There’s been a ton of articles published over the years about writer’s block and writing yourself into a corner, but very few writers discuss the difficulty of pulling words out by their roots. The latter happens when a writer is working on a story that for whatever reason doesn’t thrill them. Burn out is a major factor when this occurs. Rarely does it have anything to do with the quality of the story itself.
Writers often find themselves writing books/novellas because they’re contractually obligated to or they have to in order to survive financially. This is something that all writers face eventually, especially if they’ve been in the publishing business for a while.
I think it’s happening more and more with the onset of Indie publishing. Writers have taken on a tremendous amount of responsibilities, many of which have nothing to do with writing a book. The work it seems does not end. It can be extremely overwhelming and exhausting. For midlist writers like me, and many others, there isn’t much choice, but to continue on. Why? Because we’ve hit a level of success with Indie publishing that can’t be matched by N.Y. This in itself is a great thing. Something I never thought would happen. Prior to the onset of Indie publishing, writers were at the mercy of the publishing industry. Not so much anymore. But that freedom hasn’t come without its costs.
There is no way I could make the kind of money that I’m making with my Indie publishing in N.Y.–at least not with my adult work. That may change if I ever get published in the young adult market, but I don’t expect it to change for my other work. There are two kinds of successful Indie authors. There are the ones that hit it out of the park with one book. And there are the ones that have a big enough library to make up for not hitting it out of the park.
I’m one of those authors that have cumulative sales. No ‘one’ book stands out as a bestseller. I’ve had a few books make it onto Amazon’s Fantasy/Futuristic bestseller list, ranking as high as number 3, but none have dropped below the 200 mark on the overall list. Thus far this year, I’ve sold a little over 51,000 ebooks. Contrary to popular belief, that doesn’t help me when it comes to getting a N.Y. book deal. (Again, those are cumulative sales, not breakout bestsellers.) N.Y. (and agents) like breakout bestsellers.
What does this all mean? It means that a lot of authors (me included) have to keep releasing new books at a fairly regular pace to keep sales up. That will mean pulling a lot more words up by their roots, while we search for a way to balance what we ‘have’ to write with what we ‘want’ to write. Ultimately, I suppose that’s nothing new. Writers have been walking that fine line for centuries. The line is just a little slippery now. 🙂