Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Why Do We Torture Ourselves?

The "we" I'm referring to is authors--people like me.

We sit down in front of a computer screen and begin to write. Some of us have already written or thought out an outline, have a cast of characters, and now we're ready to start our latest mystery.

During the days and weeks and months that we're writing we're keeping track of the plot, making sure things are happening, when they should, planting clues and red herrings along the way, that the characters are responding as they should to what's happening to them, all the while trying to choose the best words to describe the action, making sure the dialogue sounds realistic, while following the rules of grammar.

Of course, we know that this first draft will be edited and rewritten, but still, we're going to do the best job possible. None of this is easy.

After the editing and rewriting, if we're self-publishing we'll probably hire an editor to go over it and make sure we did our job well--or if we're sending it off to a publisher we'll be hearing from an editor with things to change and fix.

After all that's done, while we're waiting for the book to be published, we're busy planning promotion--all the while though, there's that nagging thought--will anyone like what I've written?

So the book is finally available for people to read and we wait for that first review. What are readers going to say? For some this is a real worry.

What about sales? Only a small percentage of authors really make enough money writing to live on. So if we're not in that percentage, why do we do it?

I can only answer the question for myself--I have to write. It's what I do. Because I'm writing two series and I love my characters, the only way I can find out what's going to happen to them next is to write another book. So, in a way, maybe I'm writing for me with the hope that there are some readers out there who will want to read what I've written.

What about the rest of you?

Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith

Coming soon: A Crushing Death


Lorelei Bell said...

Exactly why I write. It's an itch that has to be scratched. So what if we make little income, or that it's sporadic? It's just fun.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Yep, Lorelei, it's something I love. If I had to depend upon my writing for food on the table, I'd definitely be skinnier.

Amy Bennett said...

I think this is where having two other jobs comes in handy... I don't have a lot of time to worry or else I'm too tired! But we do it for the love of the craft, torturing as it is!