Writing’s more fun than being a writer

800px-Skrifmaskin,_Smith_Premier-maskin,_Nordisk_familjebokWriting’s great – it’s being a writer which can be a bit of a nuisance. The part where you look at a blank page and make up stories is essentially a positive experience. It can be frustrating of course, if the stories do not come when bidden, but it is what writers choose to do, what they feel they need to do.

Being a writer on the other hand is more of an obligation which writing brings and one which I’d rather do without. I can’t be alone in that I’m sure.

Once you are published there are all kinds of things to do we’d rather not be doing. And for self-published authors that non-writing work starts even before the book has become a reality, since they have to act as their own publishers too.

The business of marketing your own work, of creating a presence for yourself on and off the Internet, is essentially an endless one. It’s like a race you can never win. It doesn’t matter how many thousands of Twitter followers you have, how many see your Facebook messages or read your blog posts, there is always more you could do. It doesn’t even matter how many books you sell because, in the grand scheme of things it won’t be very many and of course it could always be more.

The very open-ended nature of the process makes it tough to limit to a reasonable amount of time. It drags us away from writing too, which is the only real reason any of us got involved in the whole process in the first place.

I’m a reasonably social person, thankfully, and so I don’t mind chatting to people online or talking about my books when I meet them face to face. But it’s still not why I started writing.

As an author you feel compelled to do this endless marketing and promotion of your own work if your books are not to disappear without trace. Yet the rewards for doing it are not great. Financially for many of us it makes no sense. It’s pleasant to get nice reviews, we get to think of ourselves as writers – that’s about it for the upside really.

Sorry if this one’s been a bit of a downer – promise I’ll be more fun next time!

puacoverWhile you’re here, why not take a quick look at my rom com The Pick-Up Artist on Amazon and read the early reviews? To give it a go click here in the UK andclick here in the USA.

‘Loved this book, a bloke’s view of the dating game, made me laugh out loud.’

16 thoughts on “Writing’s more fun than being a writer”

  1. No truer words have been written Chris. By the time you have done all that promoting, marketing, and keeping up with the Jones there is no time left to put pen to paper. ~Elle

  2. Yes, it’s a bit of a double edged sword really isn’t it? I know the web and social media help authors get noticed but sometimes I wish I’d been writing in the days when you didn’t have to do all this!

  3. Amen brother! I love to write and it’s a good thing I like being poor, but that’s the point, I write because I can do it better than some of those who think they can and fail. More importantly, we do it because it’s something that gives us pleasure.

    1. Mind you, since the advent of self publishing the goalposts have moved regarding success and failure. You can be a good writer whose work goes unnoticed and on the other hand there are quite poor writers who do well because they are good at marketing. We live in interesting times.

  4. Chris, you’ve hit a few nails on their heads here. The responsibilities and work involved in being published are greater than the rewards by far. I’ve spent money on submitting my books to awards and to sites like the Fussy Librarian to increase exposure, but the increase in sales barely covers the costs. Writing is definitely the fun part!

    1. Yes, I do think we learn that there’s only one good reason to do it and that’s for the work itself and finding a readership for it 🙂

  5. I agree with you all the way, Chris. It’s kind of damned if you do the promotion and damned if you don’t. I think it helps to see the funny side of this writing life though, and I know you often do.
    Early on with my first book Things Can Only Get Feta, I had a book signing at Waterstones that was okay, but not as many sales as I would have liked, of course. A guy walked up to my table and asked me if the book was a cookery book? “Why do you think that?” I asked. “It’s got Feta cheese in the title,” he said. (It also has a donkey on the cover!)
    I laughed and thought ‘oh well’, I could switch tactics and tout it as a Greek cookery book instead of a travel memoir. Whatever!! Sometimes I think it helps now and then to step back, let a book find its own way and have some fun. x

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