“Why on earth would you ever want to be a writer…I mean for a living?” That is the question that stands out in my mind every time I outline my next novel, each time I take to social media to promote myself or my books and each time I put the proverbial pen to paper. The question was posed to me by one of my grade school teachers who had but the best intentions in asking the question. She asked that question years before there was the opportunity to self-publish but during a time that was dominated by traditional publishing houses. It was a time before the World Wide Web where publishing houses only had each other and reader apathy to contend with. And though the entire industry has changed by leaps and bounds since then, her question is no less apropos.
Today, we have the option to self-publish and as such create our own writing destiny- provided we as authors are willing to take on the marketing and promotion that was once (and still is) the onus of publishers for their authors. It is arguably more difficult for a single self-published author to market and promote their books on the level that reaches worldwide readers. Certainly vehicles like twitter, google+, and Facebook have made it easier but it is no small effort the self-published author must devote to those platforms if he/she is indeed going to successfully market themselves and like it or not that success is also contingent on having written a book worth reading. The manuscript must be proofed and edited, contextual review, cover design- all of those elements combined that it takes to make a worthwhile read.
So I go back to the question: Why on earth would you want to be a writer? My first reading of Tolkien’s Hobbit at a very young age is the book that turned me into a writer. The feeling that I had whilst reading through that novel made me say, “I am more than a reader and I can create my own stories that give readers this same level of enjoyment and satisfaction.” I do not liken myself to Tolkien, but I am a writer and my books now also give my fans and readers the enjoyment and satisfaction that I intend. Reader feedback, good or bad (and I am proud to say that overwhelmingly mine have been better than good) fuels my addiction to writing. Ultimately, I write to be read and when that happens, I am fulfilled. In regards to my aforementioned statements about self-marketing and promotion I offer only that I approach those things with the dedication and consistency they deserve if I hope to truly make a living at this one day. So for me the answer is not a question of why I want to be a writer, the answer is another question: How could I be anything but?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ricardo Fleshman is the author of the Detective Byone series. The Dying Dance (2013), The Devil’s Serum (2014) and The Cemetery Paintings (2014) are the first Detective Moses Byone novels that follow the detective through the dark and sinister cases set in 1970’s New Orleans, LA.
Ricardo is an avid reader, travels extensively with favorite destinations in the United States South and also international locations in South America and Europe. He is a fan of horror books and movies, dark art and “The Blues.” He is a graduate of Lynchburg College in Virginia. He resides in Northern Virginia with his family where he continues to write more stories of Detective Moses Byone. Find out more about him here: http://abc.ricardomfleshman.com/
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