Wednesday, August 2, 2023

I feel the conflict within me (#IWSG August 2023)

Writing on Gale Harbour book 3 continues. I'm regretting that I gave so many characters their own side plots, because I feel like I have to tie everything up, and it's making the story a lot larger than I anticipated. This has evolved far beyond the simple sci-fi/horror adventure series I originally set out to write.

I joined a Facebook group for writers called 20BooksTo50k, the premise of which is if you have 20 books that are making moderate sales, you can make $50k per year self-publishing. You may have heard of it. It's a group for self-published writers to share what has worked for them, and there are some very successful people in the group. 

It's a simple concept, and mostly it's just a forum for people to ask about the specifics of self-publishing (which boxes to check, which genres categories to select on Amazon, marketing tips, etc), as well as post success stories of their making five, ten, twenty thousand dollars (or more!) in a single month. It's overwhelming to be honest. I can't even imagine making that much money from writing, nor did I ever expect to. But there are more writers out there than I realized having staggering success, so it's hard not to be a bit shocked and maybe even a bit jealous.

August Question: Have you ever written something that afterwards you felt conflicted about? If so, did you let it stay how it was, take it out, or rewrite it?

I am constantly conflicted. There's the infamous story of how I got eliminated from the my first SPFBO because the reviewer didn't like a joke in my book. I thought long and hard about whether to keep it, and the fact that this negative review had been at the top of my reviews on Goodreads ever since really eats at me. I eventually did change it, because it's not just a book about sex jokes and I didn't want an early off-colour joke to spook people. As I've gotten older and found my voice I've definitely tried to tone down my writing a little. But it's not made a lick of difference. I think sold all of three copies of Ten Thousand Days since that review came out, and I haven't received a single new review, either. Did I cave? Should I have left it alone? I still haven't decided.

It's the same reason I'm considering taking down the "Werebear vs. Landopus" stories, and related to why I'm thinking of re-branding the Gale Harbour books. Like I said, I never imagined to have a huge success in self-publishing, and I know I will never live off of my writing, but I keep wondering if I could maybe expand my audience, at least a little bit? I want my writing to be true to my original ideas, but I also know that every weird title, sex joke and off-putting gross detail will make my audience just a little bit smaller. I don't write bizarro fiction (though occasionally there are elements), so maybe I should steer clear of it?

Who the hell knows why we do anything?

Hugs & Kisses,

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Writers post their thoughts on their blogs, talking about their doubts and the fears they have conquered. It's a chance for writers to commiserate and offer a word of encouragement to each other. Check out the group at


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That sounds like a great group. Hope you find some good tips. And don't stress - we traditionally published authors don't make a ton of money either.

Nancy Gideon said...

Those are the things I LOOK for in books! There are always those out there who won't like what you write. The important think is that YOU do. When you're writing from your writer soul it shows in the work. Originality always shines through.

Loni Townsend said...

I've heard of the group, and then laugh at myself since it's taken a decade to finish the book I'm currently writing. I likely won't write 20 books in my lifetime.

Different people will have different thresholds of acceptability and will shy away from certain themes. Sometimes what you want to write doesn't intersect with what they want to read. I know I face that often with my epic fantasy. I think I know two people who actively like long epics. Everyone else I know just tolerates the fact I write them.

Computer Tutor said...

That is so hard to tell. Everyone told me writing prehistoric fiction was a ridiculous idea--unless your name is Jean Auel. But, I did because that's what was inside me and it's worked for me. Best of luck with your muse!

Patricia JL said...

I'm going to check out that group because I'd like to find some FB groups like that and get my butt in gear.

PT Dilloway said...

My alterego has about 200 books and I don't make anywhere near 50K, especially lately. Sales and especially Kindle Unlimited have been down for a while; the latter I think is a consequence of "prompt engineers" dumping "AI" garbage on Amazon but I can't really prove it yet.

I wish you could get reviews taken down after you fix something. Like one time someone complained that the manuscript was for the wrong book and like 10 minutes after I read that I had it fixed but years later that review is still there, still telling people that it's wrong when it's not. Meanwhile Amazon had probably taken down a bunch of positive reviews or ratings. Sigh.

Natalie Aguirre said...

That sounds like a great Facebook group. I doubt I'll write 20 books, and I'm not sure I'd make that kind of income from writing even if I did. I agree with Alex that you shouldn't stress out about making money. Writing, like many of the arts, isn't a money-making endeavor for most of us.

Birgit said...

Some people look to be offended. Be true to who you are. I'm glad you found that support group and that they Gove you so.e great advice just stick to who you ate.

diedre Knight said...

Sounds like an inspiring group you've found on FB. Remember not all is as it seems. As to runaway side plots, promise the currently unnecessary characters spin-offs if they'll get off at the next stop. You're the driver here, on your way greatness ;-) Believe in yourself.

Eden "Kymele" Mabee said...

Maybe you did cave. But it's easy to understand why. Sometimes the harshest person is the one that speaks to our own insecurities.

That said, you should probably stick to your plans the next time. You simply cannot please everyone. And better to find a fan base who loves your quirks and sticks with you than wander about trying to appease a moving target.

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