So, you are a newbie writer or aspiring to become a writer – it doesn’t matter whether you write as a hobby or intend to make it your lifetime career – there is a great chance that you might be looking over the hard aspects of writing.
We are referring to the extensive hours you invest in writing or even staring at your laptop or a blank page – waiting for the muse to kick in and get some words on paper. Not to mention that all writers go through some self-doubt where they cannot stop wondering whether their target audience is going to enjoy the book or not.
The hard work for your first book (or second and third) is the same irrespective of whether you are writing a nonfiction book or working on a collection of short stories. As powerful and rewarding as writing is as a craft, it is also quite challenging.
It is crucial to talk about the hard aspects of writing and the potential hurdles many newbie writers face.
Read on to learn about some hard truths of writing that every newbie writer should know about.
Your Book is Not for Everyone
The first harsh reality that all newbie writers should know about is that not everyone will be reading your book or liking your story.
Many aspiring authors get scared of the very thought that someone might give them bad reviews about their book. What if people don’t like their stories? Why if they get negative comments about a published writing piece?
Sometimes, for newbie writers, the anxiety gets too much to the extent that they decide not to publish their manuscript at all. If this sounds familiar to you, you should know that being afraid of criticism and feedback is one of the worst and most devastating writer habits you will want to avoid at all costs.
As a writer, if you will have this kind of mindset – it will stifle your career and your writing abilities. At the end of the day, as a writer, you should be willing to accept the harsh reality that, irrespective of how compelling, engaging, and polished your book is, everyone will not like it.
Besides, even if your book becomes a bestseller, it is not supposed to be liked by everyone. Believe us when we tell you that even the best award-winning books have bad reviews. So, feedback and criticism are unavoidable, which is why there is no reason to be afraid of them.
At the end of the day, you will want to keep in mind that rating is subjective and differs from one reader to another.
You might think of writing in terms of art and craft – if one person is going to find it moving and inspirational – another person is not going to like it at all.
Writing is a Difficult Career
Not all books make it to the list of Amazon bestsellers, which is why you will find it difficult to make a steady income from writing books alone.
Understanding this point is crucial for anyone who is aspiring to become a full-time writer. Unfortunately, whether you opt for traditional publishing or choose to become a self-publishing author, it is quite challenging to earn substantial money and support yourself and pay bills just from selling your books.
The underlying reason for this is that book sales are very difficult to predict at the end of the day. Also, it comes down to some extent to whichever publishing method you want to adopt; you are ultimately only going to earn a set percentage of profit on each book sale.
Also, unless your book takes off and becomes a bestseller, it often doesn’t add up to enough book sales.
If this is the first time you are about to publish a book, then you should also know the difference between traditional publishing and self-publishing. Traditional publishing takes more time, and you don’t own as many rights, but you can avail yourself of an advance which is a predetermined amount of moneythat the publisher grants you for the rights to publish your book.
However, the advance won’t be as high as to support you for multiple years.
Nonetheless, none of this means that writers don’t or cannot make a living out of writing. Of course, they do make a living – but the ratio is lower as compared to those writers who do publish their books and have other jobs or sources of income to support themselves and their families.
Simply put, you must understand the harsh reality that it is completely normal to have a day job or a side hustle while pursuing one’s writing career. It is never expected of you to drop everything and become a full-time writer – if you want to be successful.
Book Publication Takes Time
Another harsh truth about writing is that it takes time to get one’s book published. This is true if you opt for the traditional book publishing route. When you reach the point where you are ready to publish your book and introduce it to the market- you will already have invested much of your time, energy, and effort.
Book publication is a slow and time-consuming process – on the traditional route. You are expected to write query letters to literary agents and receive an offer of representation, which can take up to one year.
You can also expect to work on re-writes with your agent after they have accepted the query – and this can again take a few more months. Your agent will then present your manuscript to the editors of different publishing houses.
Usually, it will take a couple of months for the editors to review the manuscript and offer a book deal. Once you sign up for a book deal, the book’s publication will take at least one year or two before it reaches the bookshelves.
Now you have a better idea about how long the book publication timeline can be, which is why you will have to remain patient – if you opt for traditional publishing.
While you have more control of the timeline in self-publishing, you will have to do many things on your own, such as the marketing plan, hiring a cover designer, editor, and proofreader – all of which is quite time-consuming as well.