Author Topic: Anybody else feel this way?  (Read 2875 times)  

Offline Carol Davis

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 911
  • Gender: Female
  • New York
    • View Profile
    • Carol Davis Author
Re: Anybody else feel this way?
« Reply #25 on: June 30, 2020, 10:08:10 am »
Wish I could outline. I make an effort at it to start, then as I'm writing the story just goes off on its own tangent and I end up miles from where I planned.

I enjoy the journey, though, haha.

You and me both! I've never had any luck outlining anything, short or long.







KBoards.com

  • Advertisement
  • ***

    Offline I am a unicorn

    • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
    • **
    • Posts: 72
    • Gender: Female
      • View Profile
    Re: Anybody else feel this way?
    « Reply #26 on: June 30, 2020, 10:59:07 am »
    I make a couple hundred dollars a month -- but it's because I have a huge catalog. (Something like 40 books, mostly novellas.) Each individual book makes a few dollars a month at best.

    I've got two separate pen names/genres. My science fiction and PNR books I let float along by themselves because I couldn't find a reliable way to promote them. But for my sweet romance, I built up a subscriber list of about 1500 people, and I swap "advertising" in other people's newsletters. That's worked far better for me than paid advertising.

    As for struggling with motivation, I think that's been a problem for almost everyone these past few months. I've got almost a dozen stories started, with no real motivation to keep going on any of them. A writer friend reminded me that we're all swimming in stress hormones and need to remember to be kind to ourselves when and where we can. And you've got a baby on the way! (Congratulations!)

    Maybe you can take a quiet moment and ask yourself what your definition of "success" is at this point in time. Can you find some new avenues of promotion for your existing books, and set aside any big new projects for next year? This business is crazy and unpredictable at the best of times, and this year... It's just nothing any of us saw coming.

    Best of luck with the books and getting ready for your new arrival!

    I've heard so many people rave about newsletter swaps! I wish I had a newsletter list worthy of that. I only have like 30 subscribers and have no idea how to get more. That's yet another thing I haven't figured out yet! I love what you said about defining success. My therapist asked me the same thing a few months ago and I didn't have an answer. Honestly, I still don't! I think success is what's actually happening right now (consistent readers, income, and read-through), but I guess a selfish part of me wishes I could make more than I spend so I feel...validated? I know that's probably silly since good sales aren't always indicative of good writing, but I can't seem to shake it. It might even have to do with guilt - like if I'm not making more than I'm spending, this is a selfish luxury in a tough economy that I should press pause on. Plus, you know, baby coming and diapers.

    Offline wearywanderer64

    • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
    • ****
    • Posts: 637
    • Gender: Male
    • Spain
    • I wander lonely as a cloud
      • View Profile
      • Scribbling Tales
    Re: Anybody else feel this way?
    « Reply #27 on: June 30, 2020, 11:58:11 am »
    Try Story Origin for subscribers. They're really good.


    A.T. Mahon | Scribbling Tales

    Offline TaraCrescent

    • Status: Lewis Carroll
    • **
    • Posts: 243
      • View Profile
    Re: Anybody else feel this way?
    « Reply #28 on: June 30, 2020, 01:23:55 pm »
    Romance is a really hard genre to write in if you don't release frequently. Have you ever considered writing in a genre that's more tolerant of slower releases? I don't know the market super well, but I think psychological thrillers might be one.

    Offline I am a unicorn

    • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
    • **
    • Posts: 72
    • Gender: Female
      • View Profile
    Re: Anybody else feel this way?
    « Reply #29 on: June 30, 2020, 03:35:23 pm »
    Try Story Origin for subscribers. They're really good.

    Oooooo, thanks!

    Offline I am a unicorn

    • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
    • **
    • Posts: 72
    • Gender: Female
      • View Profile
    Re: Anybody else feel this way?
    « Reply #30 on: June 30, 2020, 03:44:14 pm »
    Romance is a really hard genre to write in if you don't release frequently. Have you ever considered writing in a genre that's more tolerant of slower releases? I don't know the market super well, but I think psychological thrillers might be one.

    Yeah, I wish I were a faster writer! I will never be able to pump out a new novel every other month. I did write a psychological thriller about 3 years ago for NaNo, but it needs a lot of work because that's not really my wheelhouse. I do want to write a time travel romance series one day because it's my favorite sub-genre, but I don't think I have the brainpower for that right now!!

    Online NikOK

    • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
    • **
    • Posts: 80
    • Gender: Male
    • VA
      • View Profile
    Re: Anybody else feel this way?
    « Reply #31 on: July 01, 2020, 04:41:43 pm »
    Ha, I appreciate the topic here, it's pretty real deal.  Burnout happens with just about any job/hobby/interest and I feel like dealing with that is sometimes just as important as writing a thing.  Sorry to hear that things are dragging right now, but at least they can't always be like that.  Ruts kinda come and go, you know?

    But, one thing I like to do to help with these kind of things is to keep some project going that's just for me.  Doesn't really matter what it is, but it does me good to have something to work on where I can forget everything else and just do it.  Right now, mine is a screenplay for a movie sequel that even I think shouldn't really get a sequel, but it's fun, and it's a shake up from working on more serious things.  I guess it might not be a new idea or anything, it's just, having something that I can sit down with and keep writing really helps when I get lost in thinking about advertising and promoting and all that really dry stuff that makes the internet book world so much less enjoyable.

    Offline I am a unicorn

    • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
    • **
    • Posts: 72
    • Gender: Female
      • View Profile
    Re: Anybody else feel this way?
    « Reply #32 on: July 02, 2020, 05:05:08 am »
    Ha, I appreciate the topic here, it's pretty real deal.  Burnout happens with just about any job/hobby/interest and I feel like dealing with that is sometimes just as important as writing a thing.  Sorry to hear that things are dragging right now, but at least they can't always be like that.  Ruts kinda come and go, you know?

    But, one thing I like to do to help with these kind of things is to keep some project going that's just for me.  Doesn't really matter what it is, but it does me good to have something to work on where I can forget everything else and just do it.  Right now, mine is a screenplay for a movie sequel that even I think shouldn't really get a sequel, but it's fun, and it's a shake up from working on more serious things.  I guess it might not be a new idea or anything, it's just, having something that I can sit down with and keep writing really helps when I get lost in thinking about advertising and promoting and all that really dry stuff that makes the internet book world so much less enjoyable.

    I hate these crappy ruts, but I know what you mean. It's tough to stay motivated with anything when the sky is falling! I haven't written in a few weeks, but I do wish I could sit down and write again and be reminded why I love storytelling. Like you said writing your screenplay - it's fun! I know results are exciting after working so hard to get a book out there, but I hate dwelling on revenue and not just enjoying the accomplishment of putting something creative out there that might make someone's day. GAH.

    Offline Decon

    • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
    • *******
    • Posts: 5052
      • View Profile
      • Declan Conner, Blog
    Re: Anybody else feel this way?
    « Reply #33 on: July 02, 2020, 12:06:49 pm »
    Wish I could outline. I make an effort at it to start, then as I'm writing the story just goes off on its own tangent and I end up miles from where I planned.

    I enjoy the journey, though, haha.

    I started outlining on my last two books a few years ago, but not to any depth, because as you say, when you hit the keyboard, the story can have a life of its own, but as long as you know to keep to a structure, it works. I had to outline this time or I'd have been finished with writing.

    After a 2 year lull, I started the 1st book in the trilogy as a standalone and was around 35000 words into it, when the story in my head just kept growing beyond one book. I realised it was too big a story to keep track of everything and decided this time to plan it as a trilogy in some depth.

    I have been looking at different software packages for outlining such as scrivenger and a host of others, but didn't think they would work for me as I just want to write in Word as I always have. My trilogy outline isn't complete yet, but it should be finished for all three books over the next few days. I've had the entire story developing in my head as I said for some time now that makes outlining easier. It was also too big a story over the three books to pants it as I expect I would have run into a road block and stopped writing again. I also have to get the locations and the science right, or it just wouldn't be believable, so I need to have my research at hand.

    The other problem I had was multiple events and characters. Usually I only have one or two important characters and it's easy to have their character arc in your head. I took my inspiration this time from documentaries and you tube clips on Game of Thrones characters discussing their motivations and character arcs over the series. As for setting, other than location, I've never had to worry about it other than at times a quick look at Google maps.

    This might not be the way to do it, but I've set it out after looking at the software packages, but unlike software, I'll print it off and have it to hand when needed.

    Knowing the story, I came up with the titles for all three books  From that, I produced 3 draft covers using Microsoft publisher that I have.

    For the outline I wrote each title and and a blurb for each of the individual plots to know each story has legs.

    I then wrote a synopsis on each full plot of two pages.

    I then wrote a section on creating the world I had envisioned.
    This included, setting, infrastructure, political climate, social structure, the economy etc and how this world would change in view of events. From this, as it is an actual location that readers will recognise, I couldn't hoof it, so I had to research maps and also scientic papers on a host of subjects and what ifs, and I picked out what would be needed and copied the info to the outline doc.

    I also copied many different maps for the world setting specific to say ethnicity, political leanings of different areas etc. I also needed such as mountain ranges of different areas etc. This has enabled me to draw my own maps based on changes to my world that will be reasonably accurate that will be in the book.

    Next I wrote out character histories and traits and their role in the story and connections to other characters if any, and their character arcs over the three books.

    Just now, I've made a list of 60 chapters for each of the books and I'm in the process of writing chapter titles and a paragraph on the purpose of each one, paying attention to a three act structure.

    When all three are done for the outline , I'll start writing again. It is laborious and it will have taken me 3 days working from morning until night, but I'm sure the effort will make the task of writing and finishing the books easier

    Regardless, I'm just pleased at last I have my writing mojo back after 2 years of nothing, and with the planning, I can't see how I won't finish it and get the whole thing published. this year.

    « Last Edit: July 02, 2020, 12:47:47 pm by Decon »


    Scorpion ebooks: Full length  thrillers with a sting in the tale. All enrolled in KU & Prime.
    Declan Conner | blog

    Offline jmb3

    • Status: Lewis Carroll
    • **
    • Posts: 131
    • Gender: Female
    • So.Cal
      • View Profile
    Re: Anybody else feel this way?
    « Reply #34 on: July 02, 2020, 02:18:29 pm »
    Congratulations on your pregnancy. I can't imagine writing with little ones. I didn't start writing until my youngest was in high school. You are brave.

    Like you, I'm a slow writer (I haven't released anything in over a year) and am also dealing with feeling like I've lost my mojo. I wonder if the 4-year mark is when burnout hits a lot of writers. I know several authors who started when I did four year ago who are also struggling with motivation and self-doubt. I wish I could blame my problem on the virus but this started well before that monster ever reared its ugly head. This is a tough business with both an excess of praise and negativity. Its easy to get down on yourself. Maybe take a step back-before the expectations and before the deadlines-and remember what you like about writing. :)





    Offline I am a unicorn

    • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
    • **
    • Posts: 72
    • Gender: Female
      • View Profile
    Re: Anybody else feel this way?
    « Reply #35 on: July 03, 2020, 06:06:12 pm »
    Congratulations on your pregnancy. I can't imagine writing with little ones. I didn't start writing until my youngest was in high school. You are brave.

    Like you, I'm a slow writer (I haven't released anything in over a year) and am also dealing with feeling like I've lost my mojo. I wonder if the 4-year mark is when burnout hits a lot of writers. I know several authors who started when I did four year ago who are also struggling with motivation and self-doubt. I wish I could blame my problem on the virus but this started well before that monster ever reared its ugly head. This is a tough business with both an excess of praise and negativity. Its easy to get down on yourself. Maybe take a step back-before the expectations and before the deadlines-and remember what you like about writing. :)

    Thank you!  :D And yeah, that's interesting! I wonder if there is a reason we both hit a slump at the 4-year mark?

    Online kyokominamino

    • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
    • ****
    • Posts: 960
    • Gender: Female
    • The Magical Land of Shut Up
      • View Profile
      • She Who Writes Monsters
    Re: Anybody else feel this way?
    « Reply #36 on: July 06, 2020, 11:21:26 am »
    As others have said, you are NOT alone. My June sales are in the toilet. I barely sold 30 books, for crying out loud, and that's after I had a decent permafree promo during that month. Most of us hit the wall at some point. It feels extremely discouraging when you try your best and it feels like you're screaming into the void. It's also disheartening when you see other authors, whether traditionally published or indie/self-published, making bank all around you and you start to wonder if you're crazy or your books suck. To tell you the truth, this job is just RANDOM. There is no set path for any of us. All we can do is share what has worked in the past and build on it and keep pushing. It sucks. A lot. You can do every single thing right and still get a fat load of nothing from readers, but that doesn't mean your books suck. It's all a crapshoot.

    Perfect example: Gail freaking Simone retweeted my reply to her question specifically about book covers on the Fourth of July. For a second, I thought my ship had come in! The tweet got 12,801 views. I was ecstatic, thinking this would navigate some readers my way. I checked my sales. Frickin' 18 downloads aka no different than any other day even though one of the most well-known comic book writers in modern times retweeted me and it was specifically related to my books in a positive way. RANDOM.

    It's okay to feel down. Let yourself feel things. But also understand that it's beyond your control, so you have to accept the rejections and keep writing if that's what you want to do. Keep in mind that all these writers who seem like they're Richard Castle are still the exceptions. Most of us work full time jobs and bust our butts and don't make that much in return, but you generally only hear about the Stephen King's and the George R. R. Martin's since they want everyone to think that's what it's like for the industry. Nah. We're all broke and we grind hard and we just keep trying over and over again.

    You'll catch a break sooner or later. It may take time, but if you love to write and you're making your books the best they can be, then you'll find your way. Good luck out there. We've got your back.

    I write about monsters. Rawr.
    Kyoko M | Website and Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr

    Offline I am a unicorn

    • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
    • **
    • Posts: 72
    • Gender: Female
      • View Profile
    Re: Anybody else feel this way?
    « Reply #37 on: July 06, 2020, 05:28:14 pm »
    As others have said, you are NOT alone. My June sales are in the toilet. I barely sold 30 books, for crying out loud, and that's after I had a decent permafree promo during that month. Most of us hit the wall at some point. It feels extremely discouraging when you try your best and it feels like you're screaming into the void. It's also disheartening when you see other authors, whether traditionally published or indie/self-published, making bank all around you and you start to wonder if you're crazy or your books suck. To tell you the truth, this job is just RANDOM. There is no set path for any of us. All we can do is share what has worked in the past and build on it and keep pushing. It sucks. A lot. You can do every single thing right and still get a fat load of nothing from readers, but that doesn't mean your books suck. It's all a crapshoot.

    Perfect example: Gail freaking Simone retweeted my reply to her question specifically about book covers on the Fourth of July. For a second, I thought my ship had come in! The tweet got 12,801 views. I was ecstatic, thinking this would navigate some readers my way. I checked my sales. Frickin' 18 downloads aka no different than any other day even though one of the most well-known comic book writers in modern times retweeted me and it was specifically related to my books in a positive way. RANDOM.

    It's okay to feel down. Let yourself feel things. But also understand that it's beyond your control, so you have to accept the rejections and keep writing if that's what you want to do. Keep in mind that all these writers who seem like they're Richard Castle are still the exceptions. Most of us work full time jobs and bust our butts and don't make that much in return, but you generally only hear about the Stephen King's and the George R. R. Martin's since they want everyone to think that's what it's like for the industry. Nah. We're all broke and we grind hard and we just keep trying over and over again.

    You'll catch a break sooner or later. It may take time, but if you love to write and you're making your books the best they can be, then you'll find your way. Good luck out there. We've got your back.

    EVERYTHING YOU SAID.  :D I especially relate to screaming in the void and feeling like I'm crazy and that my books suck!!!

    Offline Brian D. Anderson

    • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
    • **
    • Posts: 88
      • View Profile
    Re: Anybody else feel this way?
    « Reply #38 on: July 06, 2020, 11:44:58 pm »
    In the world there are only about 15k people making a living as a novelist. That's indie and traditional combined. The overwhelming majority of writers will never see more than a handful of sales, regardless of what they try. That shouldn't deter you unless your reason for writing is fame and fortune, in which case you're doing it for the wrong reasons.
    Writing books the public wants to read is a very rare talent. Most people do not, and never will have it, no matter how many books they write or how many classes and seminars they attend. But writing isn't about how good you are. It's about how you feel when you write. It's about self-expression. Anything aside from that is a bonus. 
    Brian D. Anderson

    Offline Sapphire

    • Status: Arthur C Clarke
    • *****
    • Posts: 2935
    • USA
      • View Profile
    Re: Anybody else feel this way?
    « Reply #39 on: July 07, 2020, 08:00:16 am »
    Interesting comments above about the 4-year mark. I blamed the wall I hit on life events blind-siding me, but looking back, those four years were also my general timeline. When I was finally able to write again, the quality of the story was missing. Had I lost my mojo? Had I just been lucky to have those early books lurking in my brain and now they were used up? By now, I've decided the answer to both those questions was no. I've had to redirect my thinking and approach my writing with a different mindset. My current WIP still isn't finished (should have been long ago), but I'm satisfied the writing is good again. The best part? Once again, my head is flooded with ideas for future books begging to be written.
    I do not agree to the 2018 Terms of Service (or to any subsequent changes).

    Offline edipet

    • Status: Dr. Seuss
    • *
    • Posts: 42
    • Gender: Female
      • View Profile
      • Edita A. Petrick
    Re: Anybody else feel this way?
    « Reply #40 on: July 07, 2020, 12:19:57 pm »
    Writing books the public wants to read is a very rare talent. Most people do not, and never will have it, no matter how many books they write or how many classes and seminars they attend. But writing isn't about how good you are. It's about how you feel when you write. It's about self-expression. Anything aside from that is a bonus.
    [/quote]

    Yep. And yep again.


    suspense action historical and crime thrillers
    Edita A. Petrick | website

    Offline I am a unicorn

    • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
    • **
    • Posts: 72
    • Gender: Female
      • View Profile
    Re: Anybody else feel this way?
    « Reply #41 on: July 07, 2020, 04:44:10 pm »
    In the world there are only about 15k people making a living as a novelist. That's indie and traditional combined. The overwhelming majority of writers will never see more than a handful of sales, regardless of what they try. That shouldn't deter you unless your reason for writing is fame and fortune, in which case you're doing it for the wrong reasons.
    Writing books the public wants to read is a very rare talent. Most people do not, and never will have it, no matter how many books they write or how many classes and seminars they attend. But writing isn't about how good you are. It's about how you feel when you write. It's about self-expression. Anything aside from that is a bonus.

    Agreed. I love writing, and the fact that I get paid anything to write books is kind of a dream. I just hate spending money on newsletter sites because there's never a solid return. Side note: I can't believe there are even 15k authors making a living wage!

    KBoards.com

    • Advertisement
    • ***