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There might be thousands of writers out there, yet it is not easy being a writer. It requires efforts equal to any other art form or a serious job. You don’t become a writer by just writing once in a while and never revisiting your work. You become a writer when you absolutely love writing and manage to find enough time to do it; are constantly working hard to improve your skills; read as much as you can about writing so that you can do better; can find something interesting enough to write about, every other day.

Each small step you take makes a difference and takes you closer to your goal. And, the goal in question is always the same – being a writer and loving it for the sake of it! If you don’t love being a writer, you might as well not be!

Know it – that it is going to be tough. You have to sacrifice your sleep, TV time, internet-surfing time and all the unproductive stuff. You have to forget about the real world and get into your writing as if only that world exists. You have to write, no matter what. If you don’t have it in you…better quit and forget about becoming a writer.

First, you have to become a writer, then you can think of publishing, making money, being famous etc. But the work comes first. There is no other way to do it. There might be many easy ways to earn money, if that’s your purpose, being a writer ain’t one of them! Of course, you could make money by writing things that get the attention of mass…but that success will be as short-lived as a reader’s attention. I am assuming that most of the authors do not run after money and success…they just want to be recognized for being an author and for loving what they do.

As a budding writer, you must have heard this advice often – read a lot. And you know what, it’s true. Apart from writing stuff as often as you can (article, story, poem, novel, blog post etc), you must spend a lot of your free time on reading stuff others have written. You can stumble upon good support material for your writing, you will know what are the kind of works already present in your preferred genre, you can guess what kind of material is being read and is popular. And very important, you will be able to connect to other new writers who might be in a similar situation as you and would turn out to be a good help. Sometimes, you can spark a new friendship there! There are so many advantages of reading, especially in the current era, when Google is like a best friend to a writer. This is an era of information…grab anything and everything that is available on this magic land called internet and use it for betterment of your writing!

I have been writing for more than 20 years, but I took it up seriously only a few years back…I love it more day by day! As I get deeper into this realm of writing, I evolve and I learn, and I enjoy it even more. Writing can be learned/improved only by more writing. You have to bring yourself to a level where you are practically living in the world of writing – unless you see every single situation with a writer’s eyes, unless you are looking for a new story every single awake moment of yours, and unless every conversation you are a part of, instigates the author inside you…you still are not ready. You still have a long way to go.

I am not saying you should shun all your other responsibilities and just write, but the desire to do so should be fierce in you. There are situations in everyone’s lives which lead to postponement of your dreams, but if you can keep that dream alive till you are, you have potential to live it some day. That day will soon come. The speed at which it arrives into your life to become a part of you, depends entirely on how strong your wish is to make sacrifices in the present to give yourself that chance in the future.

Yes, being a writer, you will almost never see immediate results. Unfortunately, for some, they never come. But are you willing to take that risk? Are you ready to take a plunge in the dark, just having the weapon of passion with you and with no promise of ever making it big? If your answer is yes, my dear friend, you are absolutely ready. Just go for it!

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Warning: The following is entirely a work of experience…of a budding writer. Any resemblance to any Indie writer is purely intentional.

Having said that, I am going to tell you a story. Some of you may identify with it; others might know someone who relates to it.

There is a new breed we have been hearing about a lot these days…nope, not vampires (though they are all over, everywhere!). This new breed I am talking about, like to call themselves ‘the Indie authors’. By definition, someone who is independently published, but in reality, someone who is crazy enough to believe in their love of writing that they are ready to put themselves out there…alone and vulnerable in front of the world of shark-critics!

Trust me I have experienced this…self-publishing is not an act of courage or belief in oneself…it is rather – a writer’s nightmare!

I actually have a few questions for this new species, and I speak on behalf of the omnipotent, forever-judging and Godly readers.

How dare these newly born authors think that as soon as they publish their book on the internet, people would start appreciating them and recognizing them? Do they really believe that they would become a household name in the world of writing, without any advertising campaign or over-the-top marketing strategies for book promotion? Are they descendants of Shakespeare to claim for fame through writing?

I would say these so-called Indie authors are actually fooling themselves. Aren’t they aware that a reader is not looking for a good book…they are looking for the best marketing campaign out there. They want to be flabbergasted by the promises made by a fresh book of a new writer. Do these writers even realize that when readers are searching for their next read, they might be visualizing how the book will look when they hold it in their hands to pretend to read on the way to college/work etc?

How naive it is to believe all those success stories of the self-published authors, when all of us already know at least one person who is still trying to make a mark even after publishing more than only one book, several years back? How gullible of them to actually trust the biggest lies of the publishing world – that a story which can touch a few hearts will go a long way?

And the most foolish thing of all to believe that social media (for instance, FB) was a tool in marketing of a book! Why would anyone want to share any links pertaining to release of a new writer’s book, when they are being asked to pay for the book? You are a budding writer…hell, you have an absolute need to let people read your book…so why not give it free? And to think about it, why would anyone spend 99 cents on something that has been produced by someone they know? Wouldn’t it be better to spend that money on some work which belongs to a stranger? That way, the book is just an object, which can be easily dismissed as bad!

Here are a few facts that these Indie authors seem to ignore:

Fact 1 – You are not a writer…yet. Just authoring about a dozen articles in a local magazine, writing and self-publishing your book, or spending months of efforts into your writing, doesn’t mean becoming a writer! A writer is someone who is famous, or rich, actually both.

Fact 2 – A writer has a huge readership, backed by the marketing campaigns, the controversial topics, semi-autobiographies (first insinuating at this and later denying it) and a story of success after long struggle. If you have none of these important, in fact, absolute essentials, of a successful book, then you cannot be a success. If you have a decent job, a loving family, and contentment by God’s grace and above all, no desire to write about politics, sex, religion or any scandals or controversies, you are doomed as a writer. Hence, automatically, you have lost the race before it even began. Who wants to read about simple stories… without any spice in them, not fuelled by scandals & controversies?

Fact 3 – Budding writers have absolutely no right to demand money for their work! So what if they price it as low as 99 cents?  Do they really think that pricing the book at such low prices will make it sell in huge numbers thus helping them find a publisher! Does that really happen in real life? Ahem, NO.

Fact 4 – This one is especially for Indie writers from India, whose potential readers are Indians. Any Indian should be aware of the fact that we Indians, as a race, love free things. After all, the best things in life are free! So, an Indian Indie writer should distribute at least the first dozen of their books for free…then only they should think about selling them. So what it took you years to write those stories; so what you spent hours in thinking about the plot; so what if it is an achievement for you to finally finish and publish your book? Why should we readers care about the efforts that went into writing? Why do these writers expect their readers to know anything about writing? Readers just read the stuff for free and then, criticize it for free! Yes, your friends might have encouraged you with their appreciations (of course they must have been reading them for free!) that doesn’t mean you are good. Is being a writer even a real job? It’s so easy to put down few thousand words together to make some sense. Isn’t it? And no one deserves to make easy money!

Fact 5 – It is so inconvenient to appreciate someone for something they did and it is even more troubling to support them, especially when there might be a possibility of them making some money out of it.

As a reader, I have an advice for these “Indie writers”…get a life! You are not J.K. Rowling…accept and move on. And if you are not able to sell your first book, do not waste your time in writing another one! Always remember – your first attempt at writing was not successful!

My Books

Read the review Love No More (Love, It Is!)

Read the review Love, It Is!

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