Thursday 17 March 2016

The Grass Is Always Greener

It’s taken me a long time to wrap my head around what I wanted to say here. Lots of different post running together. All turning out with a single mindless rant whine that wasn’t at all what I wanted to say.

The thing is, the heading is the point. The grass is always greener on the other side, that saying holds true to some many things, and for this case, in the way we treat each other or what we let ourselves get worked up over.

Here’s the thing though, when you say something on the internet it’s out there for everyone to see if they wish, which means those rants you do, even though they aren’t really about anyone BUT you, others see them as a direct hit on them, because like you are hearing one thing they are hearing the other.

  • Prolific writers aren’t real, they should slow down so they edit it better 
  • There is nothing original in from a prolific writers books, why do they bother 
  • This isn’t tied up the way I was expecting the next book better not be a cliff-hanger  
  • This book isn’t anything like I thought it should be, write it this way 
  • Why isn’t the next book out yet? Why is it taking so long? There’s no reason for it, write faster or you’ll lose me as a reader 
  • And many more….
I’m going to get personal here because I can only speak for myself. I’m a plot writer, which means I don’t really fit in with genre romance, and I wish I did. I don’t have a readymade fan base I have to start from stretch and work my way up. Sometimes with everything I write.

This isn’t to say as a new author you have one, but if you are a sweet, fluffy, just down right romantic, prolific, or not, genre romance author your fan base is ready made because it’s 90% of the readers are fans of that type of story. This isn’t to say you don’t have to work bloody hard to get noticed or to continue getting noticed, but it does mean that unlike authors who write in specific genre or who write dark or somewhat controversial, or even who need to constantly switch sub-genres, we tend to have a more difficult time getting into those circles. This shouldn’t be the problem it is, because you should already be very aware of these facts. The darker you go then smaller the circle you’re trying to break into and that circle isn’t going to get any bigger and that’s before you add sub-genres to the market.

Not my point, my point being that this isn’t to say that you won’t, or don’t, get jealous. Even if you don’t forget these facts about what you write and about how small your readership is compared to others. The thing is you will still wish it, even if it’s something you knew would take time. You will wish you could write like those people who are making a decent amount of money when you are thinking you might need to get a second day job just to keep afloat.

1 point that needs to be handed out here is that those people are generally never doing as good as it seems on paper. At the moment there are a few authors who have been able to quit their day jobs and write for a living, which makes you wonder what you’re doing wrong. But those people have good solid fan bases and have been at it 5 to 10 years before they were able to hang up there day job. And still we won’t hear about the massive struggles they are having until the day they speak of finding another job. Because generally we are brought up as a society to not talk about money and stuff like that because you might make others jealous, it’s a taboo topic.

I am a plot writer and I struggle to write the same thing twice. Honestly I get to about book 5 of a series and I’m over everything about it. I need newness. I need a challenge. Which means I can’t just write. Hell, I hate writing, it takes me forever. I also suck, lol, I’m much better now than when I started but those books sucked.

Anyway, one of my best friends is a prolific writer. She’s also a character writer, but more so she’s a genre writer. Not only that she writes really fast passed character driven, sappy romances which we all LOVE and read constantly. Really who hasn’t got one or two or ten authors who are go to just because there books aren’t hard to read, aren’t deep and meaningful, are just light; get you out of your head, your life books. That’s what she writes.

I wish I could do it but I can’t, and that sucks. Though I’ve gotten used to it, lol.

Anyway, she published her first book in, I believe, 2015 and she has done well for herself. She published 13 books, hell it could be more, which included 2 series and then branched off. She  makes enough from what she writes that she can continue doing it, for the most part, without outside work. She also already has a solid fan base, people who will buy anything she publishes.

Now this isn’t saying I don’t have the same thing, but the difference is my fan base is a solid 5 to 10 people (that I know of) where hers is looking at closer to 80. I have been published a full year longer then her and in my first year published 12 books.

I’ve gotten jealous of her. Not much, but that wish I spoke of earlier, that realisation that she’s writing what makes money when I can’t. Which I’m fine with. Even before I started, or when I started writing, it was something I was willing to wait for. I don’t really want to make lots of money from writing, not straight away, not if it’s not going to last. I’m happy to slowly build up my readers because of my real life would become more difficult if one month I was making upwards of 1K and the next nothing.

But this isn’t to say I don’t wish to be like that. To be able to be like her. In both promoting myself and just being able to sit down and write. This jealousy is the “greener on the other side” jealousy. It’s the type that you are jealous of what you think it’s like to be in that person’s seat not what it’s actually like. Because I know sometimes she wished she could write like me. Write more meaningful plot. I know sometimes she just wants to write something completely different. I know what that other side looks like because she reminds me whenever I get a little too envious.

This type of jealousy is also the types, I’ve notice, that makes us feel the need to justify ourselves. This isn’t a good thing because we end up pointing fingers at the opposite type of author and not the ones we are meaning to and you drama you don’t need to. The thing is, the rant ends up being is something that is to make you feel better and I’m sure it has, but you are just pointing at someone else and making them feel like they don’t deserve or their rights to be there isn’t as important which isn’t true either.

The whole justification is one of those things you need to learn how to stop doing.
It took me nearly a year to let myself have a quiet rant at the person who makes me feel this way. Which unfortunately can be mean or hateful reviewers or reviews that point at me as the author because of this and that and not make it about the writing, about the book itself. Or who judge me and my book because I’m not the type of author they want me to be. Or they think my book should be. I’ve learnt that I need to just stop justifying myself, about everything but mostly about my writing. I am the type of writer I am, and nothing I can truly do will change that. I could try and I would fail because it’s an art and like any artist will tell you, your best work is what comes naturally to you, you better work is what comes out of your heart.

Yes there are “authors” out there who are in it just for the money and they end up making it because they can. They are con artist in that way that they will do anything to make the most money out of the smallest amount of effort. An even smaller type will steal in order to make it.

However, they aren’t prolific authors. Prolific authors are just able to sit at a computer and write. They are able, either because they don’t or can’t sleep, because they have no outside distraction that needs them. Because writing for them is a form of meditation. Who knows I’m not that type of author. They are also the type of people who are writing what they want to write. They are writing what they love to read, what they love to write and just because you don’t believe it’s changing the world doesn’t mean it isn’t for someone. Doesn’t mean it’s not needed. That it’s not important.

Just remember, most of the world see romance in general as not being important, as not being real, so be careful who you’re pointing fingers at and what you allowing the world as a whole to see.

Non-prolific writers are needed to. Hell, you could only be a non-prolific because you DO work. because you have a real life that takes up most of your time, because you can’t sit at a computer all that time and just write, it’s hard work for you to get that type of word count down, not because you’re a slow typer but because you need to think about what your writing about what’s being said. Because it’s hard to take hours after hours in a chair without a break, without a distraction.

You might be like me, I’m a plotter so a lot of my work happens inside my head, I have to work out a bigger part—a moral for my story before I can even get excited about writing it, but more I have to be in the right mood. Adding to the fact that writing is boring as bat shit for me and I am most of the things I said before at one time or another. It takes A LOT for me to get a book out. It takes a determination I just don’t possess most of the time. Or worse it takes me being truly obsessed with a book to finish it in a timely manner and that only really happens 1 out of 5 books.

What I’m trying to say is just stop justifying yourself for what or how you write. The grass isn’t greener on the other side that why when you rant about one you’re hit back just as passionately because you are both being told the same thing. You are both being criticized for not being something else.

It’s not greener over there, it just get cut closer to the ground or trimmed a little differently. You only ever see the top of the ice-burg…. And honestly I can’t think of any more over the top clique phases to use so…yeah…

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