Ever wondered why you spend hours and hours slaving away over a piece of writing?
If your answer is “because I want to be rich and famous!” – check out my list below.
Here are 10 reasons why you should not write for fame and fortune.
Now, I am not being a literary party pooper, I am just trying to make you consider writing for other things other than literary fame and fortune.
If you research the famous writers you will see that for many writing was a form of self discovery and exploration. Others wrote because they had a burning desire to put words onto a page. Not one of them wrote to become famous. Read this fab article on 15 great writers.
I believe writing solely for fame and fortune sets you up for future misery and heartbreak as the chances of becoming a famous author are miniscule.
You are more likely to get famous nowadays by doing something amazing or controversial firstand then writing a book based on your experiences. Being famous beforehand is usually why your book sells in vast quantities.
Making a fortune with writing can be tricky even for famous writers. It took 14 years for Ian Rankin’s writing to pay off.
If you do get to be famous your writer friends might sell you out to the press. Your secret love of clichés, your obsession with crutch words, your ‘I hate editing’ face selfies and your lengthy late night emails about your ten month crush on your fictional character could become common knowledge.
If you did become famous you would have to socialize a LOT. So you can kiss goodbye to quiet evenings, clad in your comfy writing clothes, with only a sleeping cat for company.
Writing is tough. ‘Along the way there are pitfalls of self-disgust, boredom, disorientation and a lingering sense of inadequacy, occasionally alternating with episodes of hysterical self-congratulation as you fleetingly believe you’ve nailed that particular sentence’.Hari Kunzru. Surely there must be easier things to do to get famous?
If you did become famous think about all the extra work you would have to do to make sure you looked good; hiring a personal trainer to get your wobbly bits under control (still loving the phrase ‘wobbly bits’), only eating lettuce and dust to remain stick thin, ensuring your eyebrows remained perfectly arched and dousing yourself in fake tan every night so that you always had a glow. You would get little time to write.
If you did become famous you might have to hand over your social media to others and concentrate on your writing – ugh! This frightens the life out of me. Can you imagine not being able to tweet something random when you feel like it?
True writers don’t think about the destination of their work. They are too busy falling in love with their writing during the journey.
I am going to end this post with a quote from Stephen King, who I think sums up what you should write for:
‘Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid or making friends. In the end its about enriching the lives of those who will read your work and enriching your own life as well.’ Stephen King.
The idea for this post came to me after I reviewed my current manuscript’s journey.
My review highlighted some reoccurring themes, which, after a strong coffee and a piece of comforting cake, got me thinking about the similarities between the mythical bird; the phoenix and the writer.
2016 was the year I started listening to those around me. After spending the first part of the year dismissing advice and top tips from my creative friends (as I thought I knew best… sigh!) I thought I would do something different in the second half of last year.
So I listened, took advice and almost immediately started squeaking “oh my goodness you were right!”
As you can imagine readers I received a lot of eye rolls last year and the 🙄 emoji was well used.
Here are 10 things my creative friends have taught me:
The idea for this post came to me after I did some research on the ‘overnight literary success myth.’ I have always been intrigued by the term and the notion that success JUST happens to authors. Surely there is more to overnight literary fame than meets the eye? Once you type this myth into Google you can expect to see an array of interesting articles and blog posts on the subject.
This research into the myth of authors being hailed as ‘overnight literary successes’ led me onto the iceberg” cliché, which I found in a fab article. It was an article from the Huffington Post:
Before we all buckle up and head off on our 2017 writing journey, let’s agree on some useful stuff to pack. I don’t want us to get into our journey and discover we forgot some important items. We don’t have time for tears!