Writing as a Hobby

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Photo Credit: I’m Just Sharing

Okay guys, I have no idea if this will turn into one of my more rant-y posts, but I’ll write whatever I write. By the way, I just realized that I start a lot of posts with “okay guys.” I guess it’s almost routine now. So now let me get on topic. What do you think I mean by this post’s title? Honestly, what do you think? I think it’s fairly straightforward what I’m getting at here.

You see, I’ve never operated under the guise that writing would ever be a career for me. I mean, sure I decided to give myself a full 19 months after graduation to get some writing done, but I’ve never imagined myself on book tours or bestseller lists. Maybe you have, not me. I’m not stupid. I think my writing is okay, but I am well aware of the fact that there are many more writers out there who are simply better. It doesn’t matter what I write or how often I write or any of that stuff that you constantly hear will make you a better writer, because at the end of the day I’m just okay. And I’m perfectly fine with that.

I want to take you back for a second to May 2013. Graduation stuff is in full swing and the time is fast approaching for me to put up or shut up when it comes to writing. I’d been telling people for months about my goal of writing books, and now there would be some bit of expectation from many of them for me to get something done. I’m taking you back to this particular time because someone who probably knows me better than any other person told me very clearly that she believed I should write as a hobby in my free time and get a real job. I have to be honest here, I hated that she said this at the time. This was someone I’d known since high school and we’d remained in constant contact in the years since and she was telling me that I shouldn’t focus on writing. I’ve written about this girl and her advice on here before, and it appears that once again I’m going to acknowledge that she was right. If I’d had more people like her I might have a job by now.

Anyway, back to today. I’ll probably start writing again eventually, but I’m about to completely reverse a decision I made back when I began writing my second book. I wrote a post about it last year but I’m not going to go find it. I said that under no circumstances would I self-publish. And I probably still won’t, but I think it’s safe to say that I have no desire at this point to pursue representation with an agent or traditional publishing. The book I’ve been “writing” will eventually get written, but who cares if a thousand people read it or just me? I’ll write because it’s something I enjoy and feel that I’m slightly above average at, but I’m not sitting here fooling myself into thinking that I’m some super writer who is going to one day make it big by writing crime novels. That isn’t happening.

And what gets me the most is that I see writers on Twitter tweeting ALL DAY LONG every single day about how much they’ve written or what they’re working on or something about writing and I just laugh. Because let’s face it, a tiny tiny tiny tiny tiny sliver of the writing population will eventually secure a publishing deal. Something like 0.05%. And these select few have won writing awards in college and published papers and they make the move easily into fiction. And it seems like every writer seems to think they’re within that percentage of the population, whether or not they’ve even finished college or ever written anything of substance. Folks, there’s a reason your bookshelves aren’t full of books written by high school or college kids, so stop with your crazy thinking that you can do it without all that.  Yeah you might be a good writer, but you are not getting a publishing deal. Not now, at least. Most likely never.

I realize that most of you likely work full-time or maybe you’re in school or something and you also happen to write, but if you work minimally and you’re not in school, well you should probably find yourself a career. Cause writing isn’t it.

And I’m ready for all of you to tell me how just because I don’t think I’m good enough that I shouldn’t think that about everyone or how writers don’t have to have a degree or blah blah blah. Go right ahead.

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Celebrity Book Deals

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Photo Credit: Expats Post

We all know that it is nearly impossible to get your foot in the door of the publishing industry, right? Yet I’m sure you see all these celebrities getting book deals left and right. Let me tell you what I think about this.

First off, I can definitely understand why a publisher would offer a book deal to a well-known celebrity…money. At least that’s what I’d hope is motivating them. They think that a book “written” by a well-known celebrity is a sure fire bestseller and money maker. As I’m writing this I’m not going to check to see if this actually rings true because it may just make me angry.

But let me name off a few celebrities who have recently gotten book deals or have actually released a book. Kendall and Kylie Jenner. Shaq. Alex Morgan. Derek Jeter. Did you know Simon and Schuster gave Jeter his own imprint? Yes. These are just the ones off the top of my head. Before I continue, let me just say that I’m not here saying that any of these celebrities are incapable of helping during the creative process, I’m just pointing out that major publishers are giving book deals to people who aren’t actually writing the books.

How does that saying about the publishing industry go? Something like the super writers make it possible for publishers to take chances on lesser known authors. Something like that? But it appears that the super writers are making it possible for publishers to take chances on celebrity authors. And let’s face it, some of the time the publishers will be right and they’ll have an instant bestseller on their hands, but not always.

So while you’re working away on that final draft of your book or trying to perfect your query letter, just know that the publishers you wish to be published by have allowed some celebrity to skip the entire process just because of their name.

NOTE: I’m about 99% sure that Alex Morgan actually writes her books, props to her!

But how do you feel about celebrities getting major book deals without ever writing a single word on a page?