This Typey-typey Thing Is Hard! (dedicated to all potential writers) by Jake Bible
Today I’d like to welcome author and podcaster Jake Bible to The Evolution of Nikki. Jake is the author of DEAD MECH, the world’s first drabble novel.
You can find out more about Jake via his official website.
Now onto today’s post. (If you’re a potential writer, this one is most definitely for you.)
So, I am a writer. Impressive, eh?
Sure, I get to sit around in my PJs clacking at my keyboard, getting multiple refills of delisciousssssss coffee while snacking on donut holes. Then watch Doctor Who re-runs for the other seven hours of the “work” day. It’s the life!
Except, none of that is true. Oh, I wish it was. I could use a good pair of PJs. But, alas, I am part of the 90%-95% of professional writers that is afflicted with a condition that the average reader (even sub-average reader) is not aware of.
I am speaking of: The Day Job.
Yep, I work for a living.
Sure, I may make enough from my ebook sales and (soon) my print book sales to keep my fridge stocked with craft beer on the weekends (can’t afford beer on weeknights), but I won’t be buying a summer cottage on The Cape anytime soon. (Where is “The Cape”, by the way?)
Yes, I even have a literary agent that is busy trying to sell my work out there, but selling and sold are two different words. And even when sold I will be lucky if I can pay off my Best Buy card. Not that I regret the HDTV in the living room. I do regret I got suckered into buying the over priced HDMI cable, though. I should have read CNET first.
I digress. Won’t be the last time in this post.
What many readers don’t know is that only between 5%-10% of professional writers make enough money to support themselves (and possibly their families, as well). Yep, see all those books on your bookshelf, dear potential writer? 90% of those are written by folks that are schlepping it to work each day just like you. Oh, the glamour!
Now, before you feel sorry for me and get your wallets out…be sure and click here. I kid. …Or do I?
Okay, I better get to the point before you go back to watching The View. Or that YouTube video of the cat playing with the dolphin. That is just so damn cute! Can’t wait for the sequel where the cat plays with a shark. Hijinks will ensue, I guarantee it!
Here is why I am writing this post (after six plus paragraphs of nonsense): if you want to be a writer, be prepared to work your butt off like never before. If you are lucky! That’s right, you’ll be working your tuchas to the bone even if you catch a break. I am.
I launched my first novel, DEAD MECH, as a free podcast. I was lucky (there’s that word again) that it took off and caught the attention of some other big authors/podcasters. With help I was able to gain a rather large following right away which lead to a publishing contract (which I have since nullified because I am a control freak). But, my following was a following of folks that liked FREE content. Did that translate to sales when the novel was printed? No. No, it didn’t.
So, I had to start the hustle that all writers go through. I had to self-promote my novel (as well as the podcast), I had to work on getting my next novel written (and recorded for podcast), I had to plan my third novel (maybe a podcast?) plus all the website maintenance, correspondence, ebook publishing, writing, revising, editing, writing, revising, etc.
And do it all while working 40+ hours a week at my day job.
Sure, you still want to be a writer?
Or, if you don’t want to be a writer, do you still believe writing is easy?
I’m sure many of you are unconvinced, so let’s break it down.
My month has consisted of the following:
- Prep/proof two manuscripts for print publication.
- Revise said manuscripts and coordinate with my formatter for revisions.
- Write a new YA novel (still in progress).
- Edit my current novel.
- Record/edit the podcast release of my current novel.
- Start the first draft of a zombie musical (yes, you read that right).
- Update all of me ebooks because of late errors found.
- Update my website to reflect the new info constantly being generated by new work.
- Write several guest blog posts.
- Be part of a few interviews.
- Work on publicity/promotion.
- Get frustrated with publicity/promotion and get drunk instead.
- Post on Facebook/Twitter/The Ether.
- Respond to comments on Facebook/Twitter (can’t respond to The Ether, that’s just crazy talk).
- Take notes for next novel.
- Take notes for the novel after that.
- Drink coffee (okay, drink whiskey with coffee in it).
- Work at day job.
- Keep wife and children healthy and fed (I do all the cooking).
- Sleep (yep, I’m a wuss that way).
There’s more but I’ve had too much “coffee” to remember what the rest is. Let me know if I missed anything.
How’s that writing dream feeling? Have I crushed it yet? I sure as hell hope not. Because if you have read all of this and still want to be a writer then you probably have the stuff to be successful at it. However, if this list freaks you out (or you don’t like “coffee”) then maybe you should just keep working on that manuscript until you do have what it takes.
Now, if you get one thing from this post, I hope it’s this: It’s easy to fail, it’s hard to succeed. Be prepared for success. You don’t need preparation for failure. We’re humans, failure is in our DNA. Success is what will really kill you. As a writer, your biggest regret in life won’t be that you failed at writing, but that you succeeded at writing then failed at success. That’ll break your soul.
But, even with all of this craziness I absolutely love writing and I wouldn’t go back to my pre-writing days if someone paid me. Well, I guess it depends on how much they paid me…
And, on that note, I wish you all great success!
Jake Bible lives in Asheville, NC with his wife and two kids. He is the author of many published short stories and the creator of a new literary form: the Drabble Novel. DEAD MECH is his first novel and represents the introduction to the world of the Drabble Novel, a novel written 100 words at a time.
Learn more about Jake and his work at www.jakebible.com. Links to his Facebook fan page, Twitter and his forum can be found there, as well as his weekly drabble release, Friday Night Drabble Party, and his weekly free audio fiction podcast.