Monday, November 23, 2009

What Will You Do to Publish?

There’s a difference between writing and publishing. It’s something we’ve discussed before and something that will inevitably come up over and over again on this and other blogs. Writing is a craft or a hobby, publishing is a business and for many your career.

One of the distinct differences I see between authors, those I represent and those who comment on or read the blog, are those who will do anything to be published and those who simply want to write. Now, before I go any further, let me make it clear that there’s nothing wrong with either. Some of you write simply to write and allow your creativity to flow. Others, however, have made the decision to write as a career. This means working on books, writing for magazines or writing for newspapers. I know many or all of you will say that you write because you have to. That it’s not a choice. Publishing, however, is a choice, or can be. Sometimes, unfortunately, it’s not a choice we can make on our own. But what if it is? What if you found out that there was an easy way into the publishing world? Would you take it or would you still prefer to write?

Here at BookEnds we pride ourselves on our ideas and enjoy brainstorming with our authors. Sometimes we come up with ideas in-house that we think would make a perfect mystery series or untapped romance idea. Sometimes one of these ideas is perfect for a particular author and at other times it goes on a list that we keep at hand for the author who might need an idea down the road. Editors aren’t much different. It’s common in both fiction and nonfiction for editors to have terrific ideas and search for authors to write them. I know that during my days as an editor I prepared a number of series bibles for different types of books and worked with agents to find the writers. In fact, more than ten years later, some of those series are still alive and doing very well.

How you deal with an idea that’s handed to you is really up to you and has to be a personal decision. Are you willing to write anything to build a publishing career or would you prefer to develop your own ideas and wait it out if necessary? Again, there’s no wrong answer to either of these questions. There have been many times when I’ve talked to authors about ideas I’ve had or editors have had and they’ve chosen to walk away, feeling the idea wasn’t exciting enough or wasn’t for them. I respect that. What I tell my clients any time an idea comes up is that you need to really feel passionate about it, because it’s the one idea, the one book series, you’ll be writing for the next twenty years. On top of that, there really are no guarantees. I’ve had authors write book proposals based on ideas from editors but fail to sell the book anyway, primarily because the visions the editor and author had for the book differed. I’ve had ideas I’ve given to authors that have sold, but didn’t sell well, and I’ve given authors ideas that didn’t sell.

Career writers often find that they sometimes need to write books they aren’t necessarily passionate about, but might enjoy anyway, and many have great success at it. My one bit of advice is that if you are ever offered the opportunity to write a book that comes from an agent or an editor, make sure it’s something you’re excited about no matter what and make sure you know why you write. Know if it’s more important to write your own ideas and create your own stories or know if being a career writer is what you really want. If a career is the path you choose then sometimes it’s important to remember that career writing, like any career, sometimes means doing things we aren’t necessarily passionate about, but that pays the bills.



Donna Lea Simpson said...

I consider myself a career author, and I will write many, many different things to make a living. Will I write ANYTHING? Well, no.

I couldn't write porn to save my life because I'd probably be giggling and making it over-the-top the whole time. Did you know, though, that the fabulous mystery writer Lawrence Block began his career writing gay female soft core porn?

I couldn't write Christian fiction because I don't have the right mindset, and I think it would come off fake, not something a Christian reader would appreciate.

I couldn't write pure science fiction, nor gruesome horror.

But... I could throw myself into most other sub-genres of mystery or romance because I do have an ability to find something in the work to enjoy. When the romance market turned to paranormal, I began a werewolf series for Berkeley, and the first book was a national bestseller, even though it wasn't something I had planned to do; I followed the market, but found something in it to love and bent it my own way.

Great post, Jessica, one that really resonates with me!

Unknown said...

Great post, Jessica. I encounter a ton of writers that tell me they write simply for the joy of it and for their own passion. I don't fit into that category.

I write in the hopes to ultimately make money. If I can't sell my work then I need to get another job - don't get me wrong, I'm not writing to pay the bills. But if I can't sell any of it within a few years then I need to face the music, be happy I can proudly say I wrote a few books that don't suck and move on to another path in life.

While I do enjoy writing and spinning a good tale I'm a business woman at heart with a level head. "Success" isn't measured by a pay check and I know I'm already a success for getting this far. Reality will dictate, for me at least, that if I can't make the new passion profitable after two or three years that perhaps I need to move on.

I guess that makes me a career writer who is only willing to work in the red for a set period of time ;-)

Hope you're doing well with the new addition - congrats!

Scott Daniel said...

At this point, I want the best of both worlds: I want to write and I want to write what I want to write. Whether or not that will ever lead to being published, I haven't the faintest clue.

Writing a novel is such a marathon, I have a hard time envisioning maintaining the passion to get it done if it wasn't my idea. I think if I were writing someone else's idea I'd always feel like someone was looking over my shoulder.

I suppose I'll cross that bridge if I ever get to it!

Anonymous said...

If an agent or editor handed me an idea, I certainly wouldn't dismiss it out of hand. If I liked it even a little, I'd run with it. There are countless ways to take an idea and make it your own even while preserving the core concept you were given. I got my first real writing job developing someone else's concept.

That experience taught me a lot. I learned how to do character development and put together series bibles for animated productions among other things.

Of course, I like to write my own ideas, but working with an idea that comes from someone else has its advantages. For me, it was a chance to distance myself from character and concept enough to concentrate on the nuts and bolts of good storytelling and writing.

Hank P.

Joni Rodgers said...

I write fiction purely for love of the craft, but of course, I'm happy when my novels get published. I make the main of my living, however, ghostwriting celebrity memoirs.

Could I hack out a story I don't care about? I think so. I'm a workhorse/word mule when I need to be. My problem is, I've never met a story I don't care about.

Seriously. I could write a memoir with anyone who sits next to me on an airplane. I find people and their origins and foibles endlessly fascinating. The hard part is reality checking offers and turning down a job because I don't have time or because I know in my heart someone else could do it better. The toughest calls are turning down great stories because the client won't/can't pay my going rate. My first obligation is to my family, art comes second, my own sticky little dreams and aspirations a distant third. What other people think I "should" do--that doesn't even make the list.

I don't believe passion is something a project brings to the writer; the writer brings a passion for story to the project -- along with artistic integrity and mad skills, hopefully. Sometimes you have to dig deep and open your mind, find love for the unlovable, look past the illusory walls of dogma and politics that pretend to separate people. Let the story lead, and the book unfolds in front of you.

T. Frohock said...

I think C.J. summed up my situation best. I consider my writing a career choice. I'm working in the red too, studying the publishing industry while working on my novel. Trust me, I have no intention to quit my day job until I see if a writing career is viable for me.

I've never thought about what I would do if an editor or an agent handed me an idea and asked me to run with it. That would be a gift! Personally, I think it would be exciting to use someone else's idea to stretch my writing in a different direction. A willingness to experiment is what has given a lot of authors their career longevity.

I don't find blog posts to be much fun to write, and sometimes, they're just a chore. Book reviews can also be a lot of work, but each time I try a different style of writing (articles vs. fiction), I find my creative writing skills benefit as well.

I'm giving myself a five year deadline to see if I have what it takes to be a career novelist. At that point I'll reassess whether I will continue writing as a career choice or as a hobby.

Thanks for the great article, Jessica, and congrats on your new addition.

Mira said...

Good post, Jessica.

I very much agree. I think there are different types of writers. Some do it for money, some for a creative outlet.

I guess I see myself as slightly different, though, and I don't think I'm the only one in this category. I'm writing because I have something I want to say. Writing is deeply meaninful to me as an avenue for communication.

So, I want to write what I want to write, but I also have hopes of having that writing be published and reaching an audience.

But that's very different than a career author. And I like your advice to them about mixing practicality with passion. It's a job, but you don't want to take on a job you're going to resent over time. Just like any job, you make some sacrifices, but you don't want to be locked into something you dislike indefinitely.

Elizabeth Madden said...

I'd love it if a publisher or editor came to me with an idea & invited me to write a piece based on it. Where and how do I find such people? Will they only approach writers whose work they've already published, or is it okay to try to get "on the books" by making the first approach myself?
I've had some short stories & journalism published already, and I'd really like to get more stuff out there, my ideas or not!

Christina Lee said...

What an interesting discussion! I am a columnist for a local newspaper, so I have weekly deadlines. I also write daily on my blog (I don't have to, but it's become a routine for me). Most of the time, I enjoy both of these writing "jobs" but just like with anything else, it can become a chore. It was different with my novel and my current WIP. I become comsumed and passionate while writing my fiction. I truly enjoy the process and believe in my stories. I'm not sure I could write an entire book if I didn't believe in it. Yes, I hope to someday be published, but in the meantime, I am keeping my writing chops limber with my other "outlets".

Linda Banche said...

Like you say, all jobs have parts you don't particularly like and you do for the money. Doing it for the money is not a crime, although some people act as if it is.

That said, you cannot do any job for long if you despise it. If you really hate porn, you won't write it, unless you're desperate for some money to pay the bills. And you will find another writing job as soon as possible.

I hope I can convince people to buy what I like to write, but until then, I'll write those blog posts (which I don't like doing). And if someone offered me a writing job that was pretty acceptable, I'd take it.

Frankly, writing is very hard work, and I can't imagine doing it for years and years without making some decent money.

Dara said...

I know I write because it's something that I need to do--maybe not to be published (although that's my goal) but just to get the story out of my head.

However, I could write a story if given a prompt or idea from an agent or editor. Of course I'd have to be interested in the idea even just a little, but I can come up with stories based off of someone else's basic idea if needed.

Anonymous said...

I kind of wondered if we were talking borderline ghostwriting here, as mentioned by Joni.

If the topic interested me enough, I could go with it, otherwise I couldn't. For me, it has to be heart and soul. Good writing has to hurt a little. If my emotional investment isn't there, my writing suffers.

I'd have to wake up every day, wanting to write the next little bit of the story, otherwise it would become 'just another job.'

Sure, I'm hoping to be able to support myself by writing, but if I also have to keep on working in a regular job, that's okay too. I've come this far. I'm in it for the long-haul.

Stephanie Damore said...

The fact that this industry is traditionally hard to break into can be a good thing. It forces a writer to really think about why they write and what they want to get out of the experience.

For me there was a time where I thought "is this really what I want to do?" because career writing is not some magical dream occupation. But in the end, yes, this is what I really enjoy doing.

As for what I'd write, I'd tackle any project that I felt I could accurately portray (whether it was my idea or not).

For example, I purposely put off writing my current WIP because initially I didn't feel I could tackle the themes and characters, or take the story to the right level. It's still a challenge, but I'm proud of what I've got going on so far. This story is expanding my writing portfolio and making me a stronger writer, which of course is always a good thing.

Kirst. said...

I guess I'm a little of both, but veering more towards publishing. I am passionate about writing. It's all I ever wanted to do, but never thought I could make a living out of it. Now I've back tracked and am attempting to answer the 'what if' question hanging over my head. I would love to see my book on a shelf in a bookshop or library. What writer wouldn't find gratification in that? But getting to the end goal can feel like an uphill struggle, especially at the moment. Sometimes it takes a little extra effort or a little ingeniuity or originality to get you to where you want to be. For that reason I decided to set myself a literary challenge; to write a short story a day for a year. Yeah I'm that nuts! I'm posting them online at so in answer to your question, what will you do to publish? That's my answer. Here's hoping.


AM said...

A writer commissioned to write a particular story would be no different from the artists commissioned to paint cathedrals, portraits, palaces, etc. Whether or not the subject was their first choice, the great artists still made beautiful art.

We write speculatively, hoping to find a publisher for the stories that we’ve already written. I’d like to know what stories are selling today, so I can improve my chances of becoming a published author and one day publishing my stories.

However, if the project were not within my long-term branding plan, I’d want to use a pseudonym.

Jeff King said...

I can make a story out of anything. So yes I would do it, and I would feel confident that I could do it. (Fiction that is)

I is not about the money, it’s about the story. Fortunately I have a gift to run with an idea and let it blossom under composition. The story comes to me during the writing process, all I need is the idea (or fossil as Stephen King would say) and I am off to the races.

During writing I don’t consciously drive the story in any direction I let the story guide me.

sbjames said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Spy Scribbler said...

I've been in the arts all my life. First piano, now writing. In Hope Floats, Harry Connick Jr. says something like, "That's the American Dream, isn't it? Take something you love and twist it until you make money from it. Then one day you wake up and you hate it."

So I'm very careful with that line, because once you go over it, it's hard work getting back to the love. That said, the reason why I've chosen writing above piano, is that I'm more "easy" about that line.

sbjames said...

I've always been an avid reader and for as long as I can remember stories came into my head. Its such a part of me I thought everyone did it. As an adult, I learned otherwise. Still, I never said,"I'm going to write a book." A particularly vivid tale came into my head and simply wouldn't leave, so I sat at the computer, and it poured out. (thankfully, because I almost felt schizophrenic)

When I finally showed my story to a friend (picked specifically becaus she is very no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is),she and her daughter loved it, drove me to finish it and encouraged me to get it published.

I cringe at my first query letters, but you know what? I had better response from them then the carefully-crafted-to-all-the blogging-agent-specifications letter I have now. I lost my voice along the way.

I do feel sometimes like a whore or a stalker. My story has changed several times in an attempt to "hook" and meet the word count and starting MC age suggested by agents and editors I've met at conferences.

I'm finding my way back to what I started with- the story in my head, the joy I had writing it, and the "great ride" my friend and her daughter had in reading it.

But I do thank God every day that I don't need to sell this to put food on the table.

Robena Grant said...

For the most part, I write the stories as they come to me. I don't chase the market, but I do vary what I write within the romance sub genres, so in a way I'm still experimenting. There are some things I'd say no to, but not much. I think as a writer it's good to be open-minded and flexible.

If someone came to me with an idea and I could take it, put my own stamp on it, yes I'd do it. It would be no different than brainstorming with a few writer friends where somone comes up with an interesting twist to your story and you can't get home fast enough to put it into words.

Paul Greci said...

This is a new question for me. My first novel is on submission now. So far, all my ideas for novels have come from me.

I think I'd have to connect with whatever idea was being offered to me, and make it my own whether it was from my agent or someone else.

I've really enjoyed reading everyone's responses regarding their take on writing careers.

Carol Benedict said...

I like having someone suggest an idea they're interested in as a possible topic for me to write about. On my blog I frequently write posts based on the search terms that brought visitors there. Knowing there is an audience for what I write is a strong motivation for me to keep writing.

If an agent or editor offered me a concept or suggestion for a book, I assume it would be because they thought I was capable of writing it. If they knew enough about me to do that, I doubt they'd offer me topics that wouldn't fit my world view, so I'm sure I could enjoy the adventure of trying.

james said...

I write for two reasons, first, I beleive that my thoughts and concepts on leadership need to be heard and second to develop another income stream.
So, I would write someone else's ideas if there was a connection between me and the subject matter, I dont think I would be successful otherwise.

Jodi Ralston said...

"Are you willing to write anything to build a publishing career or would you prefer to develop your own ideas and wait it out if necessary?"

What am I willing to do to get published? Well, I've known now published writers who were willing to completely and utterly rewrite their idea on a finished mss due to publishing folk wanting a different direction with the novel. I'm not sure I could do that on a finished mss, where I've already seen and lived the story.

I also don't know about writing from someone else's idea. It would depend on the idea, I'd think. After all, there are some things that throw up writer's blocks every time I try to write them. Such as writing anything set in the real world, having the major plot being a romance, or writing a novel from a female main character's pov. I've tried, and nearly every time, the story stops dead in the prewriting stage because of it.

So, anyway I'm probably severly limiting my chances, but even if I don't get published, I can't stop writing and sharing what I write.


Kate Douglas said...

LOL...I can't agree enough with what Jessica has said. You never know when an idea will get picked up and then take off. When I originally contracted my series with Kensington, it was for three novels in the Wolf Tales/Chanku world. I'm starting work on the twentieth story in the series this week. Thank goodness it's still fun, but not once in my wildest dreams did I imagine writing this many.

However, with my new series, The DemonSlayers, I've got a four book arc, and as much as I love this new world, I'm sort of hoping it stays with the original idea...though I DID get asked for a novella in the same series and just got that written. Point being, when you're in this as a career where you hope to make a living, you need to be open to whatever your editor wants. The muse can be highly adaptable as long as you--the author--stay in some semblance of control.

Kate Douglas said...

LOL...I can't agree enough with what Jessica has said. You never know when an idea will get picked up and then take off. When I originally contracted my series with Kensington, it was for three novels in the Wolf Tales/Chanku world. I'm starting work on the twentieth story in the series this week. Thank goodness it's still fun, but not once in my wildest dreams did I imagine writing this many.

However, with my new series, The DemonSlayers, I've got a four book arc, and as much as I love this new world, I'm sort of hoping it stays with the original idea...though I DID get asked for a novella in the same series and just got that written. Point being, when you're in this as a career where you hope to make a living, you need to be open to whatever your editor wants. The muse can be highly adaptable as long as you--the author--stay in some semblance of control.

Kimber Li said...

The story I'm polishing for submission right now, CRUSHED, is not my favorite story, but I do think it stands the best chance at publication.

All my stories exist inside my head at the same time.

I don't need to work on my favorite story right now because it's there, right inside my head, and I can visit it anytime I want.

therese patrick, author said...

I love the insights on this post and all the comments. For years I was on the path of writing while dedicated to a day-job. Then life happened and I took the challenge.

I gave myself a 3 year goal of total dedication to my writing and it's been awesome. I've completed a romance and a memoir. Now I'm going to start brainstorming other projects that are waiting as I market the above two. :)

I write because; I love it, have something to say, and love working with others to develop more story ideas. Plot storming parties are awesome. I've also been able to really dedicate time to learning the industry.

These three years as a full-time writer (on spec, no contracts) have helped me develop my voice, learn more about the depth of story, and how to be disciplined to my craft. I know I am creating the career of my dreams.

I'm also very thankful that life has remained a challenge because that's what story is all about - overcoming conflict and drama so the HEA is sweet.

Anonymous said...

This is interesting. There are definitely things I could never write (porn, Christian-apologies to anyone who thinks I mean to suggest there's a connection b/t the two),but, yes, I'd certainly be willing to at least consider a suggestion re something I've not yet thought about. I am in this for both the passion and the desire to make money from it. I was once asked to change the murderer in a ms I'd completed (my publisher loved the book but did not like the murderer I'd chosen). I did it without any objection and it turned out to be the best learning experience I've ever had.

Sheila Deeth said...

I want to be a career author, but I was surprised when asked to write a particular book and found it so hard because I couldn't write my best about a subject that didn't click, and I couldn't submit anything less than my best. Still don't know where that one's going.

Aimlesswriter said...

In the beginning I wrote because I had to, wanted to, just couldn't stop myself. Then I hit a point where I realized this would make an awesome career. Imagine getting paid to do what you love? Wow, what a concept!
So I've been working toward making it a career. It's a long haul, I have lots of rejection letters (I call them notches in my writer's belt) and I've met some wonderful writers (pub and pre-pub), agents and editors in critique groups and writers circles.
I live by the motto; Never, never, never give up.

Anonymous said...

Sphinx wrote:

"What am I willing to do to get published? Well, I've known now published writers who were willing to completely and utterly rewrite their idea on a finished mss due to publishing folk wanting a different direction with the novel. I'm not sure I could do that on a finished mss, where I've already seen and lived the story."

This is somewhat what I'm doing now, as I work on agent revisions. Not completely and utterly rewriting the story, as my novel's world remains intact, but rewriting the middle of the ms to better fit the market and the editors we'll submit to in the future.

Writing is my job AND my joy. In my head, the two happily comingle. I want to write, and as long as I get to write, I'm in Heaven. I'd do it with or without pay, but I'm aiming for a writing career.

The really interesting part has been how an agent's ideas can actually add more awesomeness to a story. I'm excited as I rewrite, which isn't difficult, because the ideas will definitely make the book stronger.

That's the bottom line for me, with an already written work -- making it the best it can be, or, even stronger.

When we're unagented and unpublished, we write for ourselves. That's fine for hobby writing. But when publishing is involved, and agents and publishers are taking a chance on a writer, shelling out time and money, and when others' livlihoods depend upon the writer's work, things change, as they should.

That's when your novel goes from being your "baby" to your "work product", as it must.

If a writer wants to write whatever they want without changing a thing, or without input from agents or pros, (which I don't think is the way to go for the strongest ms), the writer would have to make it a long-term goal. I'm sure, for example, Stephen King can do this now, but I doubt he could've when he first started out.

Anonymous said...

"Are you willing to write anything to build a publishing career or would you prefer to develop your own ideas and wait it out if necessary?"

No. The reason I got into writing novels in the firt place is as an outlet for ,my own ideas, so I'd wait it out if necessary until my own ideas hit.

I already have a job. Writing other people's ideas out is just a job.

Anonymous said...

It depends on how fleshed out the ideas were. If an editor asked me to write a novel about "A civil war buff with a penchant for using live ammo in civil war reeanctments who becomes the South's most wanted serial killer," with everyhting else being up to me--there's a lot of leeway there for creativity.

I wouldn't want to have to conform to a preexisting detailed outline, but I would consider writing on a general idea if I was asked (and was being paid an advance) to do it.

Anonymous said...

No one is going to offer an idea to an unpublished writer.

This is someting to worry about only once you are established and are perhaps in between projects.

Otherwise, it's just ghostwriting, where you're paid a fee to write down someone else's story because they can't or don't want to write it themselves.

Anonymous said...

I feel brainstorming is beneficial. I have an active imagination, but sometimes I'll get stuck on a plot point. When someone is available to offer a quick idea, it greases the wheels so to speak. I'm always thankful for a nudge.

Voidwalker said...

I've always loved to write. You can find a short story on my blog that explains what started me on that journey, but you are correct to say that it is different from publishing. I never imagined myself trying to become a published author for real until very recently. Now, as I build my contacts, study the lingo, polish the script, learn the do's and don'ts, I really believe that I can do it. Time will tell and hopefully my effort will not be in vain. Thank you for this post, it was great!

Melissa Blue said...

I love YA, but more in the vein of Holes. So I was surprised when I got a fabulous idea for a paranormal YA. I should point out I write contemporary romance. This had no romance, but I was passionate about this book and the ones in the back of my mind.

But, after that could I keep writing it? Maybe if another idea popped up that made me want to sit down and write it.

Career author or not, I think once you limit what you write you are doing yourself a disservice. A double disservice (yes, I know no such thing exists) if you could get paid for it.

Donna Lea, did not know that about Lawrence Block.

evilphilip said...

I am going to go with the Ghostbusters answer...

"If there is a steady paycheck in it, I will believe anything you want."

I would love to write series fiction or write-to-order for a specific series. I came very close to doing that last year (the series I was working on got shut down).

Kim Lionetti said...

Anonymous 3:00 -

Actually, that's not true. I've had successful projects with writers who weren't previously published where the idea had originated with BookEnds or a publishing house.

Lesil Muir Lytle said...

I never saw myself writing YA. Ever.

But I've come to learn that whatever I decide to try always ends up just as thrilling as the rest.

My voice is my voice. My wild imagination functions the same anywhere. Now I feel like I could write a great romance about Mud People and it would be a riot to write--and read.

Lesli Muir Lytle
w/a Ainsley MacQueen

Anonymous said...

"Actually, that's not true. I've had successful projects with writers who weren't previously published where the idea had originated with BookEnds or a publishing house."

So you mean to say that you have taken an idea that originated "at Bookends" or somewhere else, approached an unpublished writer (how did you even know of them--rejected from the sluch?) and asked them to write this other person's idea? And the writer said Yes, and then you sold it?

Kim Lionetti said...

Anonymous 7:07 --


Many of them were already clients that we hadn't sold yet. A few were authors who'd submitted to us in the past and left a lasting impression even if we didn't think that specific project had been marketable.

Anonymous said...


Well then I stand corrected!

It can happen.

Still, I doubt it happens very often.

Jemi Fraser said...

I never thought of the ideas coming from the agents or editors or publishers. Very interesting post!!

Anonymous said...

Writing is what I do a living, and the only job I've had since I was 20 years old. Over the years, I've written almost every kind of material on every kind of subject -- magazine articles, essays, fiction, humor columns,scripts, speeches, videos, white papers, ads, direct mail and more. The reality is if you pay me enough I can't imagine anything I wouldn't write.

Some projects I am passionate about, some I do entirely for money. I go to my Starbucks office everyday and begin at 8. said...

Well said, Jessica! Passion plays an important role in writing because it's the thing that motivates and keep writers going despite the challenges. I've learned a lot from your post. Thanks a lot!

Kim hanks said...

Jessica,this is my first time to comment on your blog; though, i have been following it for a year now.

its my pleasure to appreciate you, i have learnt a lot from your blog.I'm that kind of author; "simply to write and allow your creativity to flow." if i may quote from your post.

Bron said...

I'd do it, as long as I felt some connection with the story. Sure, I'd like to write my own stories one day, but writing someone else's during the day and my own at night is closer to what I want to do than working a day job and writing my own stories at night. It would be great experience and very enjoyable, as long as there was some leeway, as another commenter said.

Anonymous said...

Wondering now if my agency does this...?

Yeah, it would have to connect with me.

dolorah said...

I'm of the feeling I could get passionate or at least care about anything. Just give me a scenario idea, a couple details you want incorporated, and I'd get there. I'm addicted to the challenge of the project.

I write because I enjoy it, but I also write to get published. I don't even have to make anything off of it - well someday I hope my own novels make me a modest living - but sometimes just being creative and knowing someone will look at it, enjoy it, is enough.

dolorah said...


Sign me up for the project, lol! I'd love to ghost write. I think it'd be more fun than coming up with my own ideas (I'm totally paranoid I only have this one idea in me) and having someone monitor and keep you on a dead line would work for me

This "publishing process" has got me not even wanting to edit/revise the last two novels in the series until the first gets some sort of bite. And I only do short stories when my writers group pressures me to produce something by a certain deadline.

Hmm, guess that makes me a hack?


Kyell Gold said...

I liked Donna Lea Simpson's comment. Writing for a career is so much easier when you can find things you love in any project. I like to set myself challenges, because if someone tells me I can't do something, I get a great deal of satisfaction over figuring out how to accomplish it anyway. But I also have my own stories and they grab me and make me write them. I've been fortunate enough to find an audience for them, so I'm hopeful that I can keep that up.

But great post, and great contrast between writing because you love it and writing to make money. A lot of people assume that the second follows automatically from the first. Not hardly.