View Full Version : Your realistic expectations

11-16-2008, 03:42 AM
Hello everyone,

What are your realistic expectations from writing? Everyone dreams in general terms of fame, fortune and fandom, but what exactly do you hope your writing with provide for you and for those who read it?



Ageless Stranger
11-16-2008, 03:45 AM
Being honest and realistic, I would hope that it will be able to provide me with a stable source of income sometime in the future, I would hope that it continues to improve and that those who read it are at the very least entertained, and at most, changed in some way by my stories. If I could achieve those goals, I'd be a very happy chap.

Gary Clarke
11-16-2008, 03:46 AM
I hope I will be able to pay my modest bills, feed and clothe the kids and keep them in school as long as they want. This is highly unlikely.

I hope people read my books and that the people who do, get a kick out of it.

11-16-2008, 03:50 AM

Okay. Realism?

I don't know if I 'expect' anything, but what could realistically happen? Anything, I guess. Even JK Rowling was living in poverty-stricken obscurity once.

I'd like to see my name on the cover of more than one book - that would prove I had an established career, not just a flash-in-the-pan thing going on.

Enough money to not have to worry about money. And to not have to take outside jobs.

Whoever said money doesn't make you happy - pfft. I'd be happy if I had financial freedom to travel (yes, including to Japan) and buy nice clothes.

So for me it's about financial independence.

That, and winning the Booker, which is my ultimate writing dream.

11-16-2008, 03:51 AM
Ok, in all seriousness...my expectations?

I *want* bestsellerdom, obscene amounts of wealth, the Brothers Leto as my manslaves, etc. I *expect* publication, a modest income, etc.

Right now, I'm just focusing on getting it written and getting it published...I'll work out the particulars from there.

11-16-2008, 03:56 AM
Ugh, this is the kind of question that I don't like.

It's hard for me to discuss, but to sum up my childhood, I was constantly told that I would not amount to anything. For me to publish a book is a huge step for me. So a lot of my goals have already been accomplished.

I never ever believed that I would get a lot of money from my books (although it would be nice!). For now it's about telling a story, and I hope to tell a lot of stories in my future.

Mr. Chuckletrousers
11-16-2008, 04:00 AM
but what exactly do you hope your writing with provide for you and for those who read it?

I hope to experience the joy of getting to warp the pure, innocent minds of tomorrow's youth, just like my mind was twisted by my favorite authors. It's like "Pay It Forward", except with less shmaltz and more assless leather chaps.

11-16-2008, 04:03 AM
I hope to experience the joy of getting to warp the pure, innocent minds of tomorrow's youth, just like my mind was twisted by my favorite authors. It's like "Pay It Forward", except with less shmaltz and more assless leather chaps.

You're my hero.

Gary Clarke
11-16-2008, 04:07 AM
. It's like "Pay It Forward", except with less shmaltz and more assless leather chaps.

Ah now here! Arseless leather chaps have no place in a conversation about jared leto... wait, what am I saying?

11-16-2008, 04:26 AM
I, of course, would love to hit the best seller lists within my first three books. :D

Realism, realism, okay... I don't do a lot of realism generally... hang on.

Hm. Yeah.

I would be absolutely thrilled just to hold that first book in my hands- riffle the pages and suck in a deep breath. Paper cut on the nose optional. I would even do it in front of people (my fiance hates me in book stores). Anything else would be icing.

11-16-2008, 04:31 AM
As far as other people go, I hope they find my writing entertaining. For me, I'm looking at a new batch of fishes next year. I only have to sell one more short story and I'll earn those fishes. Maybe some doughnuts too, if I sell it for lots.

Earning a living would be good, but it's a bit early to see if that's realistic.

(Technically I can afford the fishes anyway, but it's nice to link small earnings to something tangible)

11-16-2008, 04:53 AM
Fame, fortune, and fandom? that is a big request. That's like only the top one percent of writers. I'd personally like to at least make a reasonable amount of my income off writing, and perhaps work my way into a teaching job. Oh, and most of all to be able to keep writing. I want each book to interest them into publishing another one.

11-16-2008, 04:57 AM
Realistically, I expect to keep improving in my writing. More hope than expectation is that the continual improvement will pay off in some way.

One beautiful expectation has been realized. Every time someone visits our house for the first time, Little Fizzy (eight years old) brings out one of my books to show it off. That's my bestseller list, and if I never make an official one, all of the effort behind my writing has already been well worth it. Sappy, I know. But, you can't imagine the emotional impact. This (or something similar), is what I hope every writer here at AW gets to experience.

11-16-2008, 04:57 AM
Well, since you asked for my realistic expectations...

As far as I know, a large majority of people who seek publication fail. Therefore, I expect to fail. I will likely never see a novel of mine sell well on the open market.

However, that hasn't stopped me from trying. Yet. Just because all data indicates a high probability of failure doesn't mean that value is 1.0. I've worked hard, and now I can only hope my skill will carry me through to success.

11-16-2008, 05:38 AM
Realistically I'd like to continue to write for as long as I'd like, and perhaps paid handsomely to do so.

But expectations are not useful. Hopes and dreams and goals are more realistic and approachable. Expectation often leads to disappointment and disillusions and resentment. I understand expectations too well to set myself up again.

11-16-2008, 09:12 AM
Hello everyone,

What are your realistic expectations from writing? Everyone dreams in general terms of fame, fortune and fandom, but what exactly do you hope your writing with provide for you and for those who read it?



My hope is to make stories. Lots and lots of stories. Whenever I write, I write things that I wish could happen to me. I have a lot of cool, different adventures I want to go on. Writing has a spiritual component for me because when I write, I feel like I'm making a connection with my (as-yet unfounded) patron/patroness and my dymium (don't ask, seriously). All I expect is to be able to enjoy myself and maybe find a few readers who also enjoy what I do.

I'd like to get published, too, but that's not so important to me. I'm not sure I want money. Fame, maybe, but not money. And definitely not fandom. Fandom sucks.

Realistically I'd like to continue to write for as long as I'd like, and perhaps paid handsomely to do so.

Quoted for truth.

Clair Dickson
11-16-2008, 09:38 AM
I want people to read and enjoy my books. I'd like to have a series. And I'd like to be able to work a few less jobs. Currently, I have three and am looking for some more part time work. I'd like to work less than 40 hours a week. And for me, writing is so much fun that even when I'm 'working' on a story, it's not work.

Though, I would SO love to get enough money from book sales to buy myself a nice brand-used hybrid. =D

Mr Flibble
11-16-2008, 11:52 AM
This time last year I decided to get serious about this thing, try and get published in 2008

Now, for 2009, I would like a fan e-mail. That's realistic, I think. Someone who likes it enough to let me know. It'd be cool:D

11-16-2008, 12:07 PM
My expectation is to publish at least one book with a well-known publisher. If I have to go with a smaller, less well-known press first and then move upward on the second sale, that would be fine as well.

I suppose some monetary compensation goes with that, but to be honest that's not why I'm doing this. I want to be read. I want to change the way people think. I want to make people cry.

11-16-2008, 05:17 PM
Let expectations
prey each day
on smaller pleasures

But never let them
devour an hour
of hopes' and dreams'
holy ground

For the first sometimes
attacks in packs
and the second
too easily die

11-16-2008, 06:10 PM
I have no expectations.

11-16-2008, 06:37 PM
Good question! Interesting responses…

Now me, I’d be satisfied with being able to supplement my retirement income, to sit at home, in my jammies, and be able to work any hours I chose; and to write memorable characters that spring to life on the page and that my readers can identify with.

11-16-2008, 06:48 PM
Honestly, compared to other amateur writers out there in internet land I'm a dunce, may be because of my lack of experience dont really know. What I expect to do with my life is finish my marketing and creative writing course in uni and become a publisher who can help those better unknown writers tell their stories to the world. Thats my expectation.

11-16-2008, 06:50 PM
Fame and fortune? No thanks. I would like to touch people with my words. That's about all. I like giving aha moments and getting in the reader's head.

11-16-2008, 06:52 PM
Realistically, as long as I can hold a book with my name on it, that's good enough for me. I've never aspired to find fame, or a lengthy literary career.

11-16-2008, 07:06 PM
What are your realistic expectations from writing? Everyone dreams in general terms of fame, fortune and fandom, but what exactly do you hope your writing with provide for you and for those who read it?

I gave up any thoughts of publication and fame long, long ago. (Thoughts of money never even entered into it.)

By now I just want to connect to one or two people, make a few friends who are actually as interested in what I write as I am. And who don't bail out/disappear on me without a moment's notice.

I posted a journal entry the other day that was me talking about my characters and plot ideas for an upcoming story. Nobody ever replies to those entries because I bet nobody understands them or even knows what I'm talking about. I'm willing to bet nobody's even interested in reading such entries and, as soon as they read the first sentence, wanders off. I can't blame them, because I don't focus much on things I'm not interested in either--but isn't there just ONE person out there who's curious...?

What I want to gain from my writing is somebody who not only understands what I write in entries like that, but is as enthusiastic about it as I am--and COMMUNICATES with me about it. And sticks around for the long haul.

I've had people who are interested in me but not in my work...and I've had people who are interested in my work but not in me. Why can't there be somebody who's interested in both--and who sticks around for more than ten minutes? :(

By now, that's honestly all I hope to gain from my writing, so much so that I give it all away for free. But even it seems to be asking too much because I've been trying for almost nine years now...

11-16-2008, 07:52 PM
Once I stopped expecting anything, things started to happen. :D

Seriously, though. I don't have expectations, so much as I have wants. I want my books to sell well. I want to continue publishing new projects. I want to make a steady income from writing. I want to be doing this twenty/thirty/fifty years from now. I want these things, but I can't hang my hopes on the expectation of getting them, because I just don't know. I can't predict the future.

11-16-2008, 07:59 PM
I think I would be fooling myself to think I'd be content getting published and selling 200 copies of my book to then disappear into oblivion.

Of course, I hope for some recognition, a larger readership, winning a prize, etc. And yes, the ultimate dream would be to live off at least partly from my writing or to at least be able to build a nest egg from it.

11-16-2008, 09:32 PM
Realistically, I know that I have the potential to benefit from learning and practice. I expect that someday I will be publishing regularly and even have a novel or two in print. I don't expect to ever become a famous or rich author, and it's not what I want. Sounds silly, but I've always dreamed of being an obscure author with a cult fanbase, instead of like, the next Stephen King.

I'm a long way off from publishing regularly, but I think I'll get there one day, with lots of hard work, persistance, and anti-depressants.

11-16-2008, 09:33 PM
I'm a 'ho. For me, at least right now, it's all about the money. I need my writing to be a steady source of income along with my other two jobs.

I sure wouldn't mind some minor fame, and I'd it if my writing touched at least one person in the same way that my favorite books have touched me. But for now it's all about finances.

11-16-2008, 09:39 PM
My writing goals are a moving target. I started over 15 years ago now.

First I just wanted to get one story published. That happened.

Then I wanted to get paid. That happened.

Then I wanted to sell to pro-markets. That happened.

Then I wanted to sell a novel or two in the small press. That happened.

Now I want to sell a novel to one of the big boys.

Realistically? I think I have a chance.

11-16-2008, 09:52 PM
Realistically? I think I have a chance.

You certainly do, and I wish you luck.

Lady Cat
11-16-2008, 09:59 PM
Have you ever read one of your favorite authors and when you finish the book you sit back and go, "Wow" and then wish the book could go on forever? I want to be that author.

That’s probably never going to happen, so realistically:

I would like to make enough money with my writing to not have to work outside the home.

I would rather sell a novel to a big name publisher than win the lottery. To me, that would be even better than winning the lottery (and probably just as likely).

At the very least I would like have two novels published (to prove the first wasn’t just a fluke) and I would send copies to every one of my family members and friends who look on my writing as just a foolish whimsy.

Susan Breen
11-16-2008, 10:21 PM
I'd like to be one of those authors whose readers look forward to the publication of each new book. And I'd like each book to be better than the previous. And I'd like to finish my basement.

11-17-2008, 04:37 AM
I was always one of you who just wanted to write something good and hoped against hope that someday somebody would want to publish it. All of a sudden, somebody did. Now I *desperately* hope against hope that it will make back the advance, because I want my publisher to keep buying my books. It's always something, isn't it?

11-17-2008, 05:52 AM
I've got one book published, and another to be released next month. I now write a regular column for a magazine and teach workshops related to my published work. Realistically, I'd like to have a new book published every two years, and have my writing income be 100% of my income (right now it's about 50%). I want to be able to retire from my part time day job and continue to live off my writing income.

And, I want people to find my books useful (so far they have). I hate getting bad reviews, but I know I can't please everybody, so as long as the press is mostly good I'll be satisfied.