1. TeamPaul
    Offline

    TeamPaul Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2015
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Kent, England

    Fear of 'never making it'

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by TeamPaul, Oct 28, 2015.

    This is a subject I've been waiting for a while to ask about.

    I've always had a fear that I'll have what I believe to be a very good project, that is ready to be sold/published, but noone is interested and I'll gain a bad reputation within the writing industry.

    How do you overcome a fear like this?

    Thoughts?
     
  2. BayView
    Offline

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,671
    Likes Received:
    5,163
    Well, if no one is interested you'll have NO reputation in the writing industry. I don't know if that makes things any better for you, but I think it's true.

    So, there's really nothing to lose by trying to sell your work. If it doesn't sell, that'll be disappointing, for sure, but you won't have done yourself any serious harm.

    (If you're self-publishing you may want to consider a pseudonym, so that if this book tanks you'll be able to walk away completely. But if you're seeking a publisher and just don't get one? No harm, no foul. You can try again, and no one will hold the previous attempt against you.)
     
  3. Imaginarily
    Offline

    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    891
    Likes Received:
    598
    Whenever you're worried that no one will take your premise, just remember that 50 Shades of Grey happened.

    Twice.

    If whatever you publish earns you a worse reputation than 50 has, well, I'd be damn proud of it. Seriously, screwing up that bad should be some sort of life achievement award.
     
    TeamPaul likes this.
  4. Selbbin
    Offline

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Messages:
    3,251
    Likes Received:
    1,814
    Location:
    Australia
    For me the important thing is to limit the expectations to begin with. Understanding the reality that 'making it' is unlikely at best, I can write without the ogre of commercial or industry success threatening my every move. Instead my fears are encouraged by not meeting my own expectations, which are probably set higher than they need to be, but satisfaction is my target.
     
    Imaginarily likes this.
  5. BrianIff
    Offline

    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,294
    Likes Received:
    433
    Location:
    Canada
    For me, it'd be more fear that something I invested in and fell flat was my hope to do something significant -- which I'm running out of options for, by the way. In a sense, without resilience, hope would die, and despite thinking that I have something to offer, for adding to lives of at least a handful, I'd be frustrated, possibly despondent. As BayView said, there's ways to keep amateur work from following you, but if you're like me, it's the thought that you dreamt and even with realistic self-appraisal believed that something could happen, but didn't. If you dream of only praise, though, that's another can of worms.
     
    TeamPaul and Imaginarily like this.
  6. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,223
    Likes Received:
    4,228
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    You fool! What have you done!? Now someone somewhere will try to write a book worse than 50 Shades of Grey!!!

    But seriously, you are correct. There's really nothing any of us here can write that would actually make that book look good by comparison. And if we did, well...the only way to go from there is up. :D
     
    TeamPaul and Imaginarily like this.
  7. TeamPaul
    Offline

    TeamPaul Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2015
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Kent, England
    Since I've been on this board, I think I've learned alot so far, in such a short time. I always accepted that I wouldn't be successful for a long time, but I think how everyone tells me that they don't focus on 'making it', but focus on personal goals has really opened my eyes.

    @Imaginarily - That was hilarious. +1
     
    Imaginarily likes this.
  8. Selbbin
    Offline

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Messages:
    3,251
    Likes Received:
    1,814
    Location:
    Australia
    People win the lotto, too. That doesn't make it a sound financial investment.
     
  9. Imaginarily
    Offline

    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    891
    Likes Received:
    598
    Ah, Christ.

    *nukes the internet*

    That oughta fix it. Sorry guys!

    :brb:
     
    Link the Writer likes this.
  10. Chinspinner
    Offline

    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,918
    Likes Received:
    1,020
    Location:
    London, now Auckland
    I know that being able to write for a living is vanishingly unlikely; or at least to write what I want to write for a living. Even if by some stroke of luck I were to get published, I would probably earn considerably less than my day job.

    So I treat it as a hobby.
     
  11. TeamPaul
    Offline

    TeamPaul Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2015
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Kent, England
    It seems a lot of writers have the same veiws, that you can't make a good living out of writing - so, my question would be: how do some people do it? Of course there are very successful movies out there, TV Series alike, but how do some of them end up earning big figures? As I said before, I'm not driven by money, I'm just curious.

    Is it just the fact they they have lots of connections?
     
  12. Imaginarily
    Offline

    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    891
    Likes Received:
    598
    TeamPaul likes this.
  13. Chinspinner
    Offline

    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,918
    Likes Received:
    1,020
    Location:
    London, now Auckland
    Connections, luck, perseverance, talent, a mixture of them all. The sad fact is that everyone wants a fun job, but there aren't many to go around. And sadly once something becomes a job the fun wears of somewhat. Hearing an alarm clock always puts a crimp on my day.
     
  14. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,223
    Likes Received:
    4,228
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    I have heard the old advice of never turning your passion into a living...unless you really want it to be that way.
     
    Imaginarily likes this.
  15. Imaginarily
    Offline

    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    891
    Likes Received:
    598
    My buddy Erik (the one who serves as a rubber ducky whenever I get a great idea) warns against this too. He says it's one of the dumbest trends in our society to encourage people to try to make a living on their wild and fanciful dreams -- it fosters way too much disappointment and failure.

    Instead, he promotes the idea of making a living on something you're objectively good at (like, I don't know, fixing cars), and keep your hobbies just that: hobbies.

    That way you can have a steady job AND enjoy your free time! :bigeek:
     
    nhope likes this.
  16. BayView
    Offline

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,671
    Likes Received:
    5,163
    You can also adapt your expectations about what it means to be a writer. There are lots of people making a living from words, but most of them aren't fiction writers. And of the fiction writers making a living, a lot of them aren't necessarily writing great artistic explorations, but are instead focused on producing what sells.

    I make enough from fiction that if it were my only source of income I'd be well above the poverty line, so I guess that kind of means I could make a living at it. (I just want to live at a higher standard!) But I know quite a few people who are making well into the six figures from writing, and they're generally doing it by being productive in a genre they know sells. Most of the pro writers I know write romance, which is a voracious market, and they have significant backlists. But they got those backlists by writing their asses off. A lot of romance authors publish four or more novels a year, plus shorts and novellas and lots of blog posts and other promo stuff. They have newsletters and publicists and most importantly, they write what they know will sell rather than exactly what they want to write.

    They treat writing like a job, and they get paid as if it were a job. Because it IS a job, for them.

    You still need talent, sure. And if you're producing four or more books a year, it has to be a certain kind of talent for a certain kind of writing.

    But I don't think connections and luck are all that important, and I think talent isn't going to do much good without the right (for this purpose) attitude.

    There's nothing wrong with writing for pure pleasure and artistic expression. But it's not an approach that will likely allow you to make a living from the craft.
     
  17. Tenderiser
    Offline

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,293
    Likes Received:
    5,164
    Location:
    London, UK
    This is my approach. I already make a living from writing, albeit non-fiction and I don't get to choose the subject, so anything I make from fiction is a bonus. I do it because I want to write, not because I want to get published or because I want to make money. Of course, I'll be happy if either or both of those things happen. ;) If my main goal was publishing/making money I would have written a different book in the way @BayView describes. As it is, I hope my book is commercial but if it isn't, meh. It won't stop me writing another.
     
    Chinspinner and Imaginarily like this.
  18. TeamPaul
    Offline

    TeamPaul Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2015
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Kent, England
    I'm really enjoying the responses I'm getting here.

    I've never been Involved in a community that actually ares about writing, I think it makes me appreciate what I'm doing more.
     
    Tenderiser and Imaginarily like this.
  19. nhope
    Offline

    nhope Contributing Member Reviewer

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    61
    Location:
    NH Seacoast
    You don't. You just keep going.

    Are you afraid you'll fail school? A relationship? A marriage? A family? A pet? A plant? A race? A garden? A game? A cake? Does it stop you from trying? Some things you'll excel at, some things you'll suck at, and the rest will fall in the middle. And you get up, brush yourself off and keep moving forward. What else can you do?
     
    xanadu and Link the Writer like this.
  20. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,223
    Likes Received:
    4,228
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    If there's anything that video games have taught me, it's this: the game's not gonna get finished if I just give up because a part of it its too hard for me.
     
    Shadowfax likes this.
  21. pyroglyphian
    Offline

    pyroglyphian Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2015
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    42
    I would stop thinking about failure and put that mental energy towards developing good material instead. Just write for yourself. If it pleases you it'll probably please others.

    Yes, I could really do with a chocolate milkshake right now, and also I suggest that 'making it' is a term to be eschewed. It reeks of what I have come to refer to as lottery syndrome. As if there's some pivotal point, some line that one crosses, at which time he can feel secure in the knowledge that he has officially 'made it'. That might happen for some, however most people just have to keep on keeping on. Cruelly enough, suffering from lottery syndrome impedes a lot of people from realising their full potential; too busy waiting for fate to deal them a favourable hand.
     
  22. nhope
    Offline

    nhope Contributing Member Reviewer

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    61
    Location:
    NH Seacoast
    And it also teaches you about strategy and discipline, and perseverance and courage. Gaming is black and white - someone will win and someone will lose. It then gives you a choice - fight to the end or retreat. Most people fight to the end and even when they lose, or die, at least they feel good about doing their best. And that is what gives you the strength to keep moving forward, to beat the next level, to play the next game. Pretty much what life is.
     
    Imaginarily likes this.
  23. Shadowfax
    Offline

    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,529
    Likes Received:
    1,356
    There are tens of thousands of kids out there who dream of being a professional footballer, making millions. If you take the entire English league, all four divisions, that's 92 teams, each with a squad of around 20 players, that's fewer than 2,000 - and probably half of those are from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Ivory Coast.... So, the chances of "making it" as a footballer are slim. And that's for something that the public cares about.
     
    Imaginarily likes this.
  24. John Franklin Dandridge
    Offline

    John Franklin Dandridge Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Chicago, Earth
    The difference with sports though, all you have to do to make it is be the best. If you win at sports, possess athletic prowess, you will get noticed and make it.
     
  25. Doctore
    Offline

    Doctore Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    34
    I understand this feeling deeply, and to start I wish you all the best of luck in the world. For me, in my short attempts to write anything thus far, I have done what I like to call experiments, or tests. After doing these and putting my writing out for others to read, I'm honestly not impressed with my work. It seems that my stories are never the type that people enjoy reading lol And, I work a full time job, and it is the type of job where it takes up most of my time. So with all that in mind, it's very unlikely that I will become a serious author. BUT, I don't do it for that reason, I do it because I love to write. I love creating stories and I really can't seem to stop myself! I don't have to look for inspiration, it comes to me all the time and from all directions. I love to write, I love everything about it and it's the perfect cure! So my advice to you, my fellow doubter, is not to worry so much about the destination and enjoy the journey.
     
    BayView and Imaginarily like this.

Share This Page