It’s not easy being a writer

I have never ever looked at a book placed on bookshelves the way I am doing now. Now when I hold thoughts of someone whom I never met written on white paper in my hands; my eyes do not move from left to right to find any flaws or to mark something that can give me some reasons to criticize the writer. I read those words inside a book to only look for things that would compel me to appreciate someone else’s work. The reason is simple and evident.

After working on more than two years on my first novel; I know how much effort it goes to bring that final product. The process starts with imagination of few characters that help the story move forward and continues with situations that express the inner thoughts that gives the first and foremost reason to a human to write while cutting himself off from the society during the process.  I believe the process of writing moves in circle. First a person has to wait for that fraction of second which gives birth to a thought in his mind that acts as a driving force to create a whole world fiction where characters and situations are illusions; yet the message, the emotions, the theme remains real. And just when he finishes the book and ends up writing the chapter out lines to help his manuscript create the first good impression in the editor and publishers mind; again he has to patiently wait for the confirmation of a publisher.

Being a first time writer, the cruelest yet important lesson I learnt is that you have to be patient. The speed remains in a writer’s control only till the creative part is on; after that suddenly everything slows down.  In my case I got positive responses from few publishers to my proposal almost after two and half months. And interestingly, it took more than four months to get the first positive response to my manuscript from new yet a good publisher with few bestselling books to their name. But I know it will take another few weeks for them to come up with the final confirmation. I am still waiting for evaluation results from few other publishers.  It’s a wish of every writer to work with the most honest and credible publisher; so that his words can get the best exposure it can. I am indifferent; so I too want to work with someone who would pay me well and who would not let me bother about the whole business and marketing aspect of my next book.

Now keeping these timelines in mind; by any means it’s not easy for someone to deal with this waiting period without letting frustration and irritation getting over his head. Now here comes another challenging part being a writer and especially if you want to write or your whole life. An author usually gets a royalty around 10% of the cover price. In a country of 1.2 billion where the readership is growing there is no guarantee, the books will be a best seller in a few weeks or months time. Unless someone has some unique marketing ideas and money to implement them; it takes time to spread the word. So the toughest part is to start working on your next book while the evaluation is on and your first book is still awaiting its turn at the publishing world.  It may seem like the height of optimism; but then there is no other way. If you have ideas roaming inside your head; then it’s better to bring them on paper. In India it requires at least three to four good books to back a young budding writer if he wants to write till his last breath while having enough money in his wallet to buy happiness for everyone including himself.

You people may think why the hell I am sharing all this here. Is not it so!! But let me tell now, I do not belong to the space where I want to me. If tomorrow my novel do well then I am ready to share my success with the single person I know in past twenty-eight years. I am also preparing to accept that my failure will be all my alone. But then there are many young people who writes better than me yet they have no idea about publishing; just because to the place they belong to, do not give them enough exposure. So now onward I will share my experience here once in a while for all those people who love creating world of their own with words that flows from their mind and heart.

Yes, it’s not easy being a writer; but then humans are not born to do things that are easy. I have started believing in it and I hope many you are going to do the same.

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32 thoughts on “It’s not easy being a writer

  1. Oh I hope you hear back soon!! Being forced to wait for another person’s decision (on anything, not only writing) teaches us patience, I suppose!
    Waiting periods are the worst!!!
    As soon as you hear something, make sure you come back to tell us!

  2. Arindam, you are a success!! Once you finished the book, you accomplished your goal. You wrote the book … that makes you a writer, an author.

    There are thousands of us who want to be “well-known” authors. Yet, look at what we are up against. A celebrity can write a book about their dog and it goes viral. Why?

    Because they have a “platform” and we do not. They are followed by photographers and TV cameras. They have managers who can get them on TV shows.

    In America 250,000 books come into print each year so, my books may never be famous.

    Try not to be discouraged.
    blessings ~ maxi

    • What you say is so true, Maxi!! But do you know what, I am not going to quit until I share the same platform with a celebrity. I know considering the backing I have it will be a difficult task; but then it’s not impossible too. So I am going to make it; you just never forget to keep your blessings. Blessings of people like you makes me stronger to work hard.
      Have a good day!!

  3. Your novels are like your children and you can’t dictate how they perform or hit the shelves any more than you can dictate the lives and struggles of your offspring. But you’ve hit the right note with your acceptance of doing the best you can and leaving the rest in the hands of others – the publishers, marketers, readers. Bravo to you for stepping out and following your dreams. The only regret is in the failure to do so.

    • Yes Renee, I too believe that a book is like children to its author. Does not matter if the book sell or not; it still holds lots of importance to its creator. But then an author has control over his job till he is involve in the creative process; after that the control passes to others. I did whatever I could have with my first novel. I hope it will receive what it deserve; not less than that. Thanks for supporting me from the day I wrote my third post in my blog. Now it’s almost the 200th post. It seems like a long journey. Is n’t it!! :)

  4. I agree with Renee. Once the words are out, they take on their own lives. And waiting for them to find their way is like watching grass grow. Hang in there. Keep writing while you wait.

  5. I really enjoyed reading this. I love writing, but have no clue about publishing. An author gets a royalty of only 10% of the cover price, that’s nothing if the book doesn’t do great business.
    Nothing in life is easy, so it’s better to do what you like and enjoy, rather than a meaningless job.
    Very interesting write-up.
    Cheers
    Nuwan Sen

    • Yes, there is not much money unless you have a best selling back. But then the passion to create your own fictional world is something else. Thanks for sharing your thought Nuwan.

  6. I can imagine how hard the waiting must be Arindam. I have no doubt things will work out. Wishing you good luck…..hope you get good news and soon :-)

  7. Arindam, GOOD FOR YOU!!! :) You have come much farther than many, many writers ever will. Having finished your book, and having sent it out are amazing accomplishments. I am so happy for you. You have a dream and my biggest wish is that you will believe in it always. Congratulations — you are already a success.

    • Thanks for such kind words Melissa. They surely make me feel good. Its all due to support of people like you, who are always there to guide and inspire me since the day I decided to make my work public. :)

  8. Hi Arindam,
    Good to be back after a while. And coming back, what do I see? That you have succeeded in completing your book. That’s a great achievement and I would like to acknowledge you for it. Well done my friend. This shows the passion that you hold.
    So why do I see another struggle rearing its head in your scheme of things?
    Shakti

    • Thanks for your kind words. I hope I can live up to expectations of people like you, who always encourage me with their words. And yes you are right, Another struggle has been rearing its head. :)

  9. I am not writing novels, someday tho, and reading this post has made me feel excited about that someday. Writing, like life, is hard. But it’s a beautiful hard.

    • Addie, It feels good to see you here after a long time. I hope everything is good at your side.

      Yes you must write a novel. I read many poems of yours and I do feel you must try to stretch those same thoughts little further so that they end up being books. Go for it. I agree writing is a dangerously beautiful profession. :)

    • That was a self published one. But the task of getting published in a traditional way is a whole different journey. And let me tell you, it’s not an easy one by any means. :)

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