by Parker J. Cole
For the first part of this discussion click here: http://graceandfaith4u.com/posts/crowdfunding-for-writers-by-parker-j-cole/
Needless to say, there is a virulent mental disease that has affected millions of people in today’s topsy turvy world. The spread of it is more rampant than the Black Plague which emptied Europe a few hundred years ago. It’s entitlement. Looking up the word, we find this definition: verb (used with object), entitled, entitling.1.to give (a person or thing) a title, right, or claim to something; furnish with grounds for laying claim:
There are things people are entitled to. For example, everyone is entitled to their opinions. After all, these reasonings are subjective and we all have them. In fact, the problem nowadays is having an opposing view contrary to public fancy is labeled as unsavory and is therefore good for disdain and ridicule. But that’s for another post. Yet, we’re all entitled to our opinions.
However, entitlement is not a broadband access to everything especially when it comes forging a writing career. In my role as the primary breadwinner in my home, I work in a grueling, fast paced environment, anywhere from ten to twelve hour a day. My online broadcasting network is thankfully growing. My writing career is moving up. Sure, I’d like to quit my full time gig to go gung-ho at the writing but until Steven Spielberg calls me back (I left him a message four years ago) to give me a movie deal on my book, I work to pay the bills.
When I see a crowdfunding campaign of people (can I call them authors?) asking for X number of dollars so they can quit working, I’m a bit perturbed. Abled bodied people capable of getting a job, organizing their time, and learning how to work through obstacles, want my money so they can write unhindered? Why? At the time of this writing, it’s about 5:30 in the morning. Work is in about two hours. I’ve put in an half hour of write time on my current manuscript. Yeah, I’m tired. Yeah, I’d rather be able to go about my day focused solely on my books but I can’t. I have to do what I can despite my busy schedule.
That’s why I admire the starving artist of days gone by. They created their masterpieces regardless if they had money or not. Their obsessive hope kept them going. Likewise, prayer and hard work go hand in hand. It’s not always easy. There are times you will NOT see the fruit of
your labors. I know. I live that now. But when you work at something, despite the obstacles, seeing the completed product has an extra nice feeling to it.
But Parker, what about people who are ill or have financial woes? Do you have gripe against them? No. Illness and financial constraints exist for many people, including authors. If an author is ill then they are not able-bodied. If an author is about to get kicked out of their home due to lack of funds for whatever reason, then pride should NOT go before common sense. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help if there is a need.
Where I draw the line is when I see a campaign by a person looking for a handout. Well, let me pull out the world’s smallest violin and play a tune. Come on! Are you saying that if no one supports your wish to write full time, you’ll never be able to do it? Are you hinging your success on the kindness of others and not your own blood, sweat, and tears? Is it possible you expect someone else to make you great and not yourself?
Then again, there have been people who have used crowd-funding sites to begin to write full time. At the end of the day, I begrudge no one their success. Obviously there are people who believe in you. Perhaps all you needed was help from someone. More power to you.
However, if a person wants to succeed at their dream, overcoming obstacles is part of the process. Perhaps while you’re working, you can save money each pay period toward that goal. Tally up your expenses for the month, add them together for a yearly total and then hustle your books till you reach that number. It’s a great motivator! Another friend of mine’s husband made a deal with her based off this and she was able to produce enough in sales for her to go full time as a writer. Start spreading the word about your books to your co-workers. They can become your biggest fans! All I’m saying is instead of seeking for someone else to make your dream come true, do it yourself.
I leave with this disclaimer: This is an opinion. Opinions can be taken with a grain of salt. This opinion does not in any way decry, denounce, ridicule, or shame any author who has used crowdfunding sites to their advantage. The author of this opinion is fallible and subject to change her mind should life experiences do so. For those who have been successful, more power to them.
PART THREE: When crowdfunding and authors work well.
About the Author:
Parker J. Cole is a writer and radio show host who spends most of her time reading, knitting, writing, cooking, and concocting new ideas for stories. Her first novel, Dark Cherub, won Best of Spring Reading 2013 from eMediaCampaigns. She lives in Michigan with her husband and beloved dog Sarah.
Visit her site at http://www.ParkerJCole.com