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View Full Version : Why Do You Want To Be A Published Author?



CBumpkin
08-14-2008, 01:53 AM
This is a spin-off of the "How Do They Get Away With That?" in the Writing Novels forum. We've all seen authors, some famous and some not, that break "the rules" of writing that unpublished writers have drilled into them. (Show, don't tell and use of passive voice, for example.)

In the end, publishing is a business and publishers will buy what they believe will sell well. We all know the ultimate mantra: Great writing trumps everything.

I wanted to do a poll to learn the MAIN reason writers on AW want to be published. We all have our reasons for wanting to write, but why do you want to be published? Everyone will likely have more than one reason, but, if you had to choose one reason that tops them all, what would it be? If your exact answer isn't listed, please choose the one that comes closest to your main reason and then tell us about it.

Results are anonymous and NO ANSWER IS A WRONG OR SHALLOW ANSWER.

To be famous or well-known, like King or Rowling. (Status)
I want to write a really great piece of literature that becomes an enduring classic.
I want to make great money so I don't have to work a 9-to-5 anymore.
To make a little money. I don't expect to get rich from it.
I'd love the adoration that comes from fans and fan clubs.
I want to educate, teach, inspire and instruct with my ideas.
I love storytelling and want to see my book in print. I don't care about money or fame.
It's my ticket to Hollywood-style celebrity and all that it entails.

Mr Flibble
08-14-2008, 01:57 AM
I love storytelling and want to see my book in print. I don't care about money or fame.

This one

What I always find weird is that with other creative pastimes ( say painting ) people don't expect to have an exhibition. But when you write, it's almost like it's not worth doing unless it gets published. Maybe that's the family / friends influence - they think it can't be good unless it's published, whereas a painting they can like or dislike all on their own :) Being puiblished is like someone patting you on the back and saying 'you know, you're not too shabby at it after all'

I write because I love to - but being published - icing on the cake.

CBumpkin
08-14-2008, 01:59 AM
This one

What I always find weird is that with other creative pastimes ( say painting ) people don't expect to have an exhibition. But when you write, it's almost like it's not worth doing unless it gets published. Maybe that's the family / friends influence - they think it can't be good unless it's published, whereas a painting they can like or dislike all on their own :) Being puiblished is like someone patting you on the back and saying 'you know, you're not too shabby at it after all'

I write because I love to - but being published - icing on the cake.

I finished the poll, IdiotsRUs, so be sure to come back and vote. Thanks for responding!

SPMiller
08-14-2008, 02:01 AM
I want to make enough money to avoid a 9-to-5 because I enjoy storytelling and want to spend my life doing it. So I picked the option that fit best...

kuwisdelu
08-14-2008, 02:09 AM
A mix of:

I want to write a really great piece of literature that becomes an enduring classic.

and

I want to educate, teach, inspire and instruct with my ideas.


I like telling stories. Writing is very important to me on many levels. I want people to read and enjoy my work. I write about a lot of tough topics. I write about the ugly side of life. Partially to entertain. But mostly, because my biggest goal as an author, is I know what it's like being part of that ugly side, feeling very, very alone, and I want someone else to read what I've written and say "hey...that's me." To remember they're not alone out there. Someone understands. I want other people to understand. Literary merit is important to me, too, of course. I'm very selective about what I read, and I want to write a great novel. I want to write great stories. I'm not sure whether I'll have kids or not, so at this point, it's the little part of me that will always be, I hope. That will live on.

CBumpkin
08-14-2008, 02:10 AM
Same here, SPMiller.

I enjoy WRITING because I love imagination. I love being told, and telling, stories. I like the way they evoke and stir emotions in people. Books can take you anywhere. That's remarkable to me and I enjoy being a part of that.

I want to be PUBLISHED for the money. I hate working a 9-to-5. I have no problems keeping my butt in a chair and writing for 8 hours a day. I want to be in control of my own time and not have a company that doesn't care two hoots about its employees telling me what I need to do for them. Most people spend the best parts of their lives working for companies with very little return for their time. Yes, there are those who enjoy their jobs and their companies treat them well, and I'm very happy for them. It's just not the case for the majority of people.

Sorry. Show me the money. I don't need to be endlessly wealthy, but if I could make even $50,000 a year from my writing, I would be pleased and content with that.

willietheshakes
08-14-2008, 02:11 AM
I've said this before and I'll say it again: the chicks, man. The chicks.

What other reason could there possibly be?

CBumpkin
08-14-2008, 02:12 AM
A mix of:

I want to write a really great piece of literature that becomes an enduring classic.

and

I want to educate, teach, inspire and instruct with my ideas.


I like telling stories. Writing is very important to me on many levels. I want people to read and enjoy my work. I write about a lot of tough topics. I write about the ugly side of life. Partially to entertain. But mostly, because my biggest goal as an author, is I know what it's like being part of that ugly side, feeling very, very alone, and I want someone else to read what I've written and say "hey...that's me." To remember they're not alone out there. Someone understands. I want other people to understand. Literary merit is important to me, too, of course. I'm very selective about what I read, and I want to write a great novel. I want to write great stories. I'm not sure whether I'll have kids or not, so at this point, it's the little part of me that will always be, I hope. That will live on.

I'm not surprised by your answer in the least, kuwisdelu. It comes across in all of your posts. It's admirable and I respect people with these ideals. I wish you every success.

Mr Flibble
08-14-2008, 02:13 AM
I've said this before and I'll say it again: the chicks, man. The chicks.

What other reason could there possibly be?

You can have the chicks - I'll take the guys. Deal?

maestrowork
08-14-2008, 02:17 AM
I just want to be read. And I want to be read LONG after I'm gone.

So that means "great literature." :)

Bartholomew
08-14-2008, 03:29 AM
Gosh. Um. All of the above.

JoNightshade
08-14-2008, 03:41 AM
A mix of:

I want to write a really great piece of literature that becomes an enduring classic.

and

I want to educate, teach, inspire and instruct with my ideas.


I like telling stories. Writing is very important to me on many levels. I want people to read and enjoy my work. I write about a lot of tough topics. I write about the ugly side of life. Partially to entertain. But mostly, because my biggest goal as an author, is I know what it's like being part of that ugly side, feeling very, very alone, and I want someone else to read what I've written and say "hey...that's me." To remember they're not alone out there. Someone understands. I want other people to understand. Literary merit is important to me, too, of course. I'm very selective about what I read, and I want to write a great novel. I want to write great stories. I'm not sure whether I'll have kids or not, so at this point, it's the little part of me that will always be, I hope. That will live on.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

To add on a bit, when I was a kid, for whatever reason, I didn't connect with others around me. I felt so isolated, and I wanted desperately to connect with someone who UNDERSTOOD. And then I picked up Bradbury. And I realized, I'm not alone.

I want to be 'Bradbury' to someone else.

RLB
08-14-2008, 03:47 AM
I just want to make some kid, somewhere, giggle - though preferably one not related to me and who paid money for the privilege :).

CynicalRyan
08-14-2008, 03:49 AM
Hm, I can't vote for my reason.

"Because I can." Good enough reason, if you ask me. ;)

virtue_summer
08-14-2008, 03:55 AM
I love books. I love reading a great novel, one that keeps me flipping pages and makes me feel emotions right along with the characters. I want to do that for someone else. It's not about "classic" literature and it's not about fame in the movie star sense. I want to entertain and to touch people with my stories the same way my favorite writers do that for me.

MsK
08-14-2008, 04:19 AM
I love storytelling and want to see my book in print. I don't care about money or fame.

That's the closest fit for me- although I wouldn't be disappointed if a lot of money came with it.

I'd be happy knowing my stories made people laugh and helped people see life's little challenges in a more optimistic light.

KTC
08-14-2008, 04:20 AM
Whether I want to or not is still up for debate. I'm like Sybil on crack...sometimes, hmmmm....maybe. Other times, meh...fahgetaboutit.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
08-14-2008, 04:23 AM
While many of those choices would result in nice, warm, fuzzy feelings and a heavier wallet, I want to be published so someone half-way round the world who's never heard of me, isn't my sister or my best friend or my worst enemy, picks it up, buys it, takes it home, reads it and hands it to someone they know and says, "This is a damn good book. You oughta read it."

Stew21
08-14-2008, 04:29 AM
I don't know if I have an answer.
I think just to be read. To have written something that, not just by my standards or the standards of people I know, is good enough to reach that ultimate. Everything after that is gravy. I just want to work at the thing I love, improve, and attempt every so often to see if I just might have gotten good enough. I want to stretch to see what I'm capable of...and you can't win if you don't play.

willietheshakes
08-14-2008, 04:30 AM
You can have the chicks - I'll take the guys. Deal?

Mutual wingmen? Wingpersons? Persons of wing?

KTC
08-14-2008, 04:31 AM
I guess...in my clearer moments...I like to picture a reader having an aha moment and loving the world just a little bit more after reading an insight or a line. Nobody loves the world enough. It's pretty amazing, really. I want someone to see something miraculous in the totally inane through one of my character's eyes. I suppose. But then...meh.

joyce
08-14-2008, 04:35 AM
I've been writing some sort of thing my whole life. I've spent years of my life writing, if you added all the time up. I guess it's something personal with me. It seemed a couple of years ago the only choice left was for me to try and take it to the next level.....become published. If I ever live that dream and make any money, I won't be unhappy, but money isn't the prime drive. I guess to see my name on a bound book one day, will be the greatest feeling. The sick thing is I want to earn it the hard way. Those rejection letters just make me want it a little more and have me trying a little harder.

gypsyscarlett
08-14-2008, 11:16 AM
I chose: "I love storytelling......don't care about money or fame."

Which is mostly true and the best fit. I've been writing stories all my life. I love to imagine someone enjoying my book on the bus or at home after a long day at work.

I'm not against money. I really hope I can make a real living with my writing one day. But I don't need to be rich. As for fame- maybe I'm an oddity- but I have NO desire to be famous. I'm way too private for that. A respected writer with a nice following is good for me. I wouldn't want to lose my privacy like King, Rice, or Rowlings.

Bubastes
08-14-2008, 03:26 PM
I love sharing stories, but I also want to make enough money to quit the 8-to-6 (does 9-to-5 even exist anymore?). I don't want fame, though. I want to be rich and not have anyone know. Plus, I like my privacy, so much so that I won't even blog.

Pagey's_Girl
08-14-2008, 04:25 PM
I've loved spinning tales since I was a child, and I love sharing them. When someone says that something I wrote made them smile, or laugh, I feel like I've contributed something good to the universe, somehow. Not that money wouldn't be nice, but I'm not counting (no pun intended) on ever making a living at writing. It's just something that brings me great joy, and I'd like to share that joy. Besides, like Scott Adams, my job(s) over the years have given me a lot of "plot bunnies," as they say. :)

Charlie Horse
08-14-2008, 04:45 PM
I just want to make a small contribution to this world. Getting published in my mind would validate my existence more than anything else I do.

Oh, and like Willie said, the chicks.

Tink
08-14-2008, 04:48 PM
I love books. I love reading a great novel, one that keeps me flipping pages and makes me feel emotions right along with the characters. I want to do that for someone else. It's not about "classic" literature and it's not about fame in the movie star sense. I want to entertain and to touch people with my stories the same way my favorite writers do that for me.virtue_summer couldn't have expressed my sentiments better...altough alittle extra money would certainly be nice too. :)

quickWit
08-14-2008, 04:59 PM
I've always held the written word in very high regard. For others to deem my ramblings worthy of publication would be the realization of a beautiful dream.


I'd just like to see if I'm worthy. :)

darrtwish
08-14-2008, 06:08 PM
For me, it's the aspect of story telling. I love books, and reading, so it would be nice to give back and share some stories of my own.

Enraptured
08-14-2008, 06:13 PM
Because I love to write, and I want other people to read my writing. I'm not sure it's quite accurate to say I don't care at all about money or fame; I wouldn't turn down a huge advance or hordes of adoring fans ;) But I know it's likely I won't get either of those, and I'm okay with that.

It would be nice to be able to make money at it, though - especially since it's pretty much the only job I'm suited for.

Lyra Jean
08-14-2008, 06:47 PM
I chose make enough money to quit my job. But the one that ties with it is that I've always wanted a following. One of those weird followings like Dune had or Stranger in a Strange Land. But you can't make that happen which is why I didn't choose that option.

Priene
08-14-2008, 07:51 PM
It's genetic. I'm the son of a printer.

tehuti88
08-14-2008, 08:34 PM
Hm. For once I'm really not sure which one to pick.

I strongly lean toward the adoration/fanclub one, but that doesn't quite capture what I want. I also want to inspire people, and to be famous. But by now I'm so desperate what I truly want is to just make some friends from my writing, and inspire others. Not necessarily educate, but just entertain and inspire, and make an impact on people, especially enough so that they get in touch with me about it and actually let me know, and we connect over it.

What I really want is some sort of meaningful connection with other people. I'd adore that far more than money or being the next JK Rowling. I don't know if publication would be necessary for this since most authors don't really connect personally to their readers, but at least it would get my work out there more noticeably. I keep hoping there is ONE person out there just waiting to stumble across my material and make the connection...

So I guess I'm sitting on the fence on this one. :/

NicoleMD
08-14-2008, 10:21 PM
I voted for:


I want to write a really great piece of literature that becomes an enduring classic.

...but replace "great" with "farcical" and "classic" with "laugh-fest."

I think I would like to be well-read and not easily forgotten.

Nicole

jkcates
08-14-2008, 10:31 PM
This one

What I always find weird is that with other creative pastimes ( say painting ) people don't expect to have an exhibition. But when you write, it's almost like it's not worth doing unless it gets published. Maybe that's the family / friends influence - they think it can't be good unless it's published, whereas a painting they can like or dislike all on their own :) Being puiblished is like someone patting you on the back and saying 'you know, you're not too shabby at it after all'

I write because I love to - but being published - icing on the cake.

Agreed, and that is an interesting observation about writing versus other hobbies/pastimes.

Although, to be honest, looking at the poll results I must say I find them dubious. I suspect (just a feeling) that most people dont write just because they like telling stories.

Just a few cents worth

maestrowork
08-14-2008, 10:44 PM
Well, I think partly because art is art, whether someone sees it or not. It gives the artist joy to create, and it's nice to just hang it on the wall. Maybe the guests will see it...

But writing... what's the purpose of writing, especially stories? If it's just for self-enjoyable, there's the journal. Writing is communication, and to communicate, you need at least two people. And storytelling, much like acting, demands an audience, however small. I think that's the difference.

C.bronco
08-14-2008, 10:45 PM
None of the above.
I want to make a good living doing something that I love.

Jenifer
08-14-2008, 10:46 PM
I just want to share the stories. :)

It's as laughably simple as that.

donroc
08-14-2008, 10:59 PM
I selected 2nd from the bottom, but to be truthful all answers apply.

SPMiller
08-15-2008, 01:50 AM
I'm honestly surprised at how many people seem to genuinely not care about money. No wonder we don't get paid much ;)

I'm only half-kidding.

C.M.C.
08-15-2008, 01:56 AM
I just want to be able to put a book on my shelf and tell myself that I did it.

Bubastes
08-15-2008, 05:15 AM
I'm honestly surprised at how many people seem to genuinely not care about money. No wonder we don't get paid much ;)

I'm only half-kidding.

I think it's because if we cared about money more, we wouldn't choose writing as the way to make it. There are many more reliable ways to make money. That having been said, I care about money a lot, but I'm also a realist and expect to keep my day job for the indefinite future.

Ugawa
08-15-2008, 05:31 AM
I just love telling stories, plain and simple.

XX

benbradley
08-15-2008, 08:09 AM
I'm not really sure, I've got a bunch of reasons. Writing fiction to be published is an attractive idea, but perhaps not my ultimate goal.

I've inhaled information virtually all my life, and I later found much of it was wrong, but as long as I keep inhaling (from many different sources) that gets corrected. I want to "regurgitate"* some of what I learned, as I feel I have "a story to tell" in a bio/memoir, and for that I most relate to this:

I want to educate, teach, inspire and instruct with my ideas.

* ETA: Certainly not the best word, I've made many observations and "distillations" from what I've learned, and my main reason for wanting to write a memoir is to share those.