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Permlink Replies: 13 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Jan 29, 2018 7:14 AM Last Post By: aerki
stephen samperi

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Registered: 01/19/18
Did you or someone you know quit being an author?
Posted: Jan 27, 2018 10:41 AM
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What are the reasons why someone you know decided to stop writing even though they enjoyed doing it as a hobby/for a living?
Ned Kelly

Posts: 1,176
Registered: 09/05/15
Re: Did you or someone you know quit being an author?
Posted: Jan 27, 2018 4:16 PM   in response to: stephen samperi in response to: stephen samperi
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I had a friend who thought he was a writer, who sat around coffee shops with a laptop, a tape recorder, wearing a tweed jacket with leather elbow patches and a pipe he never lit. He'd dictae into his recorder, tap on his keyboard and pick up chicks.

He got laid a lot, then his wife discovered him one day and all hell broke loose.

He was never published and he's given up writing. I was told though he now sports a mustache and an airline pilots jacket and hangs around the VIP lounges of Sydney Airport (international)

Cheers

Ned
C. Gold

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Registered: 02/17/15
Re: Did you or someone you know quit being an author?
Posted: Jan 27, 2018 5:06 PM   in response to: stephen samperi in response to: stephen samperi
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My friend who got me into writing has issues with depression and also has to deal with a job he hates. He has really good ideas, and did write two books. One he unpublished because he wound up not liking it (his first one). The other one I think he wants to also unpublish and redo because he's not happy with it and vacillates between wanting to turn it into something more epic or altering it altogether. Then he has to have the creative energy to write anything down and has a fear of success or failure. I think his book not selling lowered his confidence, although I'm sure I could help him make sales now that I've got my own book out there. I don't think he did any marketing. He's one of those writer only types of people. As a human being, his reasons are complicated and sometimes frustrating since he's got a great voice that I'd love to see in multiple books.
resteasy

Posts: 990
Registered: 07/02/12
Re: Did you or someone you know quit being an author?
Posted: Jan 27, 2018 5:23 PM   in response to: stephen samperi in response to: stephen samperi
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I'm wondering why you're asking the question. Have you written books that aren't selling and on the verge of giving up? Or just curious in a research way?
Dave Casey

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Re: Did you or someone you know quit being an author?
Posted: Jan 27, 2018 7:22 PM   in response to: Ned Kelly in response to: Ned Kelly
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Ned Kelly wrote:
I had a friend who thought he was a writer, who sat around coffee shops with a laptop, a tape recorder, wearing a tweed jacket with leather elbow patches and a pipe he never lit. He'd dictae into his recorder, tap on his keyboard and pick up chicks.

He got laid a lot, then his wife discovered him one day and all hell broke loose.


Wow! I didn't realize that would get me laid. I'll have to give it a try.

;)

Ned Kelly

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Registered: 09/05/15
Re: Did you or someone you know quit being an author?
Posted: Jan 27, 2018 7:50 PM   in response to: Dave Casey in response to: Dave Casey
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Dave, you'll need the tweed jacket with leather elbow patches...although you'd probably get away with just a black T shirt...these days you'll also need a beard...and maybe look hung over....and pathetic. The chicks love that...

Cheers

Ned
stephen samperi

Posts: 11
Registered: 01/19/18
Re: Did you or someone you know quit being an author?
Posted: Jan 27, 2018 8:23 PM   in response to: resteasy in response to: resteasy
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just curious
Traveler321

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Re: Did you or someone you know quit being an author?
Posted: Jan 28, 2018 12:01 AM   in response to: stephen samperi in response to: stephen samperi
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...
wellhouse

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Registered: 03/03/11
Re: Did you or someone you know quit being an author?
Posted: Jan 28, 2018 3:06 AM   in response to: Ned Kelly in response to: Ned Kelly
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Hi Ned, your friend reminds me of a Frenchman I met back in the 90s in Chester, UK. He had a normal job with a large company in Cheshire. Every weekend, he would wear a uniform - always different and always convincing. Sometimes he would turn up as an airline pilot. The following weekend he would be a naval officer, and so on. Not only did he wear the uniforms, but he also took on another personality and assumed another name. He expected us all to accept him in his role. He took a very dim view of those who did not play along with his game.
Andy Clark

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Registered: 01/05/18
Re: Did you or someone you know quit being an author?
Posted: Jan 28, 2018 3:59 AM   in response to: Ned Kelly in response to: Ned Kelly
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I have a beard, am I a writer yet?
Ned Kelly

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Re: Did you or someone you know quit being an author?
Posted: Jan 28, 2018 2:53 PM   in response to: wellhouse in response to: wellhouse
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Was his name Leonardo De Caprio?

Cheers

Ned
Ned Kelly

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Re: Did you or someone you know quit being an author?
Posted: Jan 28, 2018 2:54 PM   in response to: Andy Clark in response to: Andy Clark
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Andy Clark wrote:
I have a beard, am I a writer yet?

You've taken the first step!

Cheers

Ned

resteasy

Posts: 990
Registered: 07/02/12
Re: Did you or someone you know quit being an author?
Posted: Jan 28, 2018 4:16 PM   in response to: stephen samperi in response to: stephen samperi
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stephen samperi wrote:
just curious

Then the answer to your question is no. Many friends and acquaintances have said 'one day I'll write a book', but the reality of the patience and slog required has appeared to be too much of a hurdle for them.
aerki

Posts: 391
Registered: 02/25/12
Re: Did you or someone you know quit being an author?
Posted: Jan 29, 2018 7:14 AM   in response to: stephen samperi in response to: stephen samperi
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I can answer this from a theoretical point, as I have not stopped writing, but I will at some point in the future.

1. Time/effort - Writing has a very large learning curve to it, and after you get over the hump it gets really easy...but so is a 10 mile run for a marathoner. The difficulty doesn't diminish, your skill increases, but I've noticed on some of the short breaks I take, once I get away from the daily grind of writing a chapter per day, I start to lose my mojo the same way a marathoner would start to lose their fitness if they took time off from running. So as long as you're in the groove you can keep sailing on...but if you get out of it, you start to lose the 'assembly line' reliability and it can be difficult to get it back. This is also why being a part-timer is so hard. You're either in the groove or you're not, there is no halfway status.

2. Creativity - Writing and creativity are NOT the same thing, but people often assume they are. Writing is the craft of telling a story. Creativity is the craft of imagining the story. Some 'writers' have the creativity but not the writing skill, so they turn in garbage piles of manuscripts and rely on an editor to put it together into a book. What these people are is a lore master, not a writer. For those of us who are both (we don't need an editor for more than spotting typos) we have to keep creating new stories, not rewriting the same thing over and over again. Like Rome, we must grow or die, so we move on to new stories, new challenges, but if we suddenly run out, hit a wall, then we come to a standstill. We can still write, but we have nothing to write. And sometimes having a blank canvas to work with is a problem and working in someone else's universe, within their constraints, can refurbish the creative juices. But if those juices aren't flowing, then you stop writing. Sometimes a write becomes famous because of the story, not the writing skill, so they're a one hit wonder rather than a career writer.

3. Frustration - You put a lot of effort into a book, then nobody reads it. Then someone on this forum says 'go write your next book' as if that's the solution to everything but your gut says it's not worth the effort. Also, you don't if you suck as a writer or if you just can't get enough exposure, or if you just had some reviews would people pay attention...etc. Writing and publishing is like the wild west, there are no rules. You just throw it out there and see what happens...and if nothing happens you don't get a report card saying why and what you need to work on. Not knowing where the goal posts are is VERY frustrating. And people can only take so much unless they have some measurement to gage their position by.

4. Fake author- Some people just want to have written a book so they can call themselves an author for the rest of their life. So they write one and then they're done. It's about the social recognition and bragging rather than actually BEING an author.

5. Me - I'm a writer, but that's not WHO I AM. It's one of my many skills. I actually don't like doing it, because I'd rather be out running than writing about running. I'm not someone who lives on his laptop because that's his favorite place in the universe, I sit at my laptop because it's necessary to do the writing. I actually don't like typing. I like creating, figuring out problems, and moving on to the next one. But if I only worked on things in fiction I'd go nuts. Fiction is useful, but it's not enough on its own. So at some point when I've written enough, I'll stop writing. I may make video games or movies, and keep on creating in my universe, but the actual process of writing books is one I'm not a fan of. I've become good at it, but it's not gratifying to me. It's a means to an end. And that end is a good book and the money it makes. But a book can only do so much. You can't hear sounds, see images, or apply what you've learned. If people can learn real lessons from my books, they need to go out and apply them in reality. I'm not a book worm. Certain books I will gobble up as a reader then move on. A lot of books I won't finish if they don't feel right. Books are not my life, and maybe that's part of why I can write realistic fiction. I'm grounded in reality, and if a person is consumed with fiction, that fiction will get wibbly wobbly and lose its foundation and you'll start having characters jump from one spaceship to another just by holding their breath. (still can't believe Farscape did that)

So why do people quit? Well, some people do quit, others finish. If you've accomplished what you set out to do then move on, that's not quitting. And the beauty of books is they'll always be around for the next generation to read, so being an author isn't something that is active. It's something you put down the effort to create a lasting legacy...then you're free to have your cake and eat it too.
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