Editing - what will you sacrifice?

How often do you edit your manuscript? Do you do the editing yourself or do you hire someone to help you? Do you have a Beta Reader to do a final read through? Do you do all of this by yourself?

Someone said you have to decide if what you are doing is a hobby or a job?  If it’s just a hobby, then there is no rush to finish.  You don’t have to worry about how well the manuscript is edited because no one will really see it beside you.  If it is just a hobby you can write every day for pleasure and never worry about grammar.  You do not have to worry about misspelled words.  You do not have to worry about point of view or GMC (goal, motivation, and conflict). I’m not saying you will just ignore these parts of writing an excellent story, I’m saying you don’t have to worry if it’s not perfect when you are just writing for fun.

But if writing is your business – then just like in any other business, you have a reputation to build and then maintain.  That being said, you have to decide how to invest your money to make your work pay out.  Will you put money into an editing service?  Will you enter contests to get help?  Will you join critique groups AND actually follow their advice? Then, once you secure an editor or agent, will you put your money into publicity?  Will you purchase post cards and ad space in magazines? There is a lot more to consider – not just the money you will invest to become published, but the time commitment.  Are you willing to travel to bookstores, libraries, and other venues in order to reach out to new readers?  Are you willing to put some of your other life on hold in order to do this?  Are you willing to set aside your current job in order to make a success of your book? And then subsequent books? 

These are harsh facts you must face once you decide if you are writing because it’s a hobby or it’s a business.

But you say, “I can do it all”.  I just have to juggle my time better.  Good luck with that.  I’m not saying you can’t do it.  I’m just saying how hard it will be.  If you already have a full-time job and you write when you can, finding time for publicity and visits and book tours becomes difficult. If you have a family with small children, attending their events and writing and doing publicity will be next to impossible. With anything you want to do well, you must sacrifice something else.

Personally, I say if you have decided this is to be a business, then you have to decide what to do about your day job.  Next, since your day job pays your bills, how will you work it into your schedule?  Can you afford to work part-time in order to write full time?  Can you make enough money from your writing to make up the difference in your budget?

I know many published writers who still work a full time job.  Why do they do that?
The royalties from being published are small in comparison to what the bestsellers make.  You will not make enough in the beginning to survive, unless you are will to take the money you originally make and turn it into new dollars by advertising.

I know this sounds cliché, but life is filled with sacrifices.  You just have to decide which areas of your life are you will to sacrifice in order to become not just published, but a best-selling author?

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