Author Topic: Any FIRE’d budding or ‘actual’ writers?  (Read 13596 times)

Malcat

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Re: Any FIRE’d budding or ‘actual’ writers?
« Reply #50 on: April 19, 2021, 03:58:53 PM »
Funny, for me, knowing the realities of the publishing industry really helped me focus on what kind of writing I wanted to do.

There are so many types of writing to be done, but people default to "book", even though it's often the worst option.

Slow road to freedom

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Re: Any FIRE’d budding or ‘actual’ writers?
« Reply #51 on: April 20, 2021, 06:57:18 AM »
From what I did read, it seems Slow Road wants to write books but has never actually written one.

The only way to be a writer is to write. Your biggest problem, from where I sit, is that you don't know that you enjoy writing. You just think you would. 

Advice on getting started? Just write, baby. I blogged while I was working, here and on my personal website. I wrote shorter nonfiction stories (again, here and on my own website). Eventually I wrote a book. Then another, and another, and another.

Hi @nippycrisp. Thanks for this. And, of course, along with many others on this thread, you're right. Last week I had pretty much the same discussion with a friend of mine. On the back of that, I've decided not to bother with a blog and just write. And that's precisely what I've started to do, regardless of the shitty pressures of work. Early mornings work best for me.

I've also signed up for NaNoWriMo this November, and booking leave to give it a good go.

Generally I'm happier now I've started, and I'll continue all the time I enjoy it.

btw I totally concur with your analogy - to the extent I've stopped trying to second guess my future self, and slacked off the bucket list.

Nick_Miller

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Re: Any FIRE’d budding or ‘actual’ writers?
« Reply #52 on: April 20, 2021, 08:49:37 AM »
From what I did read, it seems Slow Road wants to write books but has never actually written one.

The only way to be a writer is to write. Your biggest problem, from where I sit, is that you don't know that you enjoy writing. You just think you would. 

Advice on getting started? Just write, baby. I blogged while I was working, here and on my personal website. I wrote shorter nonfiction stories (again, here and on my own website). Eventually I wrote a book. Then another, and another, and another.

Hi @nippycrisp. Thanks for this. And, of course, along with many others on this thread, you're right. Last week I had pretty much the same discussion with a friend of mine. On the back of that, I've decided not to bother with a blog and just write. And that's precisely what I've started to do, regardless of the shitty pressures of work. Early mornings work best for me.

I've also signed up for NaNoWriMo this November, and booking leave to give it a good go.

Generally I'm happier now I've started, and I'll continue all the time I enjoy it.

btw I totally concur with your analogy - to the extent I've stopped trying to second guess my future self, and slacked off the bucket list.

I hope you enjoy NaNo this year. Last year sucked with everyone trapped at home, but this year we should be able to huddle in cafes and coffee shops like usual.

And if I could offer one tiny piece of advice (it's worth what it costs), try your best to not get frustrated when 'real life' pulls you away from your writing. You're still in a busy season of life, so try not to compare your progress with that of people whose schedules may allow for more writing time.

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Re: Any FIRE’d budding or ‘actual’ writers?
« Reply #53 on: April 20, 2021, 02:31:28 PM »
And if I could offer one tiny piece of advice (it's worth what it costs), try your best to not get frustrated when 'real life' pulls you away from your writing. You're still in a busy season of life, so try not to compare your progress with that of people whose schedules may allow for more writing time.
Thanks, I’ll do my best to remember that. It gets easier to make fewer comparisons as I get older!

Vashy

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Re: Any FIRE’d budding or ‘actual’ writers?
« Reply #54 on: April 21, 2021, 05:13:44 AM »
Joining the fun, even though I'm still building to FI/RE. I write in a niche of fiction and am making consistent money at it - my books have been translated in German, French, Italian, and Hungarian, but the overall income is really not enough to live on (yet). I'm in a high-stress job that's draining and is also about word-wrangling, so many evenings I can't manage anything - writing for me takes emotional energy and the day job leaves me pretty "flat". Sadly, I also needed most of the weekend then to recover, so I didn't write/publish very much since I've started at the current employer.

THAT SAID, the pandemic has really helped revive my mojo, and I'm 85% into a new novel, hoping to finish by the end of the month.

Regarding courses, I find Writing Mastery by Jessica Brody very good value for fiction/genre writers: https://learn.jessicabrody.com/

Also, Dave Farland's APEX Writers: https://www.apex-writers.com/ (this crowd seems generally more advanced and skewed towards fantasy/sci-fi, but Dave's courses are fantastic).

For some individual elements, I recommend the short and cheap and very good courses offered by Margie Lawson under her umbrella. I've learned lots.

I also think "slow and steady winds the race" - certainly while you have so many other commitments. 500 words a day will give you a novel (60,000-90,000 words) in 3-5 months. it's about a page of fiction, and many emails are longer than that, so I'd try to build to that habit consistently. I know people who've written books during their lunch breaks or on the train. Others dictate while taking the dog out (Dragon Naturally Speaking seems popular, though Apple products apparently have very good speech recognition).

There are TONS of writing group on the internet/Facebook etc, so I find regularly interacting with other writers reminds me I'm a writer too, and gets me excited about stories and fictional people and concepts while I'm enduring an environment that couldn't be less creative if it tried. Building an identity of "yes, I'm a writer!" and "I write because I'm a writer" or "I write, therefore I'm a writer!" has been a game-changer for friends of mine struggling with "I'm X years old, isn't it too late to start?". It's never too late and I find writing is one of the most stimulating mental activities I can think of.

Happy to discuss anything either here or privately. Good luck!

MenopauseMustache

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Re: Any FIRE’d budding or ‘actual’ writers?
« Reply #55 on: April 26, 2021, 10:18:44 PM »
I make six figures as an author. I've actually got the opposite problem. I love writing but instead of a retirement side hustle it's become an extremely demanding full time job. As others have said, what matters is what you want this next stage writing career to be. Want your book on bookstore shelves? That's a very difficult road these days, you likely won't make much and you'll need an agent, but you do get all the prestige that goes along with traditional publishing, being reviewed and so on. If you're like me and just want the cash, then self-publishing is fun, exciting and full of potential. I know lots of people earning seven figures and they work extremely hard. I write popular genre fiction and have built a fan base over time. I've always made my living as a writer, btw, so my learning curve wasn't that steep. If you only want to write for fun, then write your novel or non fiction project, hire a decent editor, hire a cover artist and someone to format the book for you and put it up yourself on Amazon, iBooks, Kobo etc. Then you're published and anyone with an internet connection can buy and read your work. You might not make any money but you'll have a book that you wrote yourself available for anyone to read. If you do want to make money -- and it's really exciting when you start making serious coin from stories you made up in your head -- then you have to get businesslike. My time is about 25% writing (the part I love) and 75% admin and marketing which I find soul-sucking. I'm working on finding a balance so I can spend fewer hours working and give myself more free time. Anyway, just wanted to pop in to say Go For It. You've got nothing to lose and you may find an exciting new career. Resources I recommend are Self-Publishing Formula podcast (he has expensive courses to sell but the basic podcast is great). Joanna Penn has a good website and check out 20 books to 50K on Facebook. There are some total slimeballs in there but lots of genuinely successful authors share what they know and even more fun, share their numbers and how they did it. Lots of beginners there, too. It's a good mix. Good luck.

4tify

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Re: Any FIRE’d budding or ‘actual’ writers?
« Reply #56 on: April 27, 2021, 04:44:55 PM »
Yeah, ok. I didn't read the entire thread, because it seemed much of it sprawled into publishing and promotions and career questions, which is like discussing the frosting for a cake that doesn't yet exist.

From what I did read, it seems Slow Road wants to write books but has never actually written one. I hear this pretty often, maybe dozens of times. So when I tell you that no one who's asked me how to start writing has never actually written that book they have an idea for, understand that I have a decent sample size to work from.

For your situation as a late-stage FIRE-seeker, I'm going to use an analogy that tries to make a point. In college, there would be Friday nights where I  would be up in my dorm room studying for a biochemistry test. It was not enjoyable, as you can imagine. I could hear people out having fun, and I would fantasize about all the neat stuff I could be doing when this damn test was over and done with. Invariably though, the test would come and go, and afterwards I never did any of that stuff I dreamed of doing.

The same thing happened with FIRE for me. I had these dreams about what I would be doing "after". Then it happened, and what emerged wasn't quite what I'd imagined. I played less golf, not more, and I got into woodworking, which I'd never even thought about. But writing made the cut, because I was already a writer. I'd written books before I retired. I had specific ideas. most importantly, I was excited about doing.

The only way to be a writer is to write. Your biggest problem, from where I sit, is that you don't know that you enjoy writing. You just think you would. 

That's not a knock. I suspect you enjoy reading as well, but the difference between reading and writing is like enjoying watching a movie and working on a movie. Related, kinda, but far from identical.

Advice on getting started? Just write, baby. I blogged while I was working, here and on my personal website. I wrote shorter nonfiction stories (again, here and on my own website). Eventually I wrote a book. Then another, and another, and another.

For a full book, the easiest most effective way I know is to write a minimum number of words every day. Commit to writing 500 or 1,000 words a day minimum, no matter what. Even if it's just crap filler that you'll have to fix later, put down the words. Do that for three to six months, and you should have enough verbiage for a rough draft of a novel. Easy to say, not so easy to do.

Good luck, whatever path you wind up taking.   

This is advice worth thinking about IMO. I just listened to this excellent podcast with Joyce Carol Oates who LOVES to write. She also talks about guarding the space necessary to work creatively, which is essential and not easy with kids (though plenty of artists manage that as well). https://tim.blog/2021/02/10/joyce-carol-oates/

Also, if you haven't read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield that could be helpful. The Artist's Way has also kickstarted a lot of hopeful artists to take action.

Good luck!

Nick_Miller

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Re: Any FIRE’d budding or ‘actual’ writers?
« Reply #57 on: April 27, 2021, 08:01:07 PM »
I make six figures as an author. I've actually got the opposite problem. I love writing but instead of a retirement side hustle it's become an extremely demanding full time job. As others have said, what matters is what you want this next stage writing career to be. Want your book on bookstore shelves? That's a very difficult road these days, you likely won't make much and you'll need an agent, but you do get all the prestige that goes along with traditional publishing, being reviewed and so on. If you're like me and just want the cash, then self-publishing is fun, exciting and full of potential. I know lots of people earning seven figures and they work extremely hard. I write popular genre fiction and have built a fan base over time. I've always made my living as a writer, btw, so my learning curve wasn't that steep. If you only want to write for fun, then write your novel or non fiction project, hire a decent editor, hire a cover artist and someone to format the book for you and put it up yourself on Amazon, iBooks, Kobo etc. Then you're published and anyone with an internet connection can buy and read your work. You might not make any money but you'll have a book that you wrote yourself available for anyone to read. If you do want to make money -- and it's really exciting when you start making serious coin from stories you made up in your head -- then you have to get businesslike. My time is about 25% writing (the part I love) and 75% admin and marketing which I find soul-sucking. I'm working on finding a balance so I can spend fewer hours working and give myself more free time. Anyway, just wanted to pop in to say Go For It. You've got nothing to lose and you may find an exciting new career. Resources I recommend are Self-Publishing Formula podcast (he has expensive courses to sell but the basic podcast is great). Joanna Penn has a good website and check out 20 books to 50K on Facebook. There are some total slimeballs in there but lots of genuinely successful authors share what they know and even more fun, share their numbers and how they did it. Lots of beginners there, too. It's a good mix. Good luck.

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J.R. Ewing

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Re: Any FIRE’d budding or ‘actual’ writers?
« Reply #58 on: May 13, 2021, 09:58:31 AM »
Great thread.

I'm creeping up on RE and I have aspirations of writing historical fiction.  I've dabbled some in writing already, but I have yet to publish.  I'm going into it with the knowledge that I'll never likely make it big.  I would simply like to write a high quality series on a fascinating, but neglected period of history that fans of the genre will enjoy. 

I appreciate the great advice and links in the thread.  Moving closer to this goal is what's kept me focused and motivated on the FIRE path. 

asauer

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Re: Any FIRE’d budding or ‘actual’ writers?
« Reply #59 on: May 21, 2021, 08:42:30 AM »
Great thread.

I'm creeping up on RE and I have aspirations of writing historical fiction.  I've dabbled some in writing already, but I have yet to publish.  I'm going into it with the knowledge that I'll never likely make it big.  I would simply like to write a high quality series on a fascinating, but neglected period of history that fans of the genre will enjoy. 

I appreciate the great advice and links in the thread.  Moving closer to this goal is what's kept me focused and motivated on the FIRE path.

Historical fiction is on the rise so depending on your timeline, you might be able to make some good money if you build a decent author platform.  I write mystery but my historical series is doing much better than my other one.

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Re: Any FIRE’d budding or ‘actual’ writers?
« Reply #60 on: May 24, 2021, 11:33:53 AM »
Me again. Thanks everyone for contributing to this thread, I’ve picked up some interesting points.

I just started writing (and spent less time on this forum). I also started reading different things, including a novel written by an old friend. And it was blooming excellent! It made me think more deeply about what I enjoy reading, and what I have started to enjoy writing. A completely different genre to what I was expecting!

Here comes a bit more fantasy and a bit less travel writing, and to hell with whether it’s something that sells by the bucketload - I don’t care!

I’m beginning to get to know what I like, and I like what I know - and it’s evolved since the the start of this thread. Who’d have thought?

Kris

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Re: Any FIRE’d budding or ‘actual’ writers?
« Reply #61 on: May 25, 2021, 01:16:10 PM »
I make six figures as an author. I've actually got the opposite problem. I love writing but instead of a retirement side hustle it's become an extremely demanding full time job. As others have said, what matters is what you want this next stage writing career to be. Want your book on bookstore shelves? That's a very difficult road these days, you likely won't make much and you'll need an agent, but you do get all the prestige that goes along with traditional publishing, being reviewed and so on. If you're like me and just want the cash, then self-publishing is fun, exciting and full of potential. I know lots of people earning seven figures and they work extremely hard. I write popular genre fiction and have built a fan base over time. I've always made my living as a writer, btw, so my learning curve wasn't that steep. If you only want to write for fun, then write your novel or non fiction project, hire a decent editor, hire a cover artist and someone to format the book for you and put it up yourself on Amazon, iBooks, Kobo etc. Then you're published and anyone with an internet connection can buy and read your work. You might not make any money but you'll have a book that you wrote yourself available for anyone to read. If you do want to make money -- and it's really exciting when you start making serious coin from stories you made up in your head -- then you have to get businesslike. My time is about 25% writing (the part I love) and 75% admin and marketing which I find soul-sucking. I'm working on finding a balance so I can spend fewer hours working and give myself more free time. Anyway, just wanted to pop in to say Go For It. You've got nothing to lose and you may find an exciting new career. Resources I recommend are Self-Publishing Formula podcast (he has expensive courses to sell but the basic podcast is great). Joanna Penn has a good website and check out 20 books to 50K on Facebook. There are some total slimeballs in there but lots of genuinely successful authors share what they know and even more fun, share their numbers and how they did it. Lots of beginners there, too. It's a good mix. Good luck.

Another six-figure-a-year author here. I would have pretty much written this post myself, so I'll just + 1 MenopauseMustache.

LouLou

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Re: Any FIRE’d budding or ‘actual’ writers?
« Reply #62 on: June 02, 2021, 08:06:19 AM »
Such a great thread! Thank you for all the great resources everyone.

If I had a trust fund, fiction writing would have been my first career. I did not, so I became a lawyer instead. I like practicing law just fine, and it was a good way to start making six figures in my twenties. Luckily, I found MMM when I started out, so I never put on the golden handcuffs. I am going to pull the trigger on a sabbatical year soon to determine whether I should FIRE completely or continue practicing law. My plan for the sabbatical year was to write fiction, so this thread is great.

DonutBeFrupid

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Re: Any FIRE’d budding or ‘actual’ writers?
« Reply #63 on: June 12, 2021, 10:18:24 AM »
Loved this thread,  y'all are truly inspiring. I was writing pretty consistently a few months ago when I had a job and was able to detach from said job emotionally. As soon as I FIRE'd, my friend came to me with a great startup idea (and I feel like I had some old baggage coaxing me into taking it) so I jumped in the deep end to work on the startup. Funny enough, in total hours spent, I'm probably working *less* than I did when I had a full time job. Problem is, I feel like I can never disconnect from it and I'm starting to build a weird resentment towards having to work instead of write. I also just don't feel like it's *okay* for me to write when there is so much work to do ...

This thread is really convincing me to just keep writing, I need something to help me get out of this random hole I seem to have dug myself into right after FIRE'ing. Just wanted to say thanks.