How to keep your sanity as a writer, I Entertain myself on HubPages, but I work on my Books.

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Keeping Sane as a Writer and setting writing goals

In my opinion, a writer has to keep his or her sanity if they are going to grow in their craft. Or, at least, I do.

I recently finished reading a Hub by one of my favorite Hubbers. The subject was how there are now so many writers in the online world are underbidding each other for work that making a living as an online writer is becoming almost impossible..

And these desperate writers, many of whom are often from third world countries where time (or labor) is a cheap commodity, continue to drive the value of their talent down to the point where they (and their peers) are essentially working for next to nothing.

So, first of all, let me explain that I am not Commercial.

By that I mean that I am lucky (unlucky?) enough not to be making a living, bidding for the priviledge of writing for someone else.

And, honestly, I am not really sure that I am fast enough generating content to be such a writer, at my stage of evolution.

Or, if I ever will be.

But, again, that's not my ultimate goal.


My writing experiences and how I improved my writing

Oh, don't get me wrong, if you look, you will see that I keep a variety of fresh Hubs out there (my goal is a level of over 150) on HubPages that cover a variety of subjects and are intentionally written in different styles.

And, if you look closely at my Hubs, you will see all of the little things I've done, with my Hubs, that are necessary to "Snag a Click" or, sometimes send someone to a site where they might buy something.

I have all of my stuff in order and laid out appropriately. And, I do make a few pennies monthly.

Do I make big bucks? Of course not!

i'm just not putting the required time into this world of online writing that is necessary to live off of my "Stuff"

And, I do have some things, that I have written, out there lying in wait for just one more CLICK!.


My Writing, styles, methods and experiences

You should probably know that i have Five Blogs that i contribute to regularly, including;

1- One is for mine and my wifes Recipes and even links to some of my favorite recipes from my fellow Hubbers, that I share with the world.

2- One is a nice Blog of Health Information about foods, Herbs and such. I started it as a collection point for this kind of useful information for anyone that might need access to such data.

Some of the Posts I have written, while some are links to similar information that other Hub writers have researched and I feel fits into my Blog.

3- One is for my Comments and Rants as a Baby Boomer and things that I consider injustices being perpetrated on the American Public.,

4- My oldest Blog is full of full of information that I have learned over the years as a Camper and RV Owner for people who Camp and own RV's and enjoy that very special lifestyle.

It includes valuable reference data on campers, operation of campers, campsite management, campsite equipment, and RV service and maintenance.

5- One is simply a central collection point of links to my writings on HubPages and other places as well as some of my writings that I don't have listed anywhere else. It's all about ME!

If you are interested in any of these, I have links to them above but not in many places in my Hubs, as I had my hand slapped by Google in the past for being TOO PROMOTIONAL!


Writing books and selling books

I also have SIX Books in print and listed on AMAZON in both paperback and Kindle format..

OK, don't get excited, one is COOKBOOK ,full of old regional recipes from the mountains of Virginia.

one is a FOOD DICTIONARY providing a place where any Cook can quickly look up a variety of information on Foods.

and another is a collection of useful information for RV Owners and Campers and the camping lifestyle.

The other three are a Detective Novel about a detective in Tampa Florida police departmen,

and a book of Short Stories, full are great stories that entertain and provide interesting life lessons.

also I wrote a book to Help any new Writer actually write and Publish a CHEAP Book, at very little cost to the writer.

I wrote these books to so that I could learn how to write better and to train myself in the intricacies of writing successfully..

Train myself, you say?


Train Yourself how to write a book

Yes, I, like all serious writers who want to write a "real book" really need to learn how to;

1- Organize a large writing project,

2- Research and confirm your data for a large project,

3- Write the project to a plan and finish it.

4- Edit the project and make it read well and be coherent and most importantly, interesting.

5- and finally and most importantly the writer needs to learn about publishers and retailers and contracts, and reviewers, and how much of your earnings goes to each one of these.

Because my friend, I learned so much through writing these different types of books that i had never realized!

Lesson #1 was; Everybody, out there in this industry, gets a piece of your Sweat!

It really doesn't matter who you deal with and whether you want to publish a hardback, a paperback, or even an eBook.

My friends, you are probably only going to clear somewhere between 15 percent up to maybe 25 percent per sale, depending on all of the agreements you are forced tomake..

You could be the exception, but this is what I see the vast majority of people clearing on their works.

You will find that you can, either raise your price and sell less, or drop your price and sell more and make less on each sale.

Lesson #2 was, .You need professional reviews of your work. And, by the way, you pay for these, they are not cheap and there are no guarantees of a good, or even a so-so review. You pay and you take what you get.

Lesson #3 was; You have to be ready to Work the Market. By this I mean that you have to get yourself out there, either through travel and bookstore signings, writer publications and interviews, and also exploit the many online tools for getting yourself and your book seen by as many people as possible.

The basic rule is, They can't buy it, if they can't Find it or See it or be told where to find it! Readers are Lazy and Cheap and must be hand fed your work, especially in the world of books.

And, for example, if your Book is a mystery and costs $6.95 and another similar one listed next to it costs $4.95, then, sorry people, the average reader is going to buy the cheaper book, with all other things being equal!

All of these tasks have a cost! A cost of your time, and a commitment to put in however much is necessary regardless of your lifestyle or other responsibilities.

So, what is my problem?

Well, honestly, I hesitate to make the necessary commitment to Lesson#3. I just am not "working the Public" as required.

i put my stuff out there, on AMAZON, and I sell a few, but, I haven't taken the next step.

My Bad!

The next step as a Hub writer and as a Book writer

So, what am I doing now to fix myself and my evolution as a writer?

Well, I am writing a few less Hubs, but I am spending more time reading and especially studying your Hubs, and taking what I learn from your works to re-evaluate my older writings.

When reviewing my older stuff, it is always a shock to me, at how I have changed?

I look back and cry over some of my works and, at times I am embarrassed enough to eventually eliminate the whole work as being so crude and essentially hopeless that it is beyond repair, regardless of what I might do to it.

But, with most, I take the time to repair, rewrite, fix, whatever is necessary to make them more acceptable to me.

These you will often see me share with my followers because I feel that they are better than they were originally and I think they are more interesting.


Real Books with real plots and real storylines.

So, what am i doing with my time?

I am writing several books.

One is a detective mystery, one is a collection of my other short writings and one is a book about my real-life experiences growing up in a town in the South during the fifties and sixties.

You might ask why I am working on three books at once? It sounds stupid even to me.

OK, it's pretty simple, really.

I make myself write or edit something each day. Sometimes it is only 200-300 words, sometimes it is 500-1000 words, or occasionally even more when inspiration hits me between the eyes.

Sometimes, the number of words written is a negative number when I review what I have put down and have to rip whole plot lines apart or totally from my project.

And, I don't know why, but I have to follow my writing psyche!

You know, that place in your mind that drives it to think about one subject and not the other, regardless of what you wanted to work on.

I can create, but I have to go with the subject that is boiling in my head.

These books will be the true test of my evolution as a writer.

Will they sell?

I just don't know, but I'm ready to make the appropriate commitments for them to be successful. And, in this world of writing, today, success is measured by sales!

I often ask myself; which Book will win the race to completion?

I don't have a clue, but I'm working on it!

How to write a best selling book

© 2012 Don Bobbitt

More by this Author


Comments 18 comments

Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Thanks for this hub. It's given me much food for thought cause I'm also all over the place out there with blogs and recipes and so on. I do have a paying article job where I write articles about stuff that is requested of me. Actually anything from A to Z with info coming from various sources. And of course I love hubpages it feels like home. Will I ever make big bucks? Only the future will tell. But I'm content for now.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Thanks for the response GRL! At times I feel like a ping-pong ball, bouncing all over the place and not staying focused on a direction. I do have goals and I am learning and growing. But, Hubpages has helped me get better, and it is entertaining reading the vast variety of what I see from the people i follow. Have a great day!


paulgc 4 years ago

Very interesting article Don,

as a writer i would like to be published so its always good reading about people who have.

Thanks for sharing, voted up and useful.


resspenser profile image

resspenser 4 years ago from South Carolina

Don,

For what it's worth, I went to your blog to read the "Trooper" story and couldn't open it. May be a problem from my end, I don't know. Good luck with your books!


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Paulgc- Thanks for the good words, and good luck when you put your toe into the publishing waters.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

rsspenser- Good to hear from you again. I hope all is well with you and yours.

I went over to my Blog and clicked on the link and it works fine. Who knows what might have happened, It is Google you know! LOL!


leni sands profile image

leni sands 4 years ago from UK

I am also writing three or four different books (two childrens books, my autobiographical novel and another novel) whilst editing at least two books written by a crime writer friend of mine. I just have to put on my different heads for each one.

Great hub, useful & interesting. Voted up!


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

leni sands- Thanks for the response. It is a crazy thing, to me at least, that you can be ready to create, but your mind tells you which one it has churning that you should work on. Oh well!


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 4 years ago from Alberta and Florida

We must have the same brain-type, Don. I also have several projects on the go at once, including trying to market my recently published novel (not easy.) Does it keep me sane, or drive me insane? That's a good question, and really, how would I know? Lynda


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA

Thanks for this helpful information. I felt a little crazy while finding the balance between writing two projects, helping my mother with her hubs, and trying to run my own business. It was interesting to read how you do it. I will have to check out your cookbook. I love recipes. Thanks again!


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Lynda. You have it! Right there! Often when I walk away from my PC and walk out into the glaring Sun, I ask my self the same question. What Sane person does this to themselves. But ..... We are what we are!


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

tipoague- first, thanks for the kind words. And it seems that, the more writers I communicate with, the more it seems that we are all a little twisted in our desire to tell the world so much, so quickly, and at the same time keep that other part of our lives running smoothly!


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

must65gt- Thanks for the interesting information about reviewers. And, yes, I have heard similar things about some of the reviewers out there. I have hesitated to jump into that world so far.

One thing that I wish people that use companies like Amazon would do, is write a short review on Amazon on what they have read. My books on Amazon sell, a few a month, each, and because they can find me especially my email, I even get letters, all positive so far. But, they don't go back to Amazon and put anything down. too much trouble, I guess.


scarytaff profile image

scarytaff 4 years ago from South Wales

Good hub, Don. Voted up and interesting.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Thanks scarytaff, I appreciate your opinion.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Hi Don, thought I would look out for this one! Yes I understand that we have to get the book out there, so I am going to look for that and hopefully get it done, thanks for your comments on mine and hopefully one of these days we will be out there with the best writers! lol! well I can dream can't I? cheers nell


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Nell Rose- thanks for the comment and you're right, We Write because we still Dream!

And, How boring would life be without Dreams!


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 3 years ago from Midwest

I write for clients and have even ghostwritten a few eBooks - I really need to get cracking on doing one of my own! It's one of those goals I've always had that I always manage to put off. Thanks for the inspiration and for keeping it real with the advice. I'd have never realized you have to pay for reviews for example. Interesting.

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