Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Am I Doing This Wrong?

As we all know, this writing thing is hard. The highs and lows can be insane and some days you have to wonder why you do it at all. In light of the recent news that another person is about to get filthy rich from a ripoff of someone else’s work, I’ve been wondering why I even bother.

Y’all know I’m the first to cop to envy or even a raging case of sour grapes, but I’m not mad at these authors. I feel like it’s a case of don’t hate the player, hate the game. Publishing is a huge business. I know there’s lots of agents and presses who believe in stories and promoting careers, but the bottom line is finances, I get that. And believe-you-me I’m thrilled when anyone is able to make writing their full-time gig because I’d love to make that happen for myself. But for goodness sake does everything have to be 50 Shades of Hungry Twilight Games or another desperate grab for offensively-dubbed “mommy porn?” Shouldn’t you create trends rather than chase them?

Despite how discouraged I am, I will keep on writing. I know I do it because I enjoy it and it makes me happy. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t sometimes wonder where I fit in this industry.

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21 thoughts on “Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Am I Doing This Wrong?”

  1. Wow, another twilight fanfic creates a millionaire. I hadn’t heard about this coz I’m in the middle of a WIP and stop blog-hopping. Like someone said, I write what I like and never follow trends. Following trends always feels like cheating, but publishers don’t care. they want to make money and so they ride on the coattails of successful series.

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  2. “50 Shades of Hungry Twilight Games”
    This is why I love you and why you are meant to be a writer. Because your voice and your knack for catchy sarcasm is unparalleled within my small-ish world. I bet I could pick out an Adrianne Russell original amongst a pile of fakers, your voice is THAT GOOD.

    Truth.

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  3. I do wonder where some of these books come from, but I think that the success of ’50 Shades’ is actually a good thing. It speaks to the untapped potential of some seriously under-served markets. The only trend I see is that we’ll all be shocked by ‘the next big thing’ — it’s going to touch yet another market people didn’t realize existed.

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    1. That’s something to think about. It seems that the trend is actually “OMG, I can’t believe (insert group here) can actually read!” It was the same during the 90s when Terry McMillan broke out and everyone was shocked that black women were reading, or when J.K. Rowling showed that young people read, and now it’s E.L. James miraculously turning women into readers. Sheesh.

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  4. Don’t laugh – I bet someone comes out with that title next month!
    Your niche is what you feel most comfortable writing. Sad there isn’t more originality, but guess what? That means YOU can be the original!
    Thanks for joining the IWSG.

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    1. You’re right. Good thing this blog is copyrighted! 😉

      I’m happy to be me and write what I like and wish for others to do the same no matter what. Hopefully, there is room for all of us!

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  5. I’ve always just written what I wanted to. I don’t think about what’s trending. Publishing is too slow to do that. If you write a mermaid book when mermaids are hot, it won’t come out for another two years. Everyone will be sick of mermaids by then. So write what you like. A good book will sell, regardless of the genre.

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    1. That’s exactly what I do. There’s no way to chase trends using a traditional publishing model. But you have to wonder if that’s the reason publishers are now scooping up indie stuff that’s already written and put out via Amazon or Smashwords and mass-distributing it so they don’t have to worry about that long timetable. By doing it that way, you can immediately capitalize on the trend. The worry is in what happens next if that author doesn’t have a deep catalog of work to distribute.

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  6. Stay strong Adrianne, keep writing, and don’t let the bad-guys win. I don’t like “fan-fic.” Never have. But I got a bit less revolted when I realized that a lot of the TV shows we watch are actually “fan-fic.” They’re written by screenwriters, on spec, about someone else’s characters and story lines.

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    1. That’s the thing, I’m not sure that anyone is good or bad. I’m not bemoaning anyone’s success or wishing that the same thing wouldn’t happen to me someday. I’m not even particularly down on fan-fiction. It just annoyed me that here we go trying to repackage and reproduce something that was obviously lightning in a bottle and tons of resources and human energy will go into trying to make this happen rather than finding something new.

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  7. I still believe that writing true to yourself is the best policy. After ten years of rejection letters, I decided I was ready to indie publish, and I don’t regret it. Sure, I envy those big book deals, too, but I remind myself why I started writing. I didn’t do it for the money. I started writing because I wanted to tell stories. I wanted to connect with readers.

    I SOOOO agree that the industry chases trends, and it’s too bad.

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  8. ‘Don’t hate the player, hate the game.’
    Thank you for that. Publishing seems such a tricky thing, that I’ve decided to keep my focus on doing what I feel I’m best at: writing books. Where these books fit into the game might be a job for more savvy minds than mine.

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    1. It’s really tricky and subjective, and anyone who works in it will tell you so. I’m fine with that. I just occasionally have to think about if and where I’ll find my place.

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