I’ve seen it often, where writers become disillusioned with ‘writing’. But they’re not disillusioned with writing they’re disillusioned because of the marketing that attaches itself to their favourite typing finger like a… well, I’ll leave it to your imagination.
We all read about people who’ve made it big as a writer, and we read about marketing courses that’ll help us get there, at great expense. It’s tempting, isn’t it? I mean, how to pay your way out of the doldrums and into the limelight. Got to be tempted, right?
Well, no, not really.
I’m not a great writer, probably never will be. But guess what, I enjoy it. And I’m fairly sure that most of my readers enjoy what I write. And that’s a meal that’s as good as a feast, right? No, not really. I want to be applauded, I want to be admired, emulated, and I want people to rave about my books and have ‘Friends of Andrew Barrett’ groups on Facebook. It’ll never happen, and I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t bother me. But I have to face reality.
And this is my reality: I will never give up writing just because some publishing house doesn’t want me. I will write for my own enjoyment (remember doing that, huh? How great it was – no pressure, just pleasure), and hopefully for the enjoyment of others. I’ve spent so long following the masses down the dead end to success that I forgot why I slave away on the keyboard for hours as I grew older and no wiser.
I think the key to success is quite simple really. Write the best story you possibly can and launch it. Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool there is. And keep the money you would have spent on expensive marketing courses to have that well-earned night out with the spouse.
Just this last week, I’ve seen two authors – good authors – almost ‘resign’ as writers because of the despair inflicted upon them by poor sales and by the pressure of money-making men promising things they can’t deliver. Time to be honest with yourself: write for the love of it, to hell with everything else.