1. Capslock

    Capslock Member

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    Are we wasting our time?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Capslock, Mar 30, 2019.

    So a very small percentage of people who are actually making efforts to publish a book are successful. Not that it discouraged me much, but all I can do is try.

    I guess what I told myself, is it is a hobby that will last many years. Like planting then watering an oak tree forever.


    What other hobby takes multiple years to craft something?

    I’m not saying it’s a waste of time , but want your opinion.
     
  2. Fallow

    Fallow Banned

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    It doesn't take multiple years to write a story. It doesn't even take a year to write a novel. What takes time is learning to do something you might not be good at by doing it on your own.

    Try to forge a knife without any knowledge of metallurgy and it will also take a long time.
     
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  3. Capslock

    Capslock Member

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    I know what you mean. It takes many hours of practice to get good at anything. I will say I’m not particularly good at writing. It’s an art form I must learn for me. So that’s what I’m gonna do.

    No different than keeping some old painting or drawing you did years ago. The difference is this is ever changing and edited, till finished.

    Am I on track?
     
  4. Fallow

    Fallow Banned

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    Sure. But you need to either treat it as a hobby and enjoy the work, or you need to read a lot, really study the craft and treat it like a job.
     
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  5. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

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    It really depends on expectations. Keeping one's mind active, learning--not only how to write, but research involved with telling a variety of stories...I cannot see it as a bad thing.

    But, writing is time-consuming. Something(s) must be given up to complete writing projects. One has to determine if what is given up is worth what is gained, or might potentially be gained. There is no guarantee of success (however 'success' is measured).
     
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  6. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

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    As you mentioned, writing is a hobby, just like many other activities. It's simply a thing people like to do in their spare time. For example, as well as writing, I also enjoy playing competitive chess. Does that mean I have to become a grandmaster to prove that all of my years of playing chess games has been worthwhile? No, it's just something I enjoy doing.
     
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  7. XRD_author

    XRD_author Banned Supporter

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    It seems to me that the great artists, whether they be writers or performers, love what they do. That love may be an element in their commercial success, but it's a success in its own right as well.

    There's not many things better than doing what you love to do.

    Is it a waste of time? That's you're call. Time is all we have, and each of us chooses what we want to trade it for: wealth, romance, fame, pleasure - you pay for them all with your time.

    So my advice is:
    Unless you have something you'd prefer to do with the time, if you love to write, write.
     
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  8. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

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    Writing is like guitar if the normal way to learn guitar was to come up with your own songs from scratch, from day one, while people tell you that the key is to listen to music more.
     
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  9. Fallow

    Fallow Banned

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    You don't think people learn guitar by listening to guitar music?

    Unlike guitar, all the technique of writing is mental, unless you include typing.
     
  10. Capslock

    Capslock Member

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    Ok, like if people sing along to songs, it doesn’t make it their mission to be a signed artist.

    It’s just fun and people like to do it.
     
  11. Fallow

    Fallow Banned

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    I was talking about people that become professionals. A lot of how they learn is by emulating other pros.
     
  12. paperbackwriter

    paperbackwriter Banned Contributor

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    Can I say I love writing if I am rather unfond of editing?
     
  13. XRD_author

    XRD_author Banned Supporter

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    Sure. Just find someone who loves editing but not writing, and you're set.
     
  14. paperbackwriter

    paperbackwriter Banned Contributor

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    I might be oversensitive to criticism and stubborn about receiving others wisdom.
    thats why im suited to the fresh first draft of blogging.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
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  15. MarcT

    MarcT Active Member

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    I learned a heck of a lot by having my book edited by a pro who highlighted some glaring errors. She really helped me to hone the writing down to a polish.
    If you're serious about writing, there comes a time when it has to stop being a hobby and a kind of discipline is required. It all depends on your objectives really.
     
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  16. frigocc

    frigocc Active Member

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    Even though I doubt my abilities often, I'm 100% confident that, at the end of the day, I'll have something get published.
     
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  17. Maverick_nc

    Maverick_nc Member

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    I not only doubt my ability, but have proof that my writing is shit by what I've written. Does it deter me? Nope. I'll only improve by doing, and through the wisdom of others on here.
    Plus I'm still convinced I have a story worth telling. I hope that statement is true, time will tell.
     
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  18. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    For some people, writing can be little more than wasting time. It takes work to build our skills and bring out our talents. It's not supposed to be easy, but it's also not supposed to be that hard. I think a lot of it comes down to just about how much you're willing to give this. Great writers read. Great writers write. Great writers make mistakes and masterpieces. Writing has long been a part of my identity. We can discover both our personal truths and universal truths through writing. I don't really see any of that as a waste of time. Fame and fortune don't come easy regardless of pursuits. But new talents and writers are always being "discovered." I believe there is room at the top for everyone. And it's up to each one of us how long we're willing to climb this uphill battle. If I saw writing as a waste of time in any way, it's not something I would be doing.
     
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  19. Wreybies

    Wreybies Arroz Con Admin Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

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    @Iain Aschendale and I attended the same, very demanding language school back in the very late 80's and early 90's, the DLIFLC. The school had an intimidating attrition rate, and though the school was (in)famous in military circles as one of the most expensive AITs (military training) in all of the U.S. Armed Forces, the school could afford to be draconian in that regard because we were all military, all the property of Uncle Sam, and those who washed out would just get popped into low-cost-training jobs. Everything recycled, everything reused.

    We knew about that attrition rate as of our first day arriving. The students who had survived the culling were only too sure to let us know.

    Were we wasting our time, or were we aware of the competition and keeping our noses to the linguistic grindstone?

    Iain and I both graduated (yay!) and went into service as military interpreters (the military lingo was "crypto-linguist"), he in the Marines, me in the USAF. Jarhead & Zoomie! We lived in barracks right next to one another, were there during broadly overlapping periods of time, but we never met, not until meeting here in this forum.

    Now, you could say, "But you got it. You finished and got the job, so obviously, you weren't wasting your time," but I can assure you that there were times when both Iain and I were in doubt. It was hard. And the instructors had no inclination to baby anyone and their pweshus wittle feewings.

    We didn't have a guaranty of success until we had the diploma in our respective hands, so up to that moment, all the variables were still variables.

    Were we wasting our time?
     
  20. Ma'am

    Ma'am Banned Supporter

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    I think if anyone is wasting their time or not depends on what they're in it for. Most people in any of the arts don't even make enough money to even consider it a decent side job. So I'd those who don't find it enjoyable and fulfilling anyway would likely be happier in the long run to put their efforts elsewhere.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
  21. Wreybies

    Wreybies Arroz Con Admin Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I would add that widdershins is equally true - Those who do find it enjoyable and fulfilling unto themselves, for themselves, without the pressure of some publication goal, are also not wasting their time. If just doing it is enjoyable and fulfilling for the person, then that's all that matters because we take nothing with us when we go but our memories. ;)
     
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  22. Ma'am

    Ma'am Banned Supporter

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    I completely agree. Most of the things that have meant the most to me haven't been financially profitable. :)
     
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  23. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Thy rod and thy Staff Supporter Contributor

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    When I'm in the zone, I love writing, and this is going to sound narcissitic as hell, but I like to reread many of the things I've written. Not all of them, some of my stuff is absolute crap, but I think that some of it is pretty darn good too.

    And you know what? Some of you agree with me. You have no idea how insanely happy it made me, still makes me, when Chasing the Rainbow won the February short story contest. I worked hard on that piece, DLI hard. You'd never know it to read it, but the amount of background research I did for those 4000 words of lightweight romance took for freaking ever.

    And damned if it wasn't all worth it when I stepped off the plane in Korea to find that the second round of voting had finished up and I got a tiny little collection of pixels under my pen name on this corner of the internet.

    I'm not wasting my time.
     
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  24. MarcT

    MarcT Active Member

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    I'm editing a book I wrote and self-published back in 2007 and I'm cringing, quite literally. It's good to go over your old work sometimes and see how your writing has improved, so in that sense it's never a waste of time.
    Writing, for me at least, gets better with practice, time and time again.
     
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  25. Reollun

    Reollun Active Member

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    It is subjective. If you think of writing as just another hobby that you do in spare time or another skill to be learned, you won't discover the true joy of writing as a form of art. For me, writing is something completely different, a skill that can be honed but never truly learned. I started writing fairly early, as a 12-year-old and came to regard it as something magical, an ability to put thoughts, emotions, fears, hopes, ie a whole microcosm on paper and then share it with other people. Of course, it helped that others had recognized my talent early on, which encouraged me to keep writing, but that wasn't essential.
    Over the years I discovered the more mundane 'technical' aspects of writing, I started to think of a possibility of a real writing career for me. Despite this, I can still feel that characteristic joy when I write, which tells me I am doing what I love.

    Writing is not a technicality or science. It's still OK if writing is a hobby but I think in order to get published, you'll need something truly special.
     

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