Doing everything right and STILL not rich…?

Why do you want to be a writer

Some of the best advice I’ve heard about writing comes through my friends on Google +. I know, I know, you’ve heard it’s a ghost town and everyone’s on Ello this week, but seriously, no. They’re there, they’re active, and they have created a busy and self-supporting community.

Amongst the many writers I follow, there are some who work as developmental editors as well as writers. One of these, until recently, was R.J.Blain. In her latest blog post, she explains exactly what happened when she decided to go full-time as a writer, and what the financial implications have been.

If you are thinking of becoming a writer, read this post. If you are currently writing and dreaming of riches, read this post. If you have ever been jealous of someone who is a writer, read this post.

You don’t have to be depressed or downcast as a result, but I hope it will help people understand that the E.L.James’ of this world are few and far between. You CAN make your book look professional with a good cover. You can ensure the content has been finely edited and thoroughly proofread. You can work every contact you have in social media and whatever is your equivalent of real life, but you still cannot guarantee success.

I want to stress again, R.J. Blain is not posting this to say “Hey, look, what a car crash!” She’s putting all her effort into producing some damn good books, and I believe things will turn around for her soon. But the effort she has put in so far is way, way beyond what 90% of writers would be willing to do, and she has continued beyond the point where many many others would have thrown in the towel. So as well as professional standards, native talent and a passion for writing, add grit and determination to your writer’s armoury, or admit you’re just a hobbyist.

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