1. Mordred85
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    Mordred85 Active Member

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    Do you ever worry about your future project's success?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Mordred85, Jun 18, 2015.

    Of course, there's plenty of advice about taking things one step at a time and not worrying about self-publishing before writing your own book. However, that kind of advice temporarily relieves me from the constant brooding. It's like an itch that comes back and I can't get it away until I've scratched it away once more.

    Things I wonder about:
    1. Who the hell is actually going to pick out my book on 'amazon' for example and read it?
    2. How do you establish the discipline and confidence to write and complete an entire book?
    3. How does someone successfully promote their book if they suffer from anxiety and some symptoms of agoraphobia? Facebook and Goodreads? Do they really work or is it just another annoying post in a group for most people?


    Feel free to shed some light on my worries, as well as any worries you may come across before attempting a new project.
     
  2. NiallRoach
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    NiallRoach Contributing Member

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    1) Presumably, whomever you target your book at. Romance fans, if you're writing romance, for example.
    2) The same way you establish the discipline needed for any hobby (or job, if you want to frame it that way). If you're truly interested in it, you'll get there.
    3) If you're [theoretically] trade published, let your [theoretical] publisher worry about that. It's their job to market it, yours is to write it. That all changes if you self-publish, but that's one of the things you should be considering when thinking about whether or not self- or trade publishing suits you best.
     
  3. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    Well ...

    This is why you should write for your own sheer enjoyment, and not particularly for a career move. The only thing you can do is learn, write, learn some more, then continue to write. If something comes of your work then great, but you really shouldn't worry about those things until it comes around.

    As for the anxiety. I've suffered from quite a severe anxiety disorder for the last year of my life, after being quite the extrovert socialite, so it's quite odd for me, and I've thought about similar things that you mentioned. But again, it's something I'm not worrying about at all, because I know that if I did ever get there, it won't be for a long time, and by then I'd have overcome my problems most likely.
     
  4. Mordred85
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    Mordred85 Active Member

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    When it comes to being trade published, there's always the chance that you may not have the kind of material they're looking to publish. Can an agent or trade publisher dissect your work and send you back to re-write chapters etc? That wouldn't work well with me.
     
  5. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    They might dissect your work and ask you to rewrite, but it's much more likely they'll just reject it if it doesn't fit their needs. They don't want to waste a lot of time on someone who can't handle being edited.

    In terms of your first set of questions? There's absolutely no guarantee anyone will ever read your book. There's even LESS of a guarantee they will if you aren't willing/able to listen to feedback from experts.

    So I agree with @The Mad Regent, at least in your case - you should write for your own enjoyment. (I don't really agree with the Regent across the board - I don't think there's anything wrong with some "you"s writing for the market or with an intention to profit. But for this specific "you"? Yeah, you should probably focus on your enjoyment of the process.
     
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  6. Rhys
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    Rhys Member

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    Excluding family, writing is my life. I love it. Without it, I don't know what I'd do.

    I want my work to be successful, of course I do, and I wouldn't mind making some decent money from it either, but really, even if everyone else hated my work, or thought I was a terrible writer, I'd still love my own work, and that's really the key thing.

    Write for yourself; not for anyone else. If success comes, then great. But write because you have a passion for it, and not for success or money, and you won't go far wrong.

    But that's just me.
     
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  7. Tim3232
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    Tim3232 Active Member

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    I don't expect to ever make any money from writing. I don't expect to be published - the odds are way too long. I'm going to enjoy trying because I enjoy writing.
    Do I worry about my project's future success - Nope. I think I will complete more books and I hope they continue to get better but I expect to reach a plateau and that will be well short of getting published. Won't stop me from trying but i won't worry about failing and I certainly won't worry about succeeding!
     
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  8. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    If you browse the net, you will see in a lot of articles that authors say, thinking about money dulls creativity, and they're right.

    The minute you start thinking about what publishers and the general public want, the minute you begin to limit your creative boundaries.

    Write for the enjoyment, and if you're good, something will come of it.
     
  9. NiallRoach
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    NiallRoach Contributing Member

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    They absolutely can, that doesn't mean they will. It doesn't mean you have to do what they tell you, either. If you'd rather let the contract fall through, so be it.
     
  10. NiallRoach
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    NiallRoach Contributing Member

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    As for the titular question, I do think about it. Every short I write is written to be sold, hopefully for decent money.
    My ultimate goal for writing is to be able to, at least, get a little extra money from it. If I just wanted to entertain myself, I'd keep it all in my head like I did for years.
     
  11. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think of it like spilt milk. If you cry over spilt milk. All you got is split milk and tears. These worries are natural but me personally? I don't try and make them go way. I use them. I use the feeling of insecurity to try and push my work to new heights. :)
    Does that make sense?

    For your questions. I plan to contact a publisher. So, I got nothing on 1 and 3.
    For 2 though? My advice is this. Think of it like weight lifting. Writing a 50K or more story about one thing is hard but just like lifting weight is hard(if you lift enough). The more you work at it the easier it gets.

    Does that help?
     
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  12. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    But why is completely unlimited creativity the ultimate goal?

    What would that even look like? How would you distinguish between 'creative' and 'gibberish'?
     
  13. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    Because that's how you create fresh and quality prose that has more of a chance of getting somewhere than throwing another penny into the wishing well.

    If you understand it and think it's unique, it's not gibberish.

    Opinions. ;)
     
  14. Mordred85
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    Mordred85 Active Member

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    That's an optimistic way to look at it, especially if you never really plan on making it some kind of career. You're passionate about it and that's the way it should be. I am passionate about reading and writing, but I would like to earn something and the modern trend of self-publishing is ever-growing. All of this really depends, because I've noticed some decent looking independent publishing houses out there. Then again, some people are very self-interested and just care about making money off of you. It's more of a marriage to me. I don't look at it as just a business or just a hobby. I'd like to make it both and I really don't see anything wrong with wanting to merge them. There are some who are delusional and assume they're going to become rich after writing some e-books. If I thought that, I wouldn't post such a thread. I think I'm being realistic in theoretically questioning success.

    Writing for my enjoyment will work for now, but I would like it to pay off some time in the future. I don't assume that I'll be the next Rowling or the next Amanda Hocking success-story. This is all speculation. I love when my work is edited. There's usually a line I draw that separates editing and drastically transforming your story to their liking. When I posted my little fantasy prose here, I took the best advice here which was from shadowfax and I realized many errors.

    There are also certain times when people are wrong, like "It reads as if you're not being yourself and you're writing like someone else." I think I have the right to refuse that as a valid comment.

    Yes, all this advice is pretty solid. But, I used to write for film and writers are treated even worse in the film industry. There's always people promising and fabricating things to you, regardless of how legit they are or if you've registered your work with the Writer's Guild Of America. Eventually, self-respect lead to contemplating self-publishing for having more control over my work. I'll never forget a precious script I wrote and had produced for me in Los Angeles. I was so excited to see it come to life, but the producer's ending was a disaster. So, it's hard for me to just say "Okay, trade-publisher it is, because I have anxiety." And it's even more difficult so say "Self-publishing is the right path, because people won't be able to control or mess up my work."

    Quite frankly, I'm jaded. It's more complicated for me. I'm 30, not some young amateur who's oblivious of the realities that may lay ahead.

    @BayView
    Question: How long did you write for leisure before considering having your work published? How was that experience for you? Do you have any insecurities when you work on something new or are you just confident and secure?
     
  15. Mordred85
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    Mordred85 Active Member

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    I might just print this out in a really cool font and tape it up next to my bed. I like how you think.
     
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  16. james82
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    james82 Member

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    Do you ever worry about your future project's success?

    ^^^ Going back to the title of your thread my answer is a simple > YES, I do.


    It's more in the sense that I worry if anyone, readers, will see what I see.

    Will they see the characters how I see them? Or will they see them differently?

    Is it, MY STORY, truly good enough and worthy of people's limited time/attention?

    Even though I try not to dwell on it, or dwell on satisfying the reader for that matter,
    from time to time these very questions do pop up during the writing process and
    haunt me, just like they would any writer who plans to take their work a step further
    AFTER... they've written it for themselves, or whether they've intended to write
    for a specific audience from the get-go.

    Will they identify the themes that are there and will they get it as a whole?

    Will they be moved by something that I have written? < Because that's what I want,
    that is what I set out to do, and that's where the success comes from.

    The success for me comes from touching an audience, tapping into an audience that does
    get it, no matter how big, because even if you reach a small amount of readers that buy
    your book and the feedback is positive, than your story is a success.

    You've made somewhat of a dent, maybe not as big as you've envisioned, but something.

    Even if you self-publish your effort you should consider that a success, to even get to that
    point.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2015
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  17. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wrote for about six months before I submitted to a publisher? Maybe a year - I can't really remember. The first full-length thing I wrote was the first thing I got published.

    I don't think I have insecurities, exactly - like, I'm pretty sure whatever I write will sell to somebody. But I'm trying to work with bigger publishers now, trying to start a new, more mainstream pseudonym, and I'm aware that I have to... I don't know. I guess I'm aware that I'm swimming in a bigger pond? And I'm definitely always aware that I want to keep getting better, and staying true to my goals, etc.

    But I also have a good day job that I mostly enjoy and that pays quite well. So I'm not dependent on writing for my daily bread. I can't really imagine how much more intense everything would be if I had to worry about paying my bills with writing instead of socking the money away and hoping to be able to retire early.
     
  18. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Enjoy the journey. Focus on the process. Do your best.

    This is why I do not worry about my project's success.
     
  19. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    What does "getting somewhere" mean?

    I think there are two separate, sometimes competing goals in writing/publishing. One is the artistic goal, which is maybe what you're talking about - trying to create something totally new and original and artistically pleasing to your soul. The other is the commercial goal - trying to create something that will sell easily and well.

    I don't think these goals are mutually exclusive, but I also don't think they're totally complimentary. Like, I don't think the best way to sell your book is to write something totally original. I think it should be a bit original, but if you go too far, I think you lose your audience.

    So if your primary goal is total originality, then, sure, ignore the market and what the publishers want. But if your goal is to get published and sell well? Why would you ignore information that could make achieving your goal more likely?
     
  20. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    It's the difference between giving the publisher what they want or making them want what you have to offer.

    Sure, you can make a living off being a full time author. It'd be quite difficult, but it's perfectly possible if you meet the publishers criteria by giving them what they want.

    My goal isn't anything but to enjoy writing. In time, maybe I'll get good enough to be published, but I don't limit myself to the publishers desires just to get published. I'll write how I want and send it off to a publisher. If they want it, then great. If not, then life goes on, but at least my creativity won't be dictated by others.

    I think John Lennon said something similar about being true to his music. Can't remember exactly what, though.

    ;)
     
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  21. No-Name Slob
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    I just assume that it won't be successful. If it is, then I'll be surprised. :) Lol.
     
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  22. Mordred85
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    Mordred85 Active Member

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    Sounds good to me! lol
     
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  23. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, so you have your goal, other people have different goals. And depending on the goals, the approaches are going to be different. There isn't just one 'best' approach to all this.
     
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  24. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    In many (maybe all) professions, beginners usually start on a project not of their own choosing. If they succeed in that project, they eventually move on to their own things. I would assume this is sort of the same with writing. Make sure you can write a "good" novel. Get noticed. Find an agent. Get fans. THEN do whatever you want. It's not one or the other. It's one, THEN the other.
     
  25. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    If you love writing then write and don't worry about the baggage. Personally I dislike writing, but it's like an itch, i keep going back to it, and making it worse.
     

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