So, here on the podcast we try to be helpful sometimes.
I know! I know! It’s hard to believe, but we thought this week, we’d give you a little insight about the writing life and writers. And lay down some truths.
WE WRITERS ARE EVERYWHERE LIKE DUST MITES
There are a butt ton of posts on what writers need to know. And you know why that is? Because there are a lot of us.
Chuck Wendig wrote, “The internet is 55 percent porn and 45 percent writers.”
And that means we aren’t alone.
But it also means that we should freaking support each other. Don’t have your whole Twitter feed be “buy my book, buy my book, sweet mother of all things holy buy my book.” Writing is communication that’s actually two-way. We write. Others read. Sometimes they write back.
It’s good to remember that writing isn’t a solo gig.
NO TWO WRITERS MAKE IT THE SAME WAY
Well, they might. But everyone’s journey is different.
I got a publishing contract one year after entering my MFA program at Vermont College and 18 months after quitting my newspaper editor job. I was lucky. But I was also working on my skills.
I have clients and friends who worked for ten years before breaking into traditional publishing. They are great authors. It just took them a bit longer to get there. But they might stay publishing longer than I do. Or not. Who knows?
That’s the thing. We all take different times and routes to get our books out there and get readers.
Similarly, in the world of independent publishing, there are people whose books are absolutely awful making $10,000 a month and some whose amazing and brilliant books are making $5 a month if that.
The takeaway here? The writing world is weird as hell.
PEOPLE CAN BE MEAN TO YOU
Writers (much like superstars like Chris Evans or Beyonce) have lovers and haters. Sadly, we don’t have quite the support team to boost up our egos after someone has trashed us or our book or rejected it before we’re published.
You’ve got to believe in yourself enough to put on your own Band-aids. You don’t want to be a hardened butt face and lose the beautiful empathy that makes you a good writer and person, but you do want to be able to survive.
IT’S A FREE-RANGE LIFE
As a full-time writer, you often don’t get a steady paycheck.
If you self-publish, your earnings depend on finding readers. In a traditionally published world, you get paid an advance on your royalties and then after, you get checks (usually twice a year) if you earn out that advance.
That’s a little harrowing for some of us who grow up thinking that steady paychecks and 401k investment plans are the thing.
YOU HONESTLY SHOULD LOVE WHAT YOU DO
I see so many writers complaining about writing and I want to hug them up and give them some ramen or maybe an ice cream sundae. Look. If you hate writing, don’t write. Your life is too short to shove yourself in front of a computer and pound keys. You want your life to be happy. Do things that make you happy. And it’s okay if writing isn’t one of those things right now, you know? You can find a different way to connect, to tell stories, and influence the world, okay?
WRITING TIP OF THE POD
All combined, what we’re saying is this: Support the other dust mites, don’t be a dust mite unless you love it and be okay with being in charge of your life despite the harrowing finances of being a dust mite and that insecurity. Do what you love.
DOG TIP FOR LIFE
Your journey is your own. You might be a dog who walks a straight line or you might be a dog who meanders around telephone poles and trees. Don’t worry about how the other dogs live. Just be you.
The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License.
Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song? It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.
AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW! It’s taking a bit of a hiatus, but there are a ton of tips over there.
We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream biweekly live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.
Carrie is reading one of her raw poems every once in awhile on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!