Writerly Things 10/28/19: Are All Writers Going to Survive their Journey? Traci Kenworth


Writerly Things 10/28/19: Will Everyone Survive their Writer Journey?

Traci Kenworth

I won’t lie, the writing field is crowded. More so than yesterday. Indie publishing has taken hold, and everyone wants to be a writer.

Is There a Market for Us All?

That’s a question only the audience can answer. Certainly, they love stories, all kinds of stories. There are some though, that for whatever reason, fall short. Maybe it’s too many typos. Maybe the length is too long. Or maybe they just don’t “get” your story, what you’re trying to do. Don’t wait for book two to tell us that your main character is an undercover prince. Or a warlord for that matter, on vacation. Things may happen TO your characters but without knowing who they are, why should we care?

The truth is audiences can be picky. They usually choose one book over another. Is it the author? The storyline? The characters? For me, it’s the characters that determine if I read something. If their blurb digs into me, it’ll go on my TBR pile. If it’s a favorite author, they get moved up if possible. Depending on if there are other books before that one to read (as in a series). Take Leigh Bardugo. I LOVED her Grishaverse series. From beginning to the end. I just got her Ninth House book a few days ago. Am I itching to read it? You bet! But—I haven’t read her Six of Crows duology yet and kinda want to do that first. I don’t have either book as of yet, but I hope to soon.

Sometimes to be honest: It’s my bank account. I can’t buy every book I want to read, so I have to make a choice. I’m sure there are others out there as well that do the same. That’s why I love Netgalley! It lets me get to know authors I wouldn’t otherwise know, but doing an honest review of the books I read that I’m approved for. The Big Five don’t usually let me read their stuff as I’m not a big reviewer, ala the New York Times. Penguin-Random House is an exception. I’m sure like small press publishers, they know every review or mention of a book helps.

Some Will Fall Off the Wagon.

Yeah, it happens. In every field out there. Not everyone cuts it as a doctor. Scientists don’t always stand out in their studies. And yes, even writers can stall their careers. If they even manage one. Do they write? I’m talking at all? Sometimes the IDEA of writing is more popular than the actually deal. You have to put in the time, go the distance if you want to make it. There’s no other way around it. Sure, we’d all like the stories we encounter to just fall onto the page so we can move on to the next book but that doesn’t happen often or enough.

I’m not saying writers don’t leave for a spell. I did. I wrote from eighteen into my twenties. Got married. Had kids. Went through an abusive situation with the kids. Finally, we got help and struck out on our own. I got injured at work. I discovered the crazy world of bipolar. I went through some dark times in all and then returned to it at the suggestion of my then-therapist. I’ve been writing ever since and although on days it’s tough, I keep at it. I’m learning my triggers and what keeps me down. I thought I’d gotten through them all. Turns out, there were more waiting around the corner.

Anyway, it happens. We get stuck. We fail to land a traditional contract. Our Indie books don’t sell or sell fewer than we hoped after sinking hundreds or even thousands into editing. We either go on or we stop. That’s the sad truth. Not all of us are made to weather this temperament or to go the distance. And that’s okay. We can’t all be brain surgeons. Why should writing be any different? So, don’t feel bad if you’re thinking of leaving. Take some time for yourself. Consider what’s important to you. When the time’s right for you, you can always return. If you find that you’re happier without writing, do what makes you happy. That’s what’s important: that you’re happy no matter the choice.

Have a great week, take care, and God bless!

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