Fiction Friday – Three Big Myths About Writing

Welcome to another fiction Friday! With all the excitement around the summer giveaway hop, I almost forgot to post! Be sure to visit that page for your chance to win a $10 gift card.

Over the years, I’ve seen many myths about being a writer that I’ve since learned are not true. Here are some of the most common ones.

1. Writers make lots of money.

I can’t tell you how many people tell me they have a story idea that they know would make a million dollars, or that they want to write a book so they don’t have to work anymore. Just about every writer I know has heard this. Some of us have even learned to bite our tongues when people say “My seven year old is brilliant. She’s going to write a great book and be rich one day.”

I certainly thought that way when I was seven. Didn’t you?

I am not seven anymore.

I’m not surprised people believe that writers lead this glamorous lifestyle. I loved the idea of Anais Nin and Henry Miller cavorting around Paris writing great works of literature. Who wouldn’t want that life? The romance, the drama, the heartbreak? That’s why we read, after all.

With stories hitting the papers like the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy landing a seven-figure deal, and J.K. Rowling becoming a billionaire, it certainly seems like writing is where it’s at when it comes to becoming rich and famous.  I’m not going to talk about the work writers have to do to even get published. I’m going to tell it to you straight up: buy a lottery ticket. Your chances of striking it rich are statistically far better than becoming a writer. And when you win, you can have the glamorous lifestyle you always wanted. Better yet, you can hire someone to ghost write books for you and become a patron of the arts.

Most writers I know work full time and write, be that in an office, a coffee shop, or as home makers. While we all dream of earning our living this way, it happens to a select few.

2. I don’t need to polish my book. All I have to do is sell it and my editor/publisher will do the rest.

Sorry. No. In today’s publishing market, your work has to be professional quality before anyone will even consider it. The road to publication is long and arduous and while people can name five exceptions off the top of their head, they are exceptions which are, again, as statistically probable as winning the lottery.

In addition to rewriting, editing, and polishing your work, once you’re published, you should also be prepared to promote and sell it yourself too.

3. All I have to do is publish my book myself and promote it online – it worked for Amanda Hocking.

While online marketing has become quite popular, with self-published authors promoting themselves through Amazon, Goodreads and social media sites like Facebook and twitter, the market is flooded with self-published, free, ebooks. Many book bloggers are no longer accepting books for review from self-published authors. Some of them claim this is due to quality. Others claim it is because they are simply getting too many requests. Call it the Amanda Hocking effect.

A great article in the Guardian called, Why social media isn’t the magic bullet for self-published authors, states the following:

When we hear about the 366% growth in ebook sales, what we’re not hearing are the stats on who is making the money and how much. After all, a 366% increase in profits could be a result of those 1.1 million new authors selling only a handful of copies of their own ebooks each. According to a study in Publishing Perspectives, only 70 self-epublished authors in the world in 2011 were selling more than 800 ebooks a month.

It’s like trying to be heard in a noisy auditorium.

I only covered three myths today, but if you want to hear more, Bestselling Author Ruth Harris explains it on Anne R. Allen’s blog article called Twelve Myths About Being a Writer.

Thanks for reading! I know I missed more than a few myths, so, writers, and readers, let me know what I missed in the comments below. Again, I LOVE comments! So please, if you enjoyed this article, or if you want to talk about writing myths, let me know!

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2 thoughts on “Fiction Friday – Three Big Myths About Writing

  1. Alison D. says:

    Thanks so much for sharing. #2 is one of my huge pet peeves. Even as a writing buddy, I don’t want to read something that hasn’t been revised … why would a publisher?

    • lvoisin says:

      Thanks for visiting, Alison! It’s one of mine as well. I find it terribly difficult to read unedited work. Glad I’m not alone 🙂 Do you have any other pet peeves?

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