1. ObsidianVale
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    ObsidianVale Member

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    Need Advice at the Crossroads

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by ObsidianVale, Sep 24, 2010.

    im not really sure where my topic would fit in but this seemed like the most appropriate place to ask for help.

    Ok so this post isn't so much about my writing but the cross roads in life i've come to which my writing just happens to be apart of. You see all my life i've known that i've wanted to be a writer but i also knew that i would most likely not make enough money to live on with just writing. So about half a year ago i did some research and decided that massage therapy would be a great job! Mostly becuase it wasn't a 9-5 job. i wouldn't be stuck behind a desk all day and i could make my own hours and work as much or as little as i wanted to. This was an amazing discovery because now i could make enough to live on but i could work on my writing to my hearts content.

    So hears my problem. Right now in the literary world Paranormal Romances are THE thing. It is one, if not the most popular genre right now. Paranormal Romances are my thing. and i have one in the making right now. not completed but on the side when im not in massage therapy school or studying to become a massage therapist i work on it. So now im torn because if there ever was a time to try and get my paranormal romance published it would be now! but if lets say it did get publish then i wouldn't be able to keep up both the book and my massage studies ( for those who don't know it's about a year and a half of intensive studying and practical work but because of my situation i have to spread out my studies over 5 years.)

    So im at a cross roads. Should i seize the opertunity or should i wait until my studies are over and im secured my self and steady reliable job. im just afraid that the oppertunity will pass me by and in five years times the literary world will be on something else. i try to tell my self that genre's really never go out of style just out of popularity. like before twilight there where books on the supernatural and once twilight has died down there will still be supernatural books. like with harry potter fantasies were really popular during the harry potter craze but now that the hype is dieing down there are still fantasy books being published. i guess im trying the reasure my self that even though it would most likely be alot easier to publish my story now i won't loose my chance forever if i didn't.

    The thing is also no one's ever really explained the publishing process to me. i kinda only know it in sections. like you send manuscript. you get accepted. and then the process blurs for my and im not sure what happenes. like i know theres an editing process but how intensive is it? how long does that stage last for? what does it involve? then once the book is out i know i see authors doing book signing and tours in different cities and stuff but all the authors who i have seen do that are well known authors who have like 20 books out and the only occupation they have is being a writer. so i don't know what it's like for someone who's just beginning. is it the same stuff just on a lesser scale? if some one could explain the process that would be very helpful. for all i know i might be able to balance it with school. Probably not but i'd like to know for sure.

    anyway hope this is posted in the right place. thanx for all your help
     
  2. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    It is always better to keep on going with your life as planned, and keep writing to the side. Write and try to get published around your other stuff, and if you do get published, I'm sure they'll be understanding of your schedule, career, etc. It's never certain you will be published, but if you're on that course, you're preeeetty likely to come out of it a massage therapist and get a job and make money. Even if you get published you may not make enough money to live on, even if you are writing in an apparently lucrative market. You'd have to hit it pretty big to have your life turned upside down. I know some pretty well-respected names in SF and Fantasy who still work their day jobs even when they're the kind of name you'd see on the shelf of any self-respecting reader of the genre. A couple just work for the interest - like, if they worked at space centres and are SF writers - but many of them just need the money. It can be enough to keep you afloat and with some extra spending money, but until you've got a fair few books published, you might not be looking at buying a bigger house or anything.

    Anyway. Push on with writing in your spare time, and good luck with it all. :)
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    By the time you finish, revise and submit your book, paranormal romance might not be as popular a market as it is now. Besides, it can take a year or more after your manuscript is accepted before the book hits the shelves. And even then it's hard to judge how popular your book is going to be.

    Focus on getting a steady job but continue writing on the side. If you happen to be a successful writer, you can always quit your day job.
     
  4. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't see why you can't do both, personally. Most authors have full time jobs, or are studying at the time of writing their first novel. If you only have time to write a page a day, it's something. As for sending it to get published, it can be months and months before you even hear a response from the houses you sent it to. What will you be doing 'til then?

    Authors don't usually quit their day jobs to persue writing unless they're already very successful with a few novels. I think you'd be making a big mistake if you just went out on a whim like this.
     
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I must agree with Ashleigh. Those of us here on at the forum who are past traditional school age (I'll explain that term here in a minute) are doing just that.

    I also have a job that is not the traditional thing. I work as an interpreter. It is a 9-5 sort of thing in that I have a set schedule, I 'clock in', and I have scheduled breaks and lunch. It is a regular job in every way save for one very important factor.

    I work from home.

    So, you're thinking right now, "That's not the same thing at all as what I'm talking about," and you're correct, it's not the same, but the dynamic affords me the opportunity to write while I am working. There is no boss or supervisor looking over my shoulder to see what I am doing on the computer. In that respect, I can do what I want during my work day, so long as my mouth is translating what the clients are saying to me in my headset. I am quite adept at making both things happen. The two things are different regions of the brain in action, so there is little cross-traffic and everything flows smoothly. And when I do have a client that requires my undivided attention (I interpret via telepresence within the hallowed halls of both justice and surgery), then I just close my writing program.

    It means I get a paycheck! It means I can pay the rent and light and water and food. As mundane as these things sound, these are the things that keep a person sane. The life of a starving artist is romantic and makes for great subject matter on the written page, but to actually live it....? No. No thank you.

    * Non-Traditional Age Student: When I went to university I was 27 years old. I remember some young thing interviewing me for a sociology course and that was the way she refereed to me. "What is it like to be a non-traditionally aged student here at the University of Florida?" she said to me. I was like, "What?! Do you mean old?" :)

    P.S. I know you love Paranormal Romance and it is very much the thing right now. The key words being right now. Even if you got that magic letter today telling you that your manuscript is accepted, your book does not go to print tomorrow or next week or next month. It can easily be a year or more. And while Paranormal Romance is capturing the zeitgeist of young female America right now, this too shall pass. What do you have in the works for when no one will even touch the envelope of a Paranormal Romance manuscript? Editors and Publishers know their trade. As we speak the next big thing is what is hitting the presses.

    I don't mean this to discourage, I mean this as an example of why there should always be a Plan B.
     
  6. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Agree with the others, here.

    Of course, if what you produce is very good, fashion barely comes into it. Be positive. Ten years from now, your work may resuscitate the genre!

    In the meantime, think of all the stories you might pick up as you massage your patients into openess.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I attended college and completed my degree from age 52 to 55, while working full time. The college workload was also considered full time by federal standards. Granted, I didn't get much creative writing done in that period, but when my college was winding down, that's when I started getting serious about writing.

    So much for traditional college age!
     
  8. Auskar
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    Auskar Member

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    As brilliant as a beginning author thinks they are - that does not mean the "gatekeepers" will see that brilliance, agree, or rush to publish work. Getting published requires a much longer road than is thought and most do not succeed.

    I think about seven percent of writers actually make a living at it.

    I'm not one of them.

    Yet.
     
  9. Capt Bob
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    Capt Bob Senior Member

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    While waiting for the literary tree to bear fruit, one must still eat. This is not a matter of choice but of necessity and reality.

    Early yields have a way of being "lean" and therefore must still be subsidized. That bumper crop, if, and when, it comes must be carefully husbanded-(canned)-if you are to wean off the other endeavors, born of necessity which have nourished your literary tree to date.

    Best of luck and don't lose sight of your goals.
    All the previous advice here is "Right On" read it again and cherish it!
     

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