This old One Room Schoolhouse in Roaring Falls serves as our only currently available Classroom. Due to its small size, we frequently hold classes outdoors under the spreading Chestnut tree, or seated along the edge of the old Stone Bridge.
The classes held here are devoted solely to helpful Writing Tips, and other goodies not directly associated with the Roaring Falls Series. On occasion I may expound on certain facets of Roaring Falls in examples, as part of a lesson or two.
Because this page could grow quite large over time, rather than having it look like a jumbled up slow loading Blog. For your, and our mobile visitors convenience, we have divided each Topic and Sub-Topic, placing them on separate Schoolhouse Bookshelves.
The question is often posed several different ways, but always asks the same thing.
The varied number of responses to this question are excellent indicators of where the writer's career is possibly heading. Even successful authors may feel a sense of sinking into failure, if they have not carefully examined their own motives and begin walking the wrong set of tracks.
One way authors can force themselves to examine their motivation for writing is by asking:
The goal of becoming successful, is not the response a publisher is seeking by asking this question. In a publishers eyes, there are more wrong responses to this question that correct ones. They do not want to hear about your dreams or ambitions, they want to understand why writing is important to you, what compelled you to write and what you expect to achieve.
Before a publisher will invest several thousand dollars in the works of an author, they must be thoroughly convinced that the writer is not simply on a temporary ego trip, seeking fame or fortune. The proper response to the question will show the publisher, the author is sincere about a long career and lifestyle as a writer.
If you are merely writing for recognition, to earn acceptance, or see your name on a best seller list, chances are the publisher will show you the door, assuming you managed to even get in the door in the first place. It is not wrong to desire these things, but they should never be your motivation for writing. Fame and fortune are the results of hard work and a job well done!
So then, what is my goal, if not fame and fortune?
Believe it or not, fame and fortune are dreams many, but not most, authors hope to achieve. A true author writes to satisfy their need to communicate via the written word, expressing themselves through an outlet most amenable to their intended audience. Maintaining a blog or a column in a local paper is rarely for the pursuit of recognition or monetary gain.
Indie publishing as changed the landscape of the industry, allowing many writers to get their works in front of a large audience; in hopes they will build readership and a following who love their short stories or novels. If they base their standard of success on reaching the best seller lists and do not achieve this goal they may sink into depression or feel they are a failure.
Another problem, just as disastrous, is they do manage to reach their goal, momentarily, after expending a great deal of effort and oftentimes great expense, then slide back down just as quickly as they rose. A select few become successful and remain on the best sellers list long enough to find both fame and fortune. However, their dream now achieved, their goal fulfilled, once again, depression sets in. Why? Because their motivation to write had nothing to do with writing, it was only to stroke their ego. The goal, whether failed or accomplished, their dream is completed, either shattered or fulfilled, and nothing else remains.
Each author establishes an agenda, their reason for writing, and it is important to know and understand the motivational force behind it. If you are writing because you have great ideas, interesting characters and stories you wish to share with your readers; to entertain, inspire, captivate or communicate with your audience, you are on your way to success.
Success is not measured in dollars and cents, or numbers on a chart. Success is measured by the number of people you touch, who's lives were enhanced because of you. If only one person fell in love with your book, they will tell others who will also spread the word. The most important thing is you touched someone, you learned new things and you have grown in your trade.
Time and experience are not new, but Indie publishing provides an author with more outlets and longer running opportunities than previously published authors ever enjoyed the privilege of knowing. Your novel will not die in a bookstore in three weeks, or get shelved on a publishers whim; it will remain available to buyers until you withdraw it from circulation. Each sale presents the opportunity for more sales if your work is worthy to be talked about.
There is one last thing I would like to mention to those who have followed me this far. There are numerous venues within each genre, and it is impossible to please everyone. I'm sure you have heard this before, but it holds true, write about what you know. There are so many small niche markets out there, having been overlooked for so long, the bookshelves are totally devoid of anything new in those categories. Knowledgeable authors addressing these gaping holes often earn a steady income, that continues year after year and only compounds as they add more books in these barren market areas.