Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Thursday, June 19, 2014

When it hits you

Ideas can have a powerful affect on a writer. You are going about your day, minding your own business and doing your own thing, when, BAM! An idea strikes out of nowhere. The idea could be for an article, an essay, a blog post or even a book. No matter what it’s for or how its put to use, these particular ideas have a way of hitting the writer so powerfully that all the rest of the world fades away. All the writer sees, hears, knows and thinks about is this idea. This huge, gigantic “thing” that beckons to the writer’s muse for life.

And for as long as this idea has a grip over you, you don’t care about anything else. You don’t care that you already have a bazillion other writing projects going on. You don’t care that it could take months, even years, to make this idea into something you wrote. You don’t care that this is out of your league, that you have NO personal experience with this topic or that bringing this idea to life could take a lot of work.

All you care about is one thing, the one and only thing that this idea wants you to do with it: Write it. And so, when this idea strikes, you have only one thought: I have to write about this.

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Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Contemplating a change

When I was writing articles for Demand Media, there were some other writers out there who did not feel I should have been doing so. They thought I was wasting my time (and writing) on such a low-paying gig. But I loved the work and I loved the discovery each article brought. It was also nice that I made good money from it in the end. But the big thing that kept me going? People were READING my articles. True, it was mostly family and friends, but people were READING them. They were responding to them. And I was so encouraged that I wanted to write more of those articles. (Alas, was not to be!)

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about my books. I have noticed a lack of sales with all of my books lately. All of them. Some books have not sold very well for a long time, but I wanted to keep the book "out there" because there was the occasional sale every once in a blue moon. Lately, though, that has not been true for any of them, even the new titles that just came out in print.

And it got frustrating how I'd have to say "I actually wrote about that in {book title} so you can read more about what I have to say on this in that book" time after time after time. People wanted to know about why certain things happened, why I made certain choices and why certain things came about, and it was ALL there for the reading in a particular book I wrote or co-wrote. (Sometimes it'll even be in a particular blog post I have written that nobody read or the person wanting the answers to something did not read.)

At first, I didn't really let this bother me. I had a whole "I am doing this for ME!" attitude about it. It didn't matter if the books didn't sell. I wanted to get them OUT THERE.

But lately, I see 0 sales and start to ask myself, Why even bother anymore? It does not make any sense to me to keep writing books that people are not interested in buying, let alone reading. I mean, sure, it's fun to write books, but do I even NEED to try to get them published anymore? If people are not buying my books, why continue with it? It does not make sense to me at all to keep up with it.

Of course I will continue to write. That stuff is hard to turn off! I love writing books and it's always interesting what new things I will learn or how a story will take me on an adventure or some other. But they will not be sent out anywhere.

I will honor my current contracts and obligations to publishers, as well as those I am currently interviewing for the health book, but I don't think I'll be sending out other books for publication.
As far as the other books I plan to write are concerned, I'm not really seeing a whole lot more of them being submitted anywhere. If people are not buying the books, reading the books or even leaving a comment about a book on a web site, then I really don't see much point in continuing to try to get them published anymore. Perhaps it is better to just leave them in a desk drawer to collect dust.

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