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AshNic
02-23-2013, 05:53 AM
I found this interesting article about how fantasizing about your goals can be more harmful than good. Yes, I read Cracked. :P

I'll link to the actual article instead of Cracked. (http://www.spring.org.uk/2011/01/success-why-expectations-beat-fantasies.php)

It's actually an interesting subject, and when it comes to writing, I've been guilty of this. A lot. Like right now.

Beachgirl
02-23-2013, 06:18 AM
I don't have time to fantasize about my writing career. I'm too busy writing. And editing. And putting all the little keys back into their correct places on my keyboard after throwing it at the wall...

thothguard51
02-23-2013, 06:36 AM
Nope, I write to torture myself for all my past sins.

blacbird
02-23-2013, 06:39 AM
Not any more.

caw

Filigree
02-23-2013, 06:40 AM
I fail to see the point of fantasizing about any particular career. Wishing and planning, maybe, but mere fantasizing sounds like a pointless and amateur exercise. 'The Secret', if not backed up by action and training, is not a valid career tool.

Quoting from Rush's 'Limelight', just because it is so apt:

"Living in the Limelight,
The universal dream
For those who wish to seem.
Those who wish to be
Must put aside the alienation,
Get on with the fascination,
The real relation,
The underlying theme. "

Papaya
02-23-2013, 06:53 AM
I don't have time to fantasize about my writing career. I'm too busy writing. And editing. And putting all the little keys back into their correct places on my keyboard after throwing it at the wall...
:ROFL:Sorry about that, but this really fits my day. I can't throw my laptop against the wall though, or I would be turning a moment of frustration into something much worse. But I sure can relate...

AshNic
02-23-2013, 07:53 AM
I fail to see the point of fantasizing about any particular career. Wishing and planning, maybe, but mere fantasizing sounds like a pointless and amateur exercise. 'The Secret', if not backed up by action and training, is not a valid career tool.

Quoting from Rush's 'Limelight', just because it is so apt:

"Living in the Limelight,
The universal dream
For those who wish to seem.
Those who wish to be
Must put aside the alienation,
Get on with the fascination,
The real relation,
The underlying theme. "

Indeed, you're not wrong. It's pointless, and often just a waste of time, but many do anyway.

Dorky
02-23-2013, 08:22 AM
Not really. Most of the time, I'm too busy worrying about real life to fantasize about becoming a writer!

But when I was a teenager? Haha. Yeah ;)

Chasing the Horizon
02-23-2013, 08:26 AM
I really don't fantasize about success. Sometimes I worry about it, though. I basically view publishing as a necessary evil in order to make money off writing. I worry about publishers wanting me to do promotion and my Bipolar interfering, about editors wanting to change something I consider important to the story, about having a problem with an MS and being unable to fulfill a contract . . . the reality can't be any worse than I imagine, lol.

I'm well aware of the pros and cons of fantasizing (including from a psychological perspective). A potent fantasy of how things will be if you accomplish something can indeed be a powerful motivation, no matter what that article says. I've accomplished some things that surprised everyone, including myself, because I had a potent fantasy of how things would be if I succeeded. Of course, whether that thing was landing a specific job or losing weight or protecting my ex from hurting himself, none of the results of success ever lived up to my expectations and within a few years I'd quit the job, regained the weight, and ended the relationship. Because none of it could ever possibly live up to my fantasy of it.

Now I have a rule that I don't fantasize about stuff I'm actually trying to do, and don't do the things I fantasize about. Not because fantasizing interferes with me accomplishing tasks, but because it guarantees I'm so bitterly disappointed in the results that I walk away from the whole mess.

rwm4768
02-23-2013, 09:32 AM
I'll admit to fantasizing about a writing career from time to time, but it's not like I'm not doing anything in the present to make that happen. I understand the obstacles in the way, and I'm working hard to overcome them, not just expecting that my dreams will come true.

ExitTheKing
02-23-2013, 09:49 AM
I don't really fantasize about the writing career aspect. Normally it's just me fantasizing about getting whatever project I'm working on done.

All while writing it, of course.

JulianneQJohnson
02-23-2013, 10:33 AM
I play "what if" in my head all the time. At work, walking from one end of the building to the other, in line at the grocery, driving the two hours to visit my folks every weekend. I always have some story or another going on in my head. I assume this is fairly common for storytellers. Sometimes those stories are along the lines of what would it be like if I could find a way to write for a living, or what kind of relationship I would like with an agent, or what it would feel like to see a book of mine at the local grocery. Sometimes my daydreams get silly, such as what it would be like going to a premiere of a movie based on a book I wrote.

What I donít do is sit around daydreaming about it instead of working, writing, plotting, and planning. I have plots and plans. I just thought of a new plan last night, and intend to get busy on it this weekend.

Thereís a million moments in the day, and some of them are spent sitting at a traffic light. Why not fantasize a little? As long as Iím not ignoring the work to do it, it helps me stay positive and keep plugging away.

I also play what if thereís ghosts? And what if thereís a volcanic winter? And what if a small plane crashed in the mountains? And what if someone had a heart attack at work and I had to do CPR? A lot of my daydreaming moments turn into stories. Feed the imagination, just donít live there.

Putputt
02-23-2013, 11:10 AM
Uhh, hells yeah I fantasize. Mostly in the shower, for some reason.

I'm still talking about "writing career fantasies", btw. :D

I even know what I'm gonna wear for my appearance on The Colbert Report. Yanno, when I'm so rich and famous from all this brilliant writing I'm doing that I can be all, "Oh, all right Steve-o, I'll have my people call your people to set up a time. Btwiloveyewgimmeyurautographplz."

But it's not my fantasizing, which I only do when I'm doing some mindless task like jogging, or pooing, or the afore-mentioned showering, which gets in the way of my productivity. It's mostly my dicking around the internet that does it. I blame it on Bentley the fussy pup (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCo5w6qukJY).

Ellaroni
02-23-2013, 12:09 PM
I did and sometimes I do...
I used to dream about being able to write full-time, but hardly ever wrote anything. But now that I've worked as a high school teacher for 10+ years and I have two YA novels in the works, I've realized that giving up that job won't be good for my writing. I need to be surrounded by teenagers for inspiration. I wouldn't mind if I could work part-time at school and then write at home. It's probably not going to happen, though, and I'm ok with that. Like most of you have mentioned, I too still fantasize about that writing career now and then, of course. Daydreaming is healthy, I say!

As for success, I do not not dream of being in the spotlight. That constitutes a nightmare.

JulianneQJohnson
02-23-2013, 01:55 PM
**snipped**
As for success, I do not not dream of being in the spotlight. That constitutes a nightmare.

I have to agree with you there. I've no desire to be famous or recognizable. Known in my field, sure. Famous, no way.

Layla Nahar
02-23-2013, 07:07 PM
Interesting article. Thanks for the link. I found the explanation of 'expectations' clear, but of 'fantasies' a bit vague. Still, it was somewhat helpful.

slhuang
02-23-2013, 09:06 PM
Sometimes I imagine what kinds of questions I would get from fans. Which I find a very useful exercise, as it causes me to have to be able to answer them! ;)

willietheshakes
02-23-2013, 10:00 PM
No fantasy, just the reality of a writing career.

Gotta say, it's a tad different than I had expected.

Ellen
02-23-2013, 10:46 PM
I play "what if" in my head all the time. At work, walking from one end of the building to the other, in line at the grocery, driving the two hours to visit my folks every weekend. I always have some story or another going on in my head. I assume this is fairly common for storytellers. Sometimes those stories are along the lines of what would it be like if I could find a way to write for a living, or what kind of relationship I would like with an agent, or what it would feel like to see a book of mine at the local grocery. Sometimes my daydreams get silly, such as what it would be like going to a premiere of a movie based on a book I wrote.

What I donít do is sit around daydreaming about it instead of working, writing, plotting, and planning. I have plots and plans. I just thought of a new plan last night, and intend to get busy on it this weekend.

Thereís a million moments in the day, and some of them are spent sitting at a traffic light. Why not fantasize a little? As long as Iím not ignoring the work to do it, it helps me stay positive and keep plugging away.

I also play what if thereís ghosts? And what if thereís a volcanic winter? And what if a small plane crashed in the mountains? And what if someone had a heart attack at work and I had to do CPR? A lot of my daydreaming moments turn into stories. Feed the imagination, just donít live there.


This sounds an awful lot like me. Sometimes I wish I could turn off my brain! Do you know what your Myers Briggs type is? I'm ENTJ.

lauralam
02-24-2013, 02:42 AM
I totally have ridiculous daydreams all the time.

But now I know the reality of the business side and that the money is often small sums and erratic, so I think it'd freak me out to be full-time unless I was really rolling in the dough.

I'd love it if I could work part-time and write, instead of the full-time work/part-time study/writing thing I'm doing now.

Sleep, I miss you. :'(

ucf612
02-24-2013, 03:10 AM
Sure I fantasize about it. I daydream a lot about any number of things. I am really bad about being a "worst case scenario" daydreamer so I have to mentally replace those negative thoughts with positive ones. Sometimes that includes fantasizing about being a successful writer. I don't see the harm. I daydream while driving, running, before falling asleep, folding laundry. It might be silly but it keeps me sane.

Captcha
02-24-2013, 03:20 AM
I don't really fantasize, but I calculate - like, if I can get my sales up to X number of dollars, that would mean I could try to work part time instead of full time - that sort of thing. But that's about it.

sunandshadow
02-24-2013, 04:07 AM
Not any more.

caw
Same here.

BradyH1861
02-24-2013, 05:11 AM
The only thing I fantasize about is retirement.

Oh, and redheads......(But only my wife!)

Quantum1019
02-24-2013, 09:27 AM
I don't fantasize. I work toward it.

cmi0616
02-24-2013, 09:44 AM
Of course. And furthermore, I think anyone who writes fiction and says they haven't dreamed of becoming the next (insert canonical writer here) is a liar. How can you take yourself seriously and not fantasize about achieving literary fame? However, I'm not sure this article applies so much to writing. Constant rejection keeps you pretty grounded. That doesn't mean you don't daydream though, that's what writers are supposed to do.

Quantum1019
02-24-2013, 10:01 AM
Of course, I didn't mean, in my last post, that I never fantasized....but I try to control myself now and use my imagination to churn out stories instead of dreaming/ worrying about my career.

Captcha
02-24-2013, 11:11 AM
Of course. And furthermore, I think anyone who writes fiction and says they haven't dreamed of becoming the next (insert canonical writer here) is a liar. How can you take yourself seriously and not fantasize about achieving literary fame? However, I'm not sure this article applies so much to writing. Constant rejection keeps you pretty grounded. That doesn't mean you don't daydream though, that's what writers are supposed to do.

Careful - given that some people in this thread have said they don't fantasize about this, you're essentially calling your fellow AWers liars - not too friendly!

And, really, your standard for someone taking themselves seriously as a writer is that they dream of achieving literary fame? How about people who don't WANT to be famous? They don't take themselves seriously just because they focus on producing a quality product rather than achieving some capricious external goal that seems, for many people who've achieved it in the past, to end up being more curse than blessing?

If I were inclined to make sweeping statements about the literary credibility of complete strangers, I think I'd be more inclined to say that fantasizing about fame is a contra-indication of taking oneself seriously. I might say that serious writers write for the writing, not the external rewards. But I don't think I'm comfortable making that sort of blanket statement.

JustinlDew
02-24-2013, 11:25 AM
I've dreamed of that moment when I get the contract with Writer's House, Random House picks me up and I ride off into the sunset with my six-figure advance. Who hasn't. Then I wake up, realize my theater class is today and pray I've studied enough to pass my exam.

ETA: I agree with the posters who say the don't want to be famous. I want my works to be for sure, I just don't want my name or face to be. ;)

Silver-Midnight
02-24-2013, 11:45 AM
I found this interesting article about how fantasizing about your goals can be more harmful than good. Yes, I read Cracked. :P

I'll link to the actual article instead of Cracked. (http://www.spring.org.uk/2011/01/success-why-expectations-beat-fantasies.php)

It's actually an interesting subject, and when it comes to writing, I've been guilty of this. A lot. Like right now.

I imagine a "writer career", and "making it as a writer". I want to see my book(hopefully, books) in book stores and all of that. However, I know that deep down it really all means nothing if I'm not enjoying myself, if I'm not putting out stories that I like and I'm proud of. So, while it would be nice to be famous as a writer, I'd rather write books that I enjoy(ed) writing.

Kayley
02-24-2013, 12:37 PM
I certainly do, and I don't consider it a bad thing.

Perhaps we have different understandings of what it means to fantasize; I don't think fantasizing about a goal and working toward that goal are mutually exclusive concepts.

Rather, the fantasizing helps motivate me to do the work necessary to accomplish my goals. It helped me to become the commencement speaker at my high school graduation, it helped me to obtain all of the jobs I've acquired, and it helped me to graduate from college in three years rather than four (I haven't yet graduated, but I expect to graduate in June.) The fact that I visualized myself in these positions prior to obtaining them is what allowed me to take the steps necessary to make those visions come true. Because I knew how I wanted to end up, I knew what I needed to do to get to that point.

I'm hoping the same will happen with my writing career. I'm confident I'll become a published author, whether it be in two years or twenty. In the meantime, I'll dream about it - and, of course, write (and revise over and over and over.) :D

stray
02-24-2013, 12:59 PM
The process is so gradual for most writers that there never is that big I MADE IT moment.

Many years of reading and writing, reading and writing.

First short story published in a webzine, first print story published in an anthology, first ebook contract. Second, third. First print book on the shelves. First reviews, good and bad, newspaper articles. Money come in. Translation deals. Then big publishing contract, maybe.

The moment one dreams about, the final destination, never really matters as much as the journey getting to that place, the small victories along the path are the most golden.

pernickety
02-24-2013, 02:08 PM
When I was 17 and 1/2 way through my first novel long-string-of-non-events, I dreamed of the Stephen King fame and fortune. As the years progressed I dreamt of publication and some money. Now I still dream, yes, but I don't care about the money really.

Also, a friend of mine who has published about 20 novels/novellas (with not a lot of monetary recompense) tells me that she concentrates on her art now, and tries to make time to write. I couldn't believe that there was ever a place after being a writer, like it's the holy grail. Maybe when I am published, I'll be bored with it all... I doubt it though.

seun
02-24-2013, 05:56 PM
Not really. I think it would be nice to make a living from writing and be financially comfortable, but as there's more chance of me re-growing the quiff I had when I was 16, I'm not going to spend a lot of time daydreaming. I'll just carry on writing, instead.

The_Ink_Goddess
02-24-2013, 06:27 PM
Of course. And furthermore, I think anyone who writes fiction and says they haven't dreamed of becoming the next (insert canonical writer here) is a liar. How can you take yourself seriously and not fantasize about achieving literary fame? However, I'm not sure this article applies so much to writing. Constant rejection keeps you pretty grounded. That doesn't mean you don't daydream though, that's what writers are supposed to do.

I don't, and I have never told a lie ;)

No, but seriously...I object to the word "canonical." I dream of being like writers I love, but definitely not "canonical" writers. Especially as I'm a YA author, a genre that has been unfortunately shut out of the "canon" thus far. Charles Dickens and all those white-guy literary bores can keep it.

I dream of having a career like, say, Gillian Flynn or Nova Ren Suma. Consistent praise, imaginative plots, people who would anticipate my next book. And rely on me to deliver a good book always- "it's bound to be good" and "WHY DO I HAVE TO WAIT SO LONG" are my greatest dreams.

John Green is about as hyperbolic as I'm willing to go, but as I don't write one of the "big hitter" genres like paranormal or dystopian, Suzanne Collins and Stephenie Meyer are out of reach. I write contemp, but I'm a realistic daydreamer - the odds of being John Green are pretty small when I'm a) female and b) a writer of dark contemp, which is unlikely to ever have the same mass appeal.

I dream of making a good comfortable living and having some anticipation/hype around my books. And I resent people who say "why are you daydreaming when you should be writing?" Daydreaming is what keeps me writing - the reminder that "nothing will come from nothing", so I better keep going.

Ken
02-24-2013, 06:41 PM
... my fantasy at present is more about being able to craft a solid story and get everything more or less right. Hopefully, other things will follow from that. But those other things are no longer my focus, as they were when I was first starting out. Then, my fantasy was to become rich from writing and be famous, etc. Kinda embarrassed to admit that now. Shh ;-)

AshleyEpidemic
02-24-2013, 07:02 PM
I don't fantasize. I plan. I have my goals and I will meet them.

AshNic
02-24-2013, 07:07 PM
I imagine a "writer career", and "making it as a writer". I want to see my book(hopefully, books) in book stores and all of that. However, I know that deep down it really all means nothing if I'm not enjoying myself, if I'm not putting out stories that I like and I'm proud of. So, while it would be nice to be famous as a writer, I'd rather write books that I enjoy(ed) writing.

This is how I feel as well. Would it be nice to be able to do writing as a full time career? Of course! But at the end of the day, if people are buying my books and enjoying them, and hell, if a publisher publishes it, I'd be ecstatic.

I feel I day dream too much. Ever since I was a kid, I would just construct scenes in my head and get lost in them. In a car, on computer, in school, shower, when trying to fall asleep, etc. The thing with that is not all of that was fantasizing about my future, but it's how my ideas came to me. That may be normal, not quite sure. And it's how they develop, then I write it all down.

trocadero
02-24-2013, 07:15 PM
Yes, yes, yes, yes. Last year when a well known writer came to our school, I was overwhelmed with writing career envy. It wasn't about the money. This wonderful guy described his day like this: Go to his own little section of a very old private library in his town, write for two hours, research for two hours, read for two hours. I want that. Indeed I do. I also want to do school visits and hang about at writing conferences and workshops when I'm not at the library. It would be heaven.

ebbrown
02-24-2013, 08:36 PM
Yes, I do. It's not something that consumes me, or something that diverts my attention from more productive activities. But, yes, when I'm on my way to work for another grueling 12-hour shift, I do fantasize about how nice it would be to make a living as an author. When I get home after said shift, splattered with blood, beaten down by death & sadness, yes, I dream about being an author full-time. And each time I have opportunity to sit at my computer and crank out a few words, I do briefly think how wonderful it would be to spend every day with my characters in a world I created.
Sure, I dream. I dream big, I dream frequently, in short segments. Then I get on with things, and do what I have to do to make it happen. I don't mind working toward a dream. If a person never dreamed, never wanted for anything, what sense would there be in going on? I think it would be a very boring life, if we had everything we ever wanted.
Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handy...I mean, er, EB ;)

Beachgirl
02-24-2013, 08:40 PM
Of course. And furthermore, I think anyone who writes fiction and says they haven't dreamed of becoming the next (insert canonical writer here) is a liar. How can you take yourself seriously and not fantasize about achieving literary fame? However, I'm not sure this article applies so much to writing. Constant rejection keeps you pretty grounded. That doesn't mean you don't daydream though, that's what writers are supposed to do.

*bolded mine*

Um. *blinks* Wow. Seriously? I'm a liar just because I have no desire for everyone in the developed world to know who I am, where I live, and what I have for breakfast? Dude, there's a reason I use a pen name. And just because I prefer to remain in the shadows does not mean I'm not serious about my writing. I enjoy what I do. I enjoy what I write. It does not have to make me a gajillionaire, nor do I have to fantasize that it will, to mean I'm serious about it.

As another poster said, there's a rule around here about this type of statement. Just sayin'.

*steps down off soap box*

JulianneQJohnson
02-24-2013, 08:51 PM
This sounds an awful lot like me. Sometimes I wish I could turn off my brain! Do you know what your Myers Briggs type is? I'm ENTJ.

I do not know what mine is. I do think my constant "what if" thinking is a survival mechanism born from my childhood, where surprises were often unpleasant and avoiding surprises was a good idea. I'm a bit hyper-vigilant as well.

JulianneQJohnson
02-24-2013, 08:58 PM
I certainly do, and I don't consider it a bad thing.

Perhaps we have different understandings of what it means to fantasize; I don't think fantasizing about a goal and working toward that goal are mutually exclusive concepts.

Rather, the fantasizing helps motivate me to do the work necessary to accomplish my goals. It helped me to become the commencement speaker at my high school graduation, it helped me to obtain all of the jobs I've acquired, and it helped me to graduate from college in three years rather than four (I haven't yet graduated, but I expect to graduate in June.) The fact that I visualized myself in these positions prior to obtaining them is what allowed me to take the steps necessary to make those visions come true. Because I knew how I wanted to end up, I knew what I needed to do to get to that point.

I'm hoping the same will happen with my writing career. I'm confident I'll become a published author, whether it be in two years or twenty. In the meantime, I'll dream about it - and, of course, write (and revise over and over and over.) :D

Well said. I personally believe that positive visualization has an effect on self and situation. It's not an either or concept. We dream and do, not just dream.

Myrealana
02-24-2013, 09:36 PM
I have one fantasy about being a writer.

I'm in a coffee shop, having just picked up my small latte, and I see a young woman reading my book. I introduce myself as the author and offer to sign her copy.

That's it.

As for getting to that point, I don't fantasize, I plan. I have a reasonable schedule to be able to replace my regular income with a combination of writing and carefully invested savings over the next twelve years.

It's me plan. I planned it.

cmi0616
02-24-2013, 10:03 PM
I don't, and I have never told a lie ;)

No, but seriously...I object to the word "canonical." I dream of being like writers I love, but definitely not "canonical" writers. Especially as I'm a YA author, a genre that has been unfortunately shut out of the "canon" thus far. Charles Dickens and all those white-guy literary bores can keep it.


So does it make it okay if I say "talented/well-known"?

cmi0616
02-24-2013, 10:08 PM
*bolded mine*

Um. *blinks* Wow. Seriously? I'm a liar just because I have no desire for everyone in the developed world to know who I am, where I live, and what I have for breakfast? Dude, there's a reason I use a pen name.

LOL I don't know what world you live in, but in the one I inhabit, no writer is that famous, nor has any writer been that famous in a very long time. The 1920's this is not.

Seriously, who's the most famous living writer? Jonathan Franzen? JK Rowling? All I know about either is that the latter lives in England and the former hates Twitter. Hardly the stuff of People Magazine.

But you're telling me you've never said "hm, wouldn't it be nice if people bought and appreciated my books to the extent that I was able to do this professionally and devote my life to this?"

That's all I'm saying.

cmi0616
02-24-2013, 10:19 PM
Careful - given that some people in this thread have said they don't fantasize about this, you're essentially calling your fellow AWers liars - not too friendly!

And, really, your standard for someone taking themselves seriously as a writer is that they dream of achieving literary fame? How about people who don't WANT to be famous? They don't take themselves seriously just because they focus on producing a quality product rather than achieving some capricious external goal that seems, for many people who've achieved it in the past, to end up being more curse than blessing?

If I were inclined to make sweeping statements about the literary credibility of complete strangers, I think I'd be more inclined to say that fantasizing about fame is a contra-indication of taking oneself seriously. I might say that serious writers write for the writing, not the external rewards. But I don't think I'm comfortable making that sort of blanket statement.

Well, of course writers are people who want to write for writing's sake. I forgot who it was that said: "If you don't have to write, why on Earth would you?"

But I can't buy that there are people who write fiction who have any ambition beyond just writing the thing down. Perhaps memoirists or essayists might write for their own pleasure, or to sort out there thoughts, but fiction is written for the reader.

So, therefore, all (if not the vast majority of) fiction writers must want to be published on some level. And it wouldn't make sense to have your work published and not want it to be successful. Otherwise, you're not taking it seriously. How could you be?

Filigree
02-24-2013, 10:24 PM
You would be surprised how many relatively low-level authors get stalked. It isn't pleasant. Being outed the wrong way can mean losing jobs, being ostracized in the community, and even having family members suffer by association. Fame for fame's sake is foolish. Most of us would settle for income over fame.

cmi0616
02-24-2013, 10:26 PM
You would be surprised how many relatively low-level authors get stalked.

You would be surprised how many average joe's get stalked. My mother is a judge and she had a pro se litigant stalking her for a long a time. One of my female friends was stalked relentlessly by an old boyfriend from high school. Stalking has very little to do with fame.

Putputt
02-24-2013, 10:27 PM
But, yes, when I'm on my way to work for another grueling 12-hour shift, I do fantasize about how nice it would be to make a living as an author. When I get home after said shift, splattered with blood, beaten down by death & sadness, yes, I dream about being an author full-time.

My job is nowhere near as draining as yours sounds, but this, exactly. After a long day of kissing up to demanding clients, I dream of the day when I can be the one being kissed up to. Not that I'd enjoy it or anything...:D

ETA: And before anyone tells me being an author does not necessarily mean being kissed up to, a hippo can dream! ;)

Captcha
02-24-2013, 10:30 PM
W
So, therefore, all (if not the vast majority of) fiction writers must want to be published on some level. And it wouldn't make sense to have your work published and not want it to be successful. Otherwise, you're not taking it seriously. How could you be?

Successfully published? You're backpeddling pretty hard from "achieving literary fame" and "becoming the next (insert canonical writer here)".

Do I think that most writers want to be successfully published? Yeah, I think most do. That's a long way from "anyone who writes fiction and says they haven't dreamed of becoming the next (insert canonical writer here) is a liar."

You wanted your words to be vivid and have impact - I get it. But vivid and impactful without accuracy? Especially when your means of making things vivid is insulting to your fellow writers? Nah. You can do better.

muravyets
02-24-2013, 10:39 PM
Considering that I spend much of my time fantasizing all kinds of life stories (you know, in my writing ;)), sure I fantasize what a writing career will be like.

I hope it's not like my art career, which has involved a lot of intense dedication to the best work I can do, but not enough sales to live on and, thus, years of precious time -- years I'll never get back -- wasted on day jobs I have hated. I hope, instead, that my writing will find more of a market, and I'll be able to struggle along, barely making ends meet in my modest lifestyle, but this time on advances instead of paychecks.

However, I am another person who prefers to call what I do "planning" rather than "fantasizing." As hard as it's been for me to find commercial success, I had even less going on in my life back when I used to dream about goals. I had an epiphany at some point, in which I realized that goals exist in the future and dreams/fantasies don't exist at all in reality. I switched my thinking to projects and work, things that exist in the here and now, things I plan and do rather than dream about. I'm much happier with where I am in life now, as a result.

So I do think about a career as a writer. I think about the concrete steps I have to do to get one and I think about the progress I've made so far.

muravyets
02-24-2013, 10:44 PM
Uhh, hells yeah I fantasize. Mostly in the shower, for some reason.

I'm still talking about "writing career fantasies", btw. :D

I even know what I'm gonna wear for my appearance on The Colbert Report. Yanno, when I'm so rich and famous from all this brilliant writing I'm doing that I can be all, "Oh, all right Steve-o, I'll have my people call your people to set up a time. Btwiloveyewgimmeyurautographplz."

But it's not my fantasizing, which I only do when I'm doing some mindless task like jogging, or pooing, or the afore-mentioned showering, which gets in the way of my productivity. It's mostly my dicking around the internet that does it. I blame it on Bentley the fussy pup (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCo5w6qukJY).
Haha, I fantasize about my Professional Novelist costume, too. It features jeans. Jeans that fit well, make my ass look great, and are comfortable. And fashionable sneakers, too. I fantasize about dressing that way for work every time I'm rushing myself into effing pantyhose at the crack of dawn for my office job so I can look "professional" before I've even had coffee.

Beachgirl
02-24-2013, 10:46 PM
But you're telling me you've never said "hm, wouldn't it be nice if people bought and appreciated my books to the extent that I was able to do this professionally and devote my life to this?"

That's all I'm saying.

But that isn't what you said upthread, is it? You called writers liars if they say they haven't fantasized about "becoming the next (insert canonical writer here)" and "achieving literary fame". That's a far, far cry from maybe being able to make a living off their writing.

And just for your information, the only time I've hoped I could make a living off of it was since I lost my day job and writing has become my sole source of income by default.



So, therefore, all (if not the vast majority of) fiction writers must want to be published on some level. And it wouldn't make sense to have your work published and not want it to be successful. Otherwise, you're not taking it seriously. How could you be?

And again, simply wanting to be published is not what you asserted upthread. And I am published, so I don't have to fantasize about that. As far as hoping it sells, of course I do. But that is quite different from fantasizing about it. We're writers. Our choice of words matter.


You would be surprised how many average joe's get stalked. My mother is a judge and she had a pro se litigant stalking her for a long a time. One of my female friends was stalked relentlessly by an old boyfriend from high school. Stalking has very little to do with fame.

And I was one of those people who spent years being stalked and looking over my shoulder, so I really don't need you telling me whether or not fame would exacerbate that situation.

muravyets
02-24-2013, 11:02 PM
My brother, the math and research nerd, told me once about some kind of study someone at either MIT or Harvard did once about fame and celebrity. Probably MIT, since that was his school. It was one of his stories, so I didn't really listen all that well, but the gist of it was that there's a tolerance curve to the effects of fame on personal life and a number above which it stops being tolerable.

Apparently, barring picking up a stalker, which can happen to anyone at any time and which ruins fun in just about everything, fame is enjoyable until the set of people who know who you are exceeds 5000 individuals. "Know who you are" was defined as being able to connect your name, your face, and knowledge of what you do easily from memory.

It seems that people whose fame extends to fewer than 5000 people who can readily recognize either their face or name or both, experience high status within their immediate or near social circles and a pleasant frequency of stranger-fan stops in public places. These people tend to enjoy their fame.

However, people whose fame exceeds 5000 people who know who they are experience a greater frequency of privacy invasions and interference in their daily activities due to public attention. They tend to be the celebrities who need personal security, and then it becomes a matter of cost and inconvenience, as well as concerns for safety. Fame stops being fun at that point, apparently.

I wouldn't know about that myself, of course, but I'm willing to take the word of experts on statistics, and that is one of the two reasons that I do not want to be famous.

The other reason is that I don't really like people all that much. I don't want to be a writer for the social whirl. I want it because I like being left the hell alone most of the day. Fame brings nothing but a parade of pests.

I want my books to be famous, not me. As long as I think my books are good, I have fun writing them, and they sell (at all), then I wouldn't care if nobody knows who wrote them. The only people who need to know who I am are the people who write the checks.

Captcha
02-24-2013, 11:13 PM
Apparently, barring picking up a stalker, which can happen to anyone at any time and which ruins fun in just about everything, fame is enjoyable until the set of people who know who you are exceeds 5000 individuals.

I wonder if the internet has changed that. It's quite possible now for an author to have 5 000 'fans' who are spread all over the globe and have no impact on the author's life at all. Whereas any small town clergy member or principal can probably say that their life is somewhat negatively impacted by their level of 'fame' even with fewer than 5 000 people knowing them.

Seems like it might be better to have some sort of percentage involved - 5% of the people you meet on a day-to-day basis, or something like that...

thethinker42
02-24-2013, 11:20 PM
You would be surprised how many average joe's get stalked. My mother is a judge and she had a pro se litigant stalking her for a long a time. One of my female friends was stalked relentlessly by an old boyfriend from high school. Stalking has very little to do with fame.

JR Ward has to have a bodyguard because she has some insane readers who have threatened her life. While I would dearly love to sell as many books as she does, and have people stand in line for hours to have me sign a book, if the price is needing a bodyguard so I can feel a little bit safe... forget it. I make enough money off my writing to live quite comfortably, and I seriously love this job and my readers, but I wouldn't trade my sense of personal safety for money and fame.

AshNic
02-24-2013, 11:24 PM
It is interesting. And I do think author fame is different from other celebrity fame. Thankfully. I'm another one who would hate that kind of fame; having no personal life, being followed, being gossiped about on tacky magazines, much of which would be a bunch of bull. People making a bunch of online articles every time I go grocery shopping in my lazy clothes and no make up acting like it's actual news.

I'm comparing people like, say, Stephen King or Rowling to Lady Gaga or Will Smith.

Then again I don't go out of my way to gossip about celebrities of any form so I may be completely wrong.

Ken
02-24-2013, 11:34 PM
But I can't buy that there are people who write fiction who have any ambition beyond just writing the thing down.

... have got a different impression from bios I've read on writers, artists, musicians, scientists, etc. Many seem driven for the sake of their craft or field. And with some like Nikola Tesla, you get the impression they could care less about fame, fortune, and money. Reading bios only affords so much insight though. Not to compare to actual experience.

JSSchley
02-24-2013, 11:38 PM
I have thought extensively about what I would consider a level of success I would be happy with in my writing career. It helps that I work in a bookstore and get to see whose books are where. I especially get to see—and give better placement to—the books of fellow AW members, and have a sense for how hard they work and what they write compared to how many copies of their books we have and where they are merchandised in the store.

Do I have wild fantasy of one day winning a cool prize or being known across the world for my writing? Sure, but they're fleeting. Pie-in-the-sky if lightning strikes kinds of things. And that's entirely aside from the issues of "is fame a good thing" that are being discussed here.

Right now, I'd just be over the moon if I sold a book and it wound up on an endcap in the Teen section. That's plenty stratospheric success--and one I can reasonably work to achieve.

Hamilton
02-24-2013, 11:44 PM
I fantasize about everything, up to and including being a superhero. I have fantasized about being a famous published novelist even though I have little if any desire to be a novelist.

Those who write for the sake of the process of writing confuse me utterly. But I guess they'd probably feel the same way about me.

Captcha
02-24-2013, 11:58 PM
I fantasize about everything, up to and including being a superhero.

But the important question is, do your fantasies about becoming a superhero interfere with you taking real and concrete steps to achieve your goal of being a superhero?

It's okay to dream as long as you're also getting out there and being bitten by radioactive spiders, struck by lightning, tossed into vats of toxic waste - whatever your plan is. If you're not doing all that, then your dream has become a liability. You need to break the habit.

Hamilton
02-25-2013, 12:17 AM
But the important question is, do your fantasies about becoming a superhero interfere with you taking real and concrete steps to achieve your goal of being a superhero?

It's okay to dream as long as you're also getting out there and being bitten by radioactive spiders, struck by lightning, tossed into vats of toxic waste - whatever your plan is. If you're not doing all that, then your dream has become a liability. You need to break the habit.
*trying to decide if joking or serious*

muravyets
02-25-2013, 12:51 AM
I wonder if the internet has changed that. It's quite possible now for an author to have 5 000 'fans' who are spread all over the globe and have no impact on the author's life at all. Whereas any small town clergy member or principal can probably say that their life is somewhat negatively impacted by their level of 'fame' even with fewer than 5 000 people knowing them.

Seems like it might be better to have some sort of percentage involved - 5% of the people you meet on a day-to-day basis, or something like that...
I had that conversation with my brother only a couple of years ago, and I think the folks over at MIT are aware of that intertubes thing. Hell, I think they've even heard of it at Harvard. :tongue

When discussing small town clergy, we're more talking about direct interpersonal interactions, which kind of have nothing to do with the phenomenon of fame/celebrity. Community clergy as well as community public officials, like town council members or school board members, will always have to deal with the demands, jealousies and resentments of the people they serve, many of whom they know and often have to deal with in other contexts, too. Having your life made harder by pain-in-the-ass coworkers or customers is a different dynamic than having your life impacted by loss of personal privacy.

As for the internet, loss of privacy and personal security are certainly issues with internet fame. We hear about it in the news all the time - cyber-stalking, hacking, etc. I don't think it follows that, because fans are spread out geographically, they have less impact on the famous person's life. And there are other issues that affect the famous person's life, which come with fame but are not necessarily the result of fan actions. Things like fraud, impersonation, frivolous lawsuits, and other negative ways people try to cash in on someone else's public presence, for example.

Plenty of famous people adapt to whatever pressures it brings, whether online or offline, but adapting to the pressures doesn't make the pressures go away. Remember, the study was about the point at which fame stops being fun, not the point at which pressure becomes an issue.

None of which is really all that relevant to the present discussion. My point in bringing it up was that there are good reasons for some people to want to write other than fame. I was responding to the assertion that people who say they don't dream of becoming famous as writers are liars because fame is such a desirable goal. I was saying that fame is not all it's cracked up to be, and many people quite legitimately do not desire it.

kkbe
02-25-2013, 01:42 AM
. . .there are good reasons for some people to want to write other than fame. I was responding to the assertion that people who say they don't dream of becoming famous as writers are liars because fame is such a desirable goal. I was saying that fame is not all it's cracked up to be, and many people quite legitimately do not desire it.

I heard that too. I would like the opportunity to decide that for myself. :)

Back to the o.p.'s question--no, I don't fantasize about a writing career. I'm pretty sure I'm doing it right now. All I want is for people to read my stuff and say, That's damn good.

That's as far as my fantasy goes. Although, I was looking in my closet the other day trying to figure out what to wear for my back cover shot. I'm thinking oversized sweater; dark, tight jeans; and Caterpillar boots. Hair up. No, not up, down. Maybe I'll curl it a little. Not too much makeup. I'll have to practice smiling.

Also, I need some exploitable quotes from successful, well-respected writers. I know one possibility so far although he may not want to oblige after reading this. Did I mention I want people to read my stuff and tell me how much they like it?

:D

ETA: Holy crap, I just read on. . . stalking ?! I have not been stalked, but it sounds scary. I should've addressed that sub-topic at length. Instead I opted for light-hearted fluff, which pales in comparison, and seems inappropriate, based on the heady subject matter discussed post this post.

Poo.

cmi0616
02-25-2013, 01:53 AM
Successfully published? You're backpeddling pretty hard from "achieving literary fame" and "becoming the next (insert canonical writer here)".

Do I think that most writers want to be successfully published? Yeah, I think most do. That's a long way from "anyone who writes fiction and says they haven't dreamed of becoming the next (insert canonical writer here) is a liar."

You wanted your words to be vivid and have impact - I get it. But vivid and impactful without accuracy? Especially when your means of making things vivid is insulting to your fellow writers? Nah. You can do better.

You're misquoting me. I didn't say "successfully published." I said that most people want their work to be published, and naturally, they want that published work to be successful. As successful as possible, which must eventually entail some degree of literary fame.

I find it very hard to believe that people who write fiction seriously do not dream of one day achieving literary fame (I will admit that the word "canonical" was wrong, as it is mostly dead white guys). That doesn't mean you daydream instead of actually writing (who has time for that anyway), but I don't buy that serious writers, haven't, in passing, fantasized about what it'd be like to see their book reviewed in, say, The New York Times.

The_Ink_Goddess
02-25-2013, 01:55 AM
LOL I don't know what world you live in, but in the one I inhabit, no writer is that famous, nor has any writer been that famous in a very long time. The 1920's this is not.

Seriously, who's the most famous living writer? Jonathan Franzen? JK Rowling? All I know about either is that the latter lives in England and the former hates Twitter. Hardly the stuff of People Magazine.

But you're telling me you've never said "hm, wouldn't it be nice if people bought and appreciated my books to the extent that I was able to do this professionally and devote my life to this?"

That's all I'm saying.

It's not quite the same thing, though. First, in your initial wording, there was a tone of comparison, which a lot of people feel uncomfortable with in general. And there are people for whom writing is a hobby, not a life's-work calling. And I kinda object to it because we're in a writing world dominated by The Literary - tons of YA authors get asked shit like when they're going to write their "real book." So it's a sore spot for me.

cmi0616
02-25-2013, 01:57 AM
JR Ward has to have a bodyguard because she has some insane readers who have threatened her life. While I would dearly love to sell as many books as she does, and have people stand in line for hours to have me sign a book, if the price is needing a bodyguard so I can feel a little bit safe... forget it. I make enough money off my writing to live quite comfortably, and I seriously love this job and my readers, but I wouldn't trade my sense of personal safety for money and fame.

You've missed my point. Normal people get stalked all the time. It's not to do with fame or the writer, it has to do with the stalker. I mean, with something like Facebook out there today, anyone is really liable to be stalked.

cmi0616
02-25-2013, 02:03 AM
But that isn't what you said upthread, is it? You called writers liars if they say they haven't fantasized about "becoming the next (insert canonical writer here)" and "achieving literary fame". That's a far, far cry from maybe being able to make a living off their writing.


And perhaps I should have been more clear. I believe that that (selling books and making a living off of your writing), in addition to maybe being interviewed in some newspapers and little-known magazines, is the extent to which "literary fame" exists today. Maybe you go on Oprah as well, but I think we've passed an age where writers qualify as "celebrities" in the sense that Brad Pitt or Lindsay Lohan is a celebrity.

Also, my response vis-a-vis being stalked wasn't addressed to you, it was addressed to the user who pointed out that famous people are often stalked, and because of that, some people don't want fame. If you've been stalked, as an "average person," you know what I'm talking about. Really, there was no need for such a tone with me. And let me be clear with you, I know what it's like to. If you actually read what I had written, you would realize it was my MOTHER who was stalked, as in the person I lived with when I was a child. So when we had this psychotic, hysterical women screaming outside of our apartment building, with me and my brother inside, I learned what it was like. Normal people can be stalked just the same as famous people can be stalked. Famous people, however, can afford to do such things as hire bodyguards, like JR Ward has apparently done.

thethinker42
02-25-2013, 02:11 AM
You've missed my point. Normal people get stalked all the time. It's not to do with fame or the writer, it has to do with the stalker. I mean, with something like Facebook out there today, anyone is really liable to be stalked.

Of course they do. I've been stalked. Certain degrees of fame put people on the radars of more potential stalkers than the rest of us, though, and I think that's the point several people have tried to make: success is awesome, but fame isn't necessarily appealing.

cmi0616
02-25-2013, 02:16 AM
It's not quite the same thing, though. First, in your initial wording, there was a tone of comparison, which a lot of people feel uncomfortable with in general. And there are people for whom writing is a hobby, not a life's-work calling. And I kinda object to it because we're in a writing world dominated by The Literary - tons of YA authors get asked shit like when they're going to write their "real book." So it's a sore spot for me.

I would not consider JK Rowling to be particularly "literary," and god knows her YA novels were tons better than The Casual Vavancy, so I don't really see where your problem is with what I said in that respect. Anyway, those two writers were just an example, you could use any two authors in place of them, and I doubt most people would know much about him/her.

Unless you're saying that YA authors cannot feasibly aspire to fame because of the domination of Lit. Fiction? Well, in that case, I certainly would use JK Rowling as an example, if she's not the most famous living writer, she's certainly one of them. And likewise, John Green is a pretty popular writer as is (whether you like her or not) Stephanie Meyer.

If writing is a hobby, that's fine, there's nothing wrong with that. But I wouldn't exactly call that taking the craft "seriously." I guess it's not for me to say, and keep in mind this is just one man's opinion, my ideas should have no bearing on your beliefs if you reject them, which is perfectly fine by me.

cmi0616
02-25-2013, 02:18 AM
Of course they do. I've been stalked. Certain degrees of fame put people on the radars of more potential stalkers than the rest of us, though, and I think that's the point several people have tried to make: success is awesome, but fame isn't necessarily appealing.

I don't know that I particularly agree with that, especially not when so many people are so loose with personal info. on social media sites these days. But I guess neither of us really has hard evidence one way or the other (at least I know that I do not), so we can agree to disagree.

RachaelLaWriter
02-25-2013, 02:20 AM
I want my books to be famous, not me. As long as I think my books are good, I have fun writing them, and they sell (at all), then I wouldn't care if nobody knows who wrote them. The only people who need to know who I am are the people who write the checks.

Muravyets, this is basically how I feel. My Myers-Briggs test says I'm 50% I, 50% E, so while I'd like my writing to be recognized, I don't think I'd feel comfortable with me, myself being recognized.

And in terms of fantasizing about being a writer, sure, occasionally I trail off thinking about the "what ifs." But right now, I'm mostly fantasizing about getting these novel revisions damn done already. It's been three and a half years of work from the beginning of the first draft, and I think my brain is just straight-up fried.

Putputt
02-25-2013, 02:35 AM
Haha, I fantasize about my Professional Novelist costume, too. It features jeans. Jeans that fit well, make my ass look great, and are comfortable. And fashionable sneakers, too. I fantasize about dressing that way for work every time I'm rushing myself into effing pantyhose at the crack of dawn for my office job so I can look "professional" before I've even had coffee.

Oh man. I fantasize about my fantabulous world-famous-author skirt whenever I dress for work...and ditto to making my ass look great. I can barely breathe in it, but it's only for the duration of the Colbert show...a worthy trade, I think. ;)



Back to the o.p.'s question--no, I don't fantasize about a writing career. I'm pretty sure I'm doing it right now. All I want is for people to read my stuff and say, That's damn good.

That's as far as my fantasy goes. Although, I was looking in my closet the other day trying to figure out what to wear for my back cover shot. I'm thinking oversized sweater; dark, tight jeans; and Caterpillar boots. Hair up. No, not up, down. Maybe I'll curl it a little. Not too much makeup. I'll have to practice smiling.

Also, I need some exploitable quotes from successful, well-respected writers. I know one possibility so far although he may not want to oblige after reading this. Did I mention I want people to read my stuff and tell me how much they like it?

:D

But many people have read your stuff and told you how much they like it, me being one of 'em! So I think the question then becomes: how many people? :D



ETA: Holy crap, I just read on. . . stalking ?! I have not been stalked, but it sounds scary. I should've addressed that sub-topic at length. Instead I opted for light-hearted fluff, which pales in comparison, and seems inappropriate, based on the heady subject matter discussed post this post.

Poo.

Umm. Yeah...and a couple of us are talking about author outfits that make our butts look awesome. Ees okay, you're not alone. The hippo is with you.

P.S. I vote for hair down, slightly curled. Just 'cause for your back cover shot, you wanna aim for "accidentally beautiful". Also, I call dibs on taking the shots! ...If I ever go to that side of the pond...

buz
02-25-2013, 02:58 AM
Oh man. I fantasize about my fantabulous world-famous-author skirt whenever I dress for work...and ditto to making my ass look great. I can barely breathe in it, but it's only for the duration of the Colbert show...a worthy trade, I think. ;)

Rufio outfit. That would be mine...


But many people have read your stuff and told you how much they like it, me being one of 'em! So I think the question then becomes: how many people? :D Reminded me of this for some reason...:D (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Zzfdlxjx4Y)

I don't want to be famous. I just want a ton of money.

:D

I fantasize about Being a Writer about as often as I fantasize about riding sharks. ...Hm.

(The two things are not equal, somehow, but I'm having trouble putting my finger on it.)

Putputt
02-25-2013, 03:12 AM
Rufio outfit. That would be mine...

Reminded me of this for some reason...:D (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Zzfdlxjx4Y)

I don't want to be famous. I just want a ton of money.

:D

I fantasize about Being a Writer about as often as I fantasize about riding sharks. ...Hm.

(The two things are not equal, somehow, but I'm having trouble putting my finger on it.)

I just watched that video twice over. Too...many...memories!

Also, Rufio outfit requires way too much hair mousse. My slutty skirt trumps your Rufio outfit!

ebbrown
02-25-2013, 03:15 AM
I fantasize about Being a Writer about as often as I fantasize about riding sharks. ...Hm.

(The two things are not equal, somehow, but I'm having trouble putting my finger on it.)

:roll:

Beachgirl
02-25-2013, 03:47 AM
You're misquoting me. I didn't say "successfully published." I said that most people want their work to be published, and naturally, they want that published work to be successful. As successful as possible, which must eventually entail some degree of literary fame.

I find it very hard to believe that people who write fiction seriously do not dream of one day achieving literary fame (I will admit that the word "canonical" was wrong, as it is mostly dead white guys). That doesn't mean you daydream instead of actually writing (who has time for that anyway), but I don't buy that serious writers, haven't, in passing, fantasized about what it'd be like to see their book reviewed in, say, The New York Times.

No, I did not misquote you. I was referring to your original post calling some of us liars, which you have been unsuccessfully trying to backpedal on. And you can think whatever the hell you want to think, but no, I DO NOT daydream of achieving "literary fame", and when you call me and other writers liars for it I am going to call you out on it.



And perhaps I should have been more clear. I believe that that (selling books and making a living off of your writing), in addition to maybe being interviewed in some newspapers and little-known magazines, is the extent to which "literary fame" exists today. Maybe you go on Oprah as well, but I think we've passed an age where writers qualify as "celebrities" in the sense that Brad Pitt or Lindsay Lohan is a celebrity.

Also, my response vis-a-vis being stalked wasn't addressed to you, it was addressed to the user who pointed out that famous people are often stalked, and because of that, some people don't want fame. If you've been stalked, as an "average person," you know what I'm talking about. Really, there was no need for such a tone with me. And let me be clear with you, I know what it's like to. If you actually read what I had written, you would realize it was my MOTHER who was stalked, as in the person I lived with when I was a child. So when we had this psychotic, hysterical women screaming outside of our apartment building, with me and my brother inside, I learned what it was like. Normal people can be stalked just the same as famous people can be stalked. Famous people, however, can afford to do such things as hire bodyguards, like JR Ward has apparently done.


So you make a blanket statement calling other writers liars, then persist by questioning the validity of our motives for not wanting "literary fame", and don't expect anyone to take a tone with you? You are really going to go there? Do you even care that you have offended numerous fellow writers with your statements?

And of course normal people can be stalked, but when you are elevated to a celebrity status there is a higher propensity of this sort of thing, not to mention potential whackos from your past coming back around for another swipe at you.


I would not consider JK Rowling to be particularly "literary," and god knows her YA novels were tons better than The Casual Vavancy, so I don't really see where your problem is with what I said in that respect. Anyway, those two writers were just an example, you could use any two authors in place of them, and I doubt most people would know much about him/her.

*snip*

If writing is a hobby, that's fine, there's nothing wrong with that. But I wouldn't exactly call that taking the craft "seriously." I guess it's not for me to say, and keep in mind this is just one man's opinion, my ideas should have no bearing on your beliefs if you reject them, which is perfectly fine by me.

If you don't think JK Rowling is a celebrity, you obviously know absolutely nothing about her fandom. It matters not one whit whether you consider her to be literary. She's a writer and she's famous, which was the point being made. To say you don't consider her to be "literary" just adds to your aforementioned insult. I guess those of us who aren't trying to write the next "Great American Novel" don't have to fantasize about achieving "literary fame" anyway, since according to you, what we write isn't "literary".

And finally, I guess the only way for a writer to be serious, based on your definition, is to quit their day job and let their families starve to death for the sake of their craft. Because, you know, if it's just a hobby, then they can't possibly be serious about it. Just Wow.

You know what? I'm done. I am obviously wasting my time trying to help you understand how you have repeatedly insulted other writers.

Kitty27
02-25-2013, 06:39 AM
Of course. And furthermore, I think anyone who writes fiction and says they haven't dreamed of becoming the next (insert canonical writer here) is a liar. How can you take yourself seriously and not fantasize about achieving literary fame? However, I'm not sure this article applies so much to writing. Constant rejection keeps you pretty grounded. That doesn't mean you don't daydream though, that's what writers are supposed to do.


LOL I don't know what world you live in, but in the one I inhabit, no writer is that famous, nor has any writer been that famous in a very long time. The 1920's this is not.

Seriously, who's the most famous living writer? Jonathan Franzen? JK Rowling? All I know about either is that the latter lives in England and the former hates Twitter. Hardly the stuff of People Magazine.

But you're telling me you've never said "hm, wouldn't it be nice if people bought and appreciated my books to the extent that I was able to do this professionally and devote my life to this?"

That's all I'm saying.


Well, of course writers are people who want to write for writing's sake. I forgot who it was that said: "If you don't have to write, why on Earth would you?"

But I can't buy that there are people who write fiction who have any ambition beyond just writing the thing down. Perhaps memoirists or essayists might write for their own pleasure, or to sort out there thoughts, but fiction is written for the reader.

So, therefore, all (if not the vast majority of) fiction writers must want to be published on some level. And it wouldn't make sense to have your work published and not want it to be successful. Otherwise, you're not taking it seriously. How could you be?

Respect your fellow writer and to take it a step further, respect that they have different goals from you want to achieve.Calling them liars is disrespectful and insulting. Don't do it again.

That is all.

kkbe
02-25-2013, 05:03 PM
kkbe: Did I mention I want people to read my stuff and tell me how much they like it?


Putputt: But many people have read your stuff and told you how much they like it, me being one of 'em! So I think the question then becomes: how many people?

Good question, Putputt. I referred to the "go-to" website for savvy hipster people, aka "Urban Dictionary." My answer is a shitload: more than an assload but still less than a fuckton.

:)

bearilou
02-25-2013, 06:02 PM
I don't fantasize. I plan. I have my goals and I will meet them.

Exactly. I have this dream life that is all built up on clouds and wishes and desires.

From there, I put a couple of hooks in it and pull it down to anchor to something more S.M.A.R.T. and I shoot for that.

I do fantasize about winning the lottery. :D

The thing that boggles me is how it gets missed that dreams and fantasies are all well and good but they are vague and nebulous when asked how to achieve them. That's why they are rarely achieved.

Those who have very specific ideas and techniques for implementation to achieve those very specific goals and dreams usually have a better time of success in reaching them. Which is, I suppose, what the article was saying.

KateJJ
02-25-2013, 09:45 PM
Sure, I fantasize. It helps me get my butt in my chair every single day, my hands on my keyboard even when I'd rather go take a nap or play a videogame.

I want people to love my stories half as much as I love them. I'll keep writing til I drop dead of old age because I just have to write, but I probably wouldn't write for 2, 4, 6 hours a day like I'm doing now.

heza
02-25-2013, 10:36 PM
Before I knew much about the publishing industry, I fantasized about an awesome writing career all the time. Now that I have a more realistic picture of what a writing career will entail, fantasizing isn't as much fun as it used to be. ;)

While I was still under the influence of the "find a husband with a good job" expectation I was raised with--and even after I decided I wouldn't marry and would just do a good job of supporting myself--I had this grand plan of getting published and quitting my full-time job to write and have lunch with my agent and take working vacations to little cabins on lakes and stuff.

Now, though, I have expectations of being the primary bread winner for my family. Even if I'm published with moderate success--enough to live on--I'll still have to keep my day job for the health benefits. The fantasy has shifted to getting up at 5:00 to get myself and kids and dog taken care of; working an eight-hour day at the office; fighting traffic for an hour to come home and take care of husband, kids, dog, dinner, laundry, shopping, etc.... THEN staying up three hours after everyone goes to sleep to write because I'm under contract.

That's the dream, now, I guess--two hours of sleep a night. Thanks, dream.

Phaeal
02-25-2013, 11:08 PM
My fantasy is that I'll win enough money in the lottery to pay for the comfortable support of my writing addiction.

Now if I'd just remember to buy the damn lottery tickets....

Krystal Heart
02-26-2013, 12:35 AM
All I'm going to say is this: most writers want to earn money from their writings. Some writers do fantasize about becoming the next JK Rowling or Stephen King, and be one of the most recognized writers ever. Not me. I do want to make money from my work just so I'm not wasting my time, but the thing is, if I sell a few hundred copies of my books and get a royalty check, I'll be a happy camper and I'll go spend my hard-earned money on nice things for me. My work will have then paid off.


Do you know what I fantasize about, though? Performing and singing my heart out on stage, but it'll never happen because I can't sing. :D So that's my only fantasy aside from dating Roger Howarth, Todd Manning from One Life to Live and General Hospital.

Silver-Midnight
02-26-2013, 12:49 AM
You would be surprised how many relatively low-level authors get stalked. It isn't pleasant. Being outed the wrong way can mean losing jobs, being ostracized in the community, and even having family members suffer by association. Fame for fame's sake is foolish. Most of us would settle for income over fame.

You know, I've heard of some authors beings ostracized, some even losing their jobs, but I didn't know that some were actually stalked. I know that shouldn't be too much of a stretch of the imagination. However, it's not something that I actually thought about, if that makes sense. I know that's probably naive on my part. But still. That's just a shocker for me. No offense or anything, just saying.

Filigree
02-26-2013, 02:04 AM
No offense taken. I lunched recently with several authors who had grim/funny stories about their FB stalkers, or their hecklers who repeatedly barge into signings and conventions. It can be fun when you have fans at your disposal, as in always having muscle around to haul heavy things.

It can get scary real fast. You never know what will set some people off. You cannot let fear ruin your social life, but being vigilant and pro-active helps. I'm pretty much a nobody in publishing, in that I am a new author in a marginalized genre. Even so, I am not on FB yet, and may not be for a while. I will not release a picture of myself on any of my pages - why make it easy? I limit my public appearances, and almost never reveal them in advance on public forums. I have solid reasons for doing this, too.

To get back to the OT, there was a time 20 years ago when I did fantasize all the things that people have admitted to here. Being asked as a guest to a convention, having a book signing, having lots of fans, making enough money that I wouldn't have to deal with the boring retail day job.

Things changed and reality set in. Being published for the first time wasn't nearly the thrill I'd thought it would be, more a quiet happy warmth than exultation. I've pitied authors at book signings where no readers attended, and planned contingencies should that ever happen to me. I've been on convention panels that were taken over by Big-Name authors who showed up at the last minute and shoved their way into the room. I have fans, and I love every one of them - but they'd all much rather I write the next book or two, than swan around at cons. I traded the boring retail job for a career I almost love more than writing.

I like this new reality more than the old fantasy, even with the stalkers.

AshNic
02-26-2013, 02:57 AM
I've pitied authors at book signings where no readers attended

Oh goodness, my heart aches just thinking about it. Even if I didn't know them, I would have gone up to them to buy their book and asking them to sign it. Even if it was a genre I didn't like. Just..no one should have that happen. D:

I'll try to be subtle about it, of course. Like 'oh hey this actually looks like a good book - OH MY GOD THE AUTHOR IS RIGHT OVER THERE!' as opposed to ':( Poor baby. I'll buy your book!'

But yeah, I have a lot of interest in traveling. I live in the US, only been outside it once when I went on a two week backpacking trip in Colombia and Ecuador, and it was fun. So if I just happened to earn enough to help me visit different countries and experience their life and culture and language while writing, that would be my heaven. My fantasy.

Krystal Heart
02-26-2013, 03:09 AM
If someone from here had a book signing I would want to know where and when so I can attend.

ArachnePhobia
02-26-2013, 03:41 AM
I like to fantisize that I'm an author, and that I'm on this road trip on a bus, right? And this guy sits down next to me, and I look over and he's reading one of my books, and he recognizes me from the jacket. So I joke about my sales, and he's like, no, I read it and thought it was cool. And then his friends notice he's talking to me and they all come over and sit by us, and they're this unusually-diverse group of college students on their way to spring break.

Then the bus's tires blow on a trail of a road in the thick of a forest. Nobody can get a signal on their cell phone. Everyone gets out, and it turns out, someone's strewn sharp nails across the road. The students and I jog to a nearby trail and find a house, but it's creepy and appears abandoned. All the doors are unlocked but we can't find anybody inside, and the place is a wreck, with a flooded basement and cobwebs everywhere. There's no phone here, either, and still no signal. We hike back, dejected...

...and now the bus is abandoned. No sign of the other passengers.

...but there is this big red smear leading off the road and into the woods... and now night is fast approaching and all these strange sounds start coming from the trees...

But I guess everyone has that fantasy.

Mr Flibble
02-26-2013, 03:57 AM
If someone from here had a book signing I would want to know where and when so I can attend.


Where were you on Thursday then, huh, huh? Not at my signing... :D

I fantasise about the nice house with the stables and the library with one of those swooshy ladder things and having someone to do housework for me

I plan to write the best books I can, and (hopefully!)books that a metric fuckton of people want to read.

If I want the fantasy to be real, I need to do the work. Even then, it's still probably just a fantasy and I'm cool with that. A more realistic plan is pay off the (small) mortgage and get the kitchen sorted before it completely falls to bits. Still want a swooshy ladder thing though...

Filigree
02-26-2013, 04:52 AM
I'm already working on the library, but alas have no room for the swooshy ladder.

RedWombat
02-26-2013, 09:34 AM
I've got a writing career. Now I mostly fantasize about making enough money to build my dream home. With a courtyard, because courtyards are awesome.

In general, though, I fantasize about things like having thylacines cross the road in North Carolina and what I'd do when no one believed me and telling off stupid people I've never met and whether it would suck to be a were-javelina. Y'know, normal stuff.

Krystal Heart
02-26-2013, 12:46 PM
Where were you on Thursday then, huh, huh? Not at my signing... :D


That's true, but now I'm going to follow you on Twitter and keep up to date with your book releases and such. Your book covers and titles got me interested and impressed. :)


Seriously, everyone can fantasize all they want about being this super-successful author having sold millions upon millions of copies of their work, but we have to be realistic here. That's why if I only sell a few hundreds of copies of one of my books I'd be happy because I'd probably have enough money to pay like 2 or 3 of my bills and go on a little shopping spree. If I did that I would say I accomplished my goal as an author. We're not all JK Rowling, James Patterson or Nora Roberts, these people I consider icons of literature, so we have to try our best. Moreover, the industry is not what it used to be a few years ago when they made it big.

bearilou
02-26-2013, 03:32 PM
Seriously, everyone can fantasize all they want about being this super-successful author having sold millions upon millions of copies of their work, but we have to be realistic here.

:Huh:

We're in a thread about whether we fantasize about a writing career. Why do we have to be realistic?

Sure, in setting goals and in how we conduct our business, I get it.

I'm allowed to fantasize big, though. It's a fantasy.

KimJo
02-26-2013, 06:08 PM
I *fantasize* about being able to buy a house and a boat with the earnings from my books.

I *intend* to earn at least as much from my books as I used to earn as a teacher's aide.

I *fantasize* about being recognized in public, having movies or TV shows made of my books, and having my name become a household name.

I *intend* to build my name recognition online and have people I've never met or heard of reading my books and saying they like them. (Which is already happening.) And maybe eventually to have a movie or TV show made of one of my books/series.

Tierney.Clement
02-26-2013, 07:54 PM
Occasionally, I fantasize about what I want my life to be like 10 years from now. That fantasy involves a writing career.

CQuinlan
02-27-2013, 03:22 AM
I like to fantisize that I'm an author, and that I'm on this road trip on a bus, right? And this guy sits down next to me, and I look over and he's reading one of my books, and he recognizes me from the jacket. So I joke about my sales, and he's like, no, I read it and thought it was cool. And then his friends notice he's talking to me and they all come over and sit by us, and they're this unusually-diverse group of college students on their way to spring break.

Then the bus's tires blow on a trail of a road in the thick of a forest. Nobody can get a signal on their cell phone. Everyone gets out, and it turns out, someone's strewn sharp nails across the road. The students and I jog to a nearby trail and find a house, but it's creepy and appears abandoned. All the doors are unlocked but we can't find anybody inside, and the place is a wreck, with a flooded basement and cobwebs everywhere. There's no phone here, either, and still no signal. We hike back, dejected...

...and now the bus is abandoned. No sign of the other passengers.

...but there is this big red smear leading off the road and into the woods... and now night is fast approaching and all these strange sounds start coming from the trees...

But I guess everyone has that fantasy.
:yessmiley

:Clap:

Krystal Heart
02-27-2013, 04:55 AM
:Huh:

We're in a thread about whether we fantasize about a writing career. Why do we have to be realistic?

Sure, in setting goals and in how we conduct our business, I get it.

I'm allowed to fantasize big, though. It's a fantasy.


Everybody has big dreams. I have dreams of being a rockstar, but I can't sing.

I also have dreams of becoming a soap-opera or Hollywood actress. I fantasize about playing the Terminatrix in a later installment of the Terminator series, but I know it's not going to happen. I'm too old and not good looking enough to play the TX.

All I'm saying is it's best to know what dreams we can make come true and what dreams we can't. I didn't mean to offend anyone.

AshNic
02-27-2013, 05:00 AM
I get what you mean, Krystal.

I also humbly request that you change your forum picture. Every time I see you post I get rather distracted. ;)

Atlantis
02-27-2013, 05:38 AM
Oh in high school I used to do it all the time. I hero worshipped JK Rowling and would read up all about her humble beginnings and dreamed of being just like her one day! I wanted legions of fans and my books for sale in every shop. Now...not so much.

Writing is time consuming, exhausting and HARD. As much as I like to do it I now know I do not have the energy in me to make it my full time career. I would buckle under the pressure. So now I write for fun. Getting $$$ is no longer the end goal for me. Just being able to write "The End" and being proud that I wrote something good is just as good.

Krystal Heart
02-27-2013, 06:06 AM
I get what you mean, Krystal.

I also humbly request that you change your forum picture. Every time I see you post I get rather distracted. ;)


Ha, ha, no problem. I'll just change my avi to a cartoon character or something. I'll use one of AW's premade avatars. I like Taz. :)

AshNic
02-27-2013, 06:12 AM
Much less distracting indeed. Though I was joking, I didn't mean to actually make you change your avatar. D: I feel like a jerk now.

gothicangel
02-27-2013, 04:39 PM
I used to fantasize, and I wonder now if that fantasy cost me when I was at university. My sister started her BA last year, and I look at her and think 'crap, she works so much harder than I did,' and she's getting constant 80-90%. I'm now doing a second undergraduate degree, and I put my novel-writing second to my education.

What do I fantasize about? I want to work for English Heritage on Hadrian's Wall. I narrowly missed out on a sales job there last month, but I saw a retail one advertised this morning, so right now I'm fantasizing about that job.

I love writing, but right now the idea of publication just depresses me.

Rhoda Nightingale
02-27-2013, 05:53 PM
It's only a fantasy if there's no possibility of it coming true, ever. I fantasize about becoming a rock star, taking a space ship to an alien planet, doing naughty things to Cillian Murphy. Not about having my stories published and getting movie rights sold. It's far out there, but it's still a possibility.