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Old 06-29-2012, 12:21 PM   #61
ScalyFreak
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I hope that I will never be presumptuous or arrogant enough to genuinely believe that anything I create is needed by the world in such a fashion that it leaves civilization a bit more bleak and worse off, if it's deprived of the fruits of my genius.

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How would that knowledge impact you? Would you consider your time and effort wasted? If you knew that a future project would achieve the same results (ie, no one would ever see it), would you be as inclined to spend that time and effort to create it? Do you really create only for you, or do you in fact crave a pat on the back, even if it's from only one person, to make your effort worthwhile?
I write for me, and for my own pleasure. I don't need validation from anyone else, since I'm not writing for anyone else. The moment I start doing that it becomes work, instead of the escape/pleasure it is now, and it's all downhill from there. So my answer to your question is, yes, I would continue to write even if I knew that no one would ever read it. I sing when no one can hear me too, and I dance when no one can see me, and I don't need compliments or praise in either of those scenarios to make it enjoyable.
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Old 06-29-2012, 12:25 PM   #62
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Are you saying nobody has ever downloaded one of your stories, not even the free ones?
No. I'm just posing a hypothetical question: Would you write if you knew no one would ever read your book?

Yes, my books have been bought/downloaded. But if I believed I would never sell another book, or even be able to give one away, it would negatively impact my desire to write anything new. (And I refuse to believe I'm the only one who feels that way.)
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Old 06-29-2012, 12:39 PM   #63
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No. I'm just posing a hypothetical question: Would you write if you knew no one would ever read your book?
Well bearing in mind I've decided to devote all my (minimal) writing time to a Humpty Dumpty story instead of a sequel to my best selling title that 2 people have asked for, I'd say yes. Maybe I'm wrong, and the whole world is just sitting around waiting for someone to write a Humpty Dumpty story with lots of swearing and violence, but I doubt it. Like someone said above, when you do it for someone else it becomes work.
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Old 06-29-2012, 12:45 PM   #64
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Maybe I'm wrong, and the whole world is just sitting around waiting for someone to write a Humpty Dumpty story with lots of swearing and violence, but I doubt it.
YES!! Make this happen!
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Old 06-29-2012, 04:45 PM   #65
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Let's get back to the original post for a moment, because I'm actually not hearing many responses that address what I consider to be a major question (and because my original comment really wasn't just about getting paid):

Suppose you spent most of a year--maybe more than a year--creating a special piece of art, or a manuscript, etc, that you were convinced the world needed to see, and would be better off having.

Now, suppose that, once it was finished, you couldn't get anyone to look at it. No one at all. Therefore no appreciation, no accolades, no "job well done, sir." And it looked like no one was ever going to see it.

How would that knowledge impact you? Would you consider your time and effort wasted? If you knew that a future project would achieve the same results (ie, no one would ever see it), would you be as inclined to spend that time and effort to create it? Do you really create only for you, or do you in fact crave a pat on the back, even if it's from only one person, to make your effort worthwhile?
It would not impact me at all. I know this because for the vast majority of my life... that WAS the case. It was only very recently anyone even knew said stories existed. Most of them over the years have been long lost, yet I continued. I have heard the same from many others.

Many of us create art because we love to create art. I think that is the difference between me and you. You feel you are good at writing and hope to make supplemental money doing something you are good at. That is great plan. So you write to do just that. I write because I enjoy writing, not because I am good at it. (Some people think I am, some think I suck).

In short: I publish with the hope of getting money. I write because I love to write.
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Old 06-29-2012, 04:46 PM   #66
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(And I refuse to believe I'm the only one who feels that way.)
I agree with that, but I do not fall in that camp.
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:46 PM   #67
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[...]I sing when no one can hear me too, and I dance when no one can see me, and I don't need compliments or praise in either of those scenarios to make it enjoyable.
I do these specifically where no one can see me, so that no one throws anything at me.

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No. I'm just posing a hypothetical question: Would you write if you knew no one would ever read your book?
Probably - I do write to myself quite a lot: stuff explicitly not intended for other eyes. Given what they say about talking to yourself, I have wondered just what writing to yourself means. I tend not work so hard at redrafting any work not intended for others, though most of it does get some review.

I also write some software just for myself. I take photos for my own gratification. There's lots of things people do for their own enjoyment: I think it's sort of hardwired.

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Yes, my books have been bought/downloaded. But if I believed I would never sell another book, or even be able to give one away, it would negatively impact my desire to write anything new. (And I refuse to believe I'm the only one who feels that way.)
It would certainly impact what I chose to write and how much work I put into refining it - probably negatively, although that's not necessarily certain. When I write what others may read it does effect what I put down, at least the way I might phrase it - and I am never sure whether this is good or bad, although sometimes it is certainly necessary.

However, I am sure you are correct: I suspect that there are many that would not write if the work would never be read. But few live in true isolation, and I suspect even just writing for a few friends and/or family would still inspire a great many to create.
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:33 PM   #68
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However, I am sure you are correct: I suspect that there are many that would not write if the work would never be read. But few live in true isolation, and I suspect even just writing for a few friends and/or family would still inspire a great many to create.
Maybe. Isolation aside, writing for one or two people isn't enough for me... nor, I suspect, for those who hope to earn a bit from their books. (Again, I know I'm not the only one who hopes for that, though obviously I'm in the vast minority on this website. )

Once I asked a friend of mine if he wanted to read one of my books. His reply--one of my oldest friends, and an SF fan--was: "Sometimes your friends can be your worst critics." I took the hint, and never offered him one of my books again. But that's the kind of thing that can stick with you, pouring tiny but noticeable amounts of ink in your pool, undermining your confidence and the energy that you'll pour into your work, for years.
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:23 PM   #69
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Maybe. Isolation aside, writing for one or two people isn't enough for me... nor, I suspect, for those who hope to earn a bit from their books. (Again, I know I'm not the only one who hopes for that, though obviously I'm in the vast minority on this website.

Again, I publish because I would like to make money. I write because I like to tell stories. They are two different events in my mind. You are not alone in wanting to make money, else everyone in this thread would give all their books away free. I bet MOST here hope to make some extra money via their books.

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Old 07-05-2012, 11:22 PM   #70
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Again, I publish because I would like to make money. I write because I like to tell stories. They are two different events in my mind. You are not alone in wanting to make money, else everyone in this thread would give all their books away free. I bet MOST here hope to make some extra money via their books.
YES! Let's do that! I support that!

What....?
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:32 AM   #71
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YES! Let's do that! I support that!

What....?
PM me, I'll send you Smashwords coupons.
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:19 AM   #72
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No. I'm just posing a hypothetical question: Would you write if you knew no one would ever read your book?

Yes, my books have been bought/downloaded. But if I believed I would never sell another book, or even be able to give one away, it would negatively impact my desire to write anything new. (And I refuse to believe I'm the only one who feels that way.)
You're not. I agree. There are many forms of writing though and I do suppose some people write only for themselves, but if so it should be journal writing.

For me writing is about sharing ideas/information/emotions/situations. I (and many others) don't feel a piece of writing is completed until the reader completes it by reading and interpreting it in their own way.
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:27 AM   #73
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Again, I publish because I would like to make money. I write because I like to tell stories. They are two different events in my mind. You are not alone in wanting to make money, else everyone in this thread would give all their books away free. I bet MOST here hope to make some extra money via their books.

I like to tell stories, too. But writing involves a significant amount of time and effort invested, so I don't think it's asking too much for people to pay a few bucks to read them. Because between you and me, if I'm going to work for free, I'd rather donate time to The Nature Conservancy... a much more worthwhile use of my time than telling stories.
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:33 AM   #74
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Maybe. Isolation aside, writing for one or two people isn't enough for me... nor, I suspect, for those who hope to earn a bit from their books. (Again, I know I'm not the only one who hopes for that, though obviously I'm in the vast minority on this website. )[...]
You keep trying to reinterpret other posts here as some denigration of the wish to make money from your work - but I've seen none of that. We would all like to make money from our writing (well, most of us would, I think).

The distinction is only whether a person has the desire to write even if they make very little money. And since this will be the case for most writers, and pretty much always has been, so it's a pretty good assumption to make before you start.
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:37 AM   #75
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You keep trying to reinterpret other posts here as some denigration of the wish to make money from your work - but I've seen none of that. We would all like to make money from our writing (well, most of us would, I think).

The distinction is only whether a person has the desire to write even if they make very little money. And since this will be the case for most writers, and pretty much always has been, so it's a pretty good assumption to make before you start.
This.
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