Author Support, and why it’s important.
Let me be the first to say, I’m blessed beyond measure to have a fantastic group of family, friends, and others who support my writing endeavors. Contrary to some, writing isn’t a walk in the park easy. Time, energy, money, all of that goes into the creation of a self-published book. Let’s talk about that shall we?
Time: Writing is one time intensive project. Ideas come and go, thinking and mentally planning out the structure and ways of the story, the actual writing of the draft can take months. Then there’s the rewrite, then editing, then working out covers, back copy blurbs, dealing with and getting feedback from Beta readers, working out when to release, then the marketing work WITH release, etc. And if your an outliner, the actual physical creation of the outline, which depending on how you do things, can take days or even a week or two. This all takes time.
Time that you won’t spend playing a game, reading a book (though you make time for this.) watching TV, it can take time away from family, friends, all of that.
Energy: I’m of the opinion that good writing TAKES something from you. You give up part of yourself to bring a story to life. Mentally and physically writing can be one tiring experience. Yes sitting in a chair for several hours and pouring your self into a draft *IS* physically exhausting, at least it is for me. This is energy that I could be using for playing with my kids, going for a walk, things like that. That’s not to say that I don’t play with my kids (I do, often.) and I do go for walks. In fact, writing USED to be far more tiring, until I about 11 months ago starting working out again on a regular basis, that’s made a huge amount of difference. (I have some blog posts on that.) But the fact remains, writing eats energy. Why do you think so many writers cling to coffee or tea??
Money: No I’m not talking about vanity press, you should never pay money to someone for them to ‘publish’ your book. But covers (good ones.) and if your paying for an editor/proofreader, you can be looking at a substantial amount of $$$. Now I personally defray costs by just doing the cover thing. I use a word plugin, feedback from beta readers, and a few other methods to get through the editing and proofreading stages. Why? Because I’m cheap. I can’t afford to spend 1400$ or more to get those two things done. Nor would I want to.
Sadly, writing doesn’t pay well. There are millions of self published books out there. Millions. I average 20$ a month most months. This is not a money maker! I write because I enjoy creating stories, and sharing them. Sure, I’d love to be the next Hugh Howey, but that’s not going to happen. (For those who don’t know who he is, Hugh Howey is a self-published sci-fi author who hit the big time.)
It boils down to this.. if your an author, get a support group. Get family, friends, others who will give you support and help. Nothing helps more than hearing from someone “I love your writing and stories.. never stop.” Feeling discouraged? Those people will get you back on track.
If your a family member or a friend of an author, give them that feedback, they need it. They may not ask for it, but trust me, hearing things like that always helps, always means something.
Author support. It’s important, it doesn’t cost anything, and in the end, only makes you a better writer.