Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Why I'm a J.A. Konrath Fan...

...and I haven't even read one of his books. (but I will, I promise)

His blog, A Newbie's Guide to Publishing is fantastic. Loads of freebies. Thanks to Robert Swartwood for introducing me to Mr. Konrath.

Konrath is currently doing a blog tour to promote his new book, Afraid. Yesterday he left a nice post at Susie Hawes's blog about small press vs. large press.

Reading the post stirred my "Why am I writing?" juices. Again.

So why am I doing this? The myth that one day I would be rich and famous has already crumbled before me. (boy, have I mentioned how naive I was?) Aside from the personal fulfillment of a job well done (a published story), what is the draw? Do I want to eventually write full time? Would I want that lifestyle? Do I want to go the indie route and stir up a cult following? Or am I happy just writing stories that people, should they stumble across them, might want to read?

As I continue on my journey, I see snippets of what it takes to become a successful writer (not necessarily make a living at it). The folks that become successful work hard. Very hard. Some successful writers still hold down day jobs. Some lucky few are able to write full time, but that path is loaded with tours, travel, self-promotion...not an easy path either way.

One thing I know: If the only goal is a paycheck, I don't think I want to do this. I could make more money elsewhere (even with a Book DealTM and modest sales) with much less heartache and hard work.

Is it worth it?

When will I know?

Should I even worry about these things?

In the meantime, I will keep writing. I will continue to hone my voice, my craft. I love words, and for now (and the immediate future), that is enough.


Jamie Eyberg said...

Well said. I have pondered this as well. while I would like, someday, to make a living with my writing, I have never specified what a 'living' is.

Cate Gardner said...

I think I can honestly say as I start work on book 11 (having not given up home on book 10 and rewriting book 9) that I'm in this for the love rather than for the money.

I think we all start out naive - I know I did.

Fox Lee said...

I know what I do it for. The nookie.

Aaron Polson said...

Jamie - good point...what is a "living"? Sounds like another post.

Cate - and your love of writing shines in your wonderful (and strange) stories.

Natalie - who doesn't do it for the Nookie?

Katey said...

Yeah I'm with Natalie! (Even though Limp Bizkit sucks, man, they make a good point.)

1. I also love JA Konrath's blog. It brightens up my life like mad. I turned his "delusional or confident" entry into a meme and made myself answer them all. THAT was hilarious.

2. Excellent points and questions. Obviously I wouldn't pretend I could answer them for you. I mostly just write because I can't stop. Trying to decide where I'd like it to end up (and just how much work I'd have to do to get it there) after is a little more complicated.

Anonymous said...

I have this conversation with myself at least once a month.

Aaron Polson said...

Katey - I answered those questions, too...

Barry - Yes. I've started to have this one more and more often.

BT said...

(Puts hand up) - yep, I'm a Konrath fan as well, and I'm yet to read a book although I passed Afraid on the shelf at a local shop just the other week and nearly purchased it - I need to make a bigger dent in my 'to-read' shelf first.

I write because I have to. If I don't I sit and become bored very quickly now. It's almost like an addiction; a craving I must give in to. I'm not a happy camper if I go without for too long.

Where do I expect to end up? As a good story teller who has gained some mastery over being able to put those stories on the page. Getting paid for it would be a bonus.

Of course, the nookie ain't bad either...