughts for weeks on end, then it might not be the career for you.
- You probably won’t become a millionaire from it
Yes there are millionaire Authors, but think how few they are in comparison to the more than eight million books registered on Amazon. Not every Author will make millions. We all dream of it, but if that’s your only goal for writing, then you need to re-think it. Most Authors sell only a handful of books a month. That handful isn’t even enough for them to quit their day job and write full time. So if it’s not a passion, rather do something that is.
- People aren’t as supportive as you may think
Do you imagine your five hundred friends on Facebook are all going to purchase your book as soon as its release? Well think again, they won’t. Or perhaps your aunts and uncles and closest friends? Nope, not them too! For me I got the least support from the people closest to me. Yes there are those amazing few that fully supported me and still do. But they are about 1% of everyone I know. You will be amazed who won’t support you, for reasons you might never understand. If your book is great however, you have the whole of earth’s population at your fingertips!
- It’s a lot of hard work
The work begins after you are published, and not before. Unless you are published with the top three publishers in the world, you will be doing all your own branding, marketing and events. Its daily work, a daily effort to get your book out there and into people’s hands who will read it. It doesn’t just magically appear on shelf, its work all the way. Be prepared for it.
- Book signings aren’t what they seem
I haven’t personally done a book signing, but I’ve chatted to other Authors who have. Some of them sit there all day with not even one person coming up to them asking for an autograph. Some only have one or two. Those photos you may see on social media can be very misleading, and with that comes feelings of rejection, because it’s your heart and soul on display.
- Not everyone will love you
Yes you will get the trolls and the haters, but the hate can even be closer to home. Some people can be so miserable about your success that they will find every opportunity to dig at your work, your talent and your efforts. You need to have thick skin. Shrug off the nay sayers, and focus on the love and support you get from those priceless people you meet along the way. You will even find one publisher tell you your work is rubbish, and the next tell you that you’re amazing. Just keep applying that thick skin principle wherever needed.
So now that you’ve heard all the bad, get your mind into gear for what is to come, and go ahead and get that masterpiece published! I know you can do it!
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