Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Milestone!

I would also like to post before I forget, that yesterday was a milestone for me... 30 days in a row with at least one sale or borrow... that's thirty days in a row making money, which is pretty awesome. Now, granted, I write some serious... weird stuff, sprinkled with some femdom, so I consider that pretty impressive since I'm not well known or anything! I'll also have made my goal of $200.00+ this month in gross sales. I've more than made up any money I put into this, and then some.

So after two months of writing erotica what have I found?

  1. It's a great way to write if you're not into editing. This is not saying NEVER to edit, but I tend to write very clean copy, if somewhat repetitive at times, and I hate editing. After a quick once over, I publish... and that's very freeing for me. I enjoy telling stories... I don't enjoy being an editor.
  2. It's not a bad way to make some extra cash if you've extra time. I wouldn't expect anything earth shattering though, not unless you're very lucky or very persistent.
  3. People will pay you for the weirdest shit. Shagging Tree, while not a huge seller, grabbed enough interest to make it worthwhile for me to write... and it's about a tree fucking a woman. 
  4. Erotica writers tend to fall into a couple of categories... they either genuinely enjoy writing, or they're just in it for the money. Those who fall into the first category tend to be pretty nice and try to help people out. Those in the second category don't seem to care as much for the story-telling process and just want to get it over and done with. This isn't to say they can't overlap, or those in the first category can't be dicks, but in general, that's what I've observed. 
  5. Writing so much in a little amount of time can be very tedious, even if you enjoy writing. 

To DRM or Not to DRM... That is the Question...

I meant to get this up last week, but I was laaaaaazy and taking a break from writing altogether. I need to get cracking on the next JKC though, and I need to get started on this new series my illustrator is entirely too excited about. He keeps making... covers for it. I keep telling him that I haven't even written the first one yet, and now he's showing me cover #7. *sigh* I guess I better do it then! He also made a teaser image ... seriously, a teaser image... for it. Lemme see if I can find it.

Keep in mind, I've told him NOTHING about the series except the main character's name and the rough idea of it. No plots, no backgrounds... no nothing. Well, he's got some pics too to make covers from (duh), so yeah, he's really picked it up and run with it! Including a fucking logo for the secret agency, which you can see "stamped" on the background of the file. Who knew Jotham liked spy movies? Well, I do now!

Anyway, the topic of the blog post... should you add DRM to your books? In theory, DRM or Digital Rights Management is supposed to protect your books from pirates. In practice... not so much. There's a lot of guides online on how to remove DRM from any ebook using Calibur... which yeah. I have that program because I use it to convert my .odf files to .mobi for uploads. If you get a certain plug in, you can strip DRM from ebooks for use on any device. 

Now, one thing you may not know about buying an ebook from Amazon... you're not actually "buying" it, but rather "leasing" it. There's been instances where Amazon has went into user's kindles and erased things they legitimately bought. A quick Google search on your part will come up with a couple stories on this (cause I'm lazy and not doing link-search-posting here). Since you're "leasing" it, they can wipe it at any time, and you have no legal recourse. Now, if you're like me and you enjoy rereading things... to go back and find a favorite book gone would be terrible. However, if you converted it to a .pdf file and downloaded onto your computer, you'd have it for all time. Putting DRM on books makes it hard to do that. Not impossible by any means, but hard... er. Or at least bothersome.

Any DRM on anything doesn't detract pirates. It doesn't. All it does it bother legitimate users who purchased the right to use the product how they see fit, and if they're unable to convert it, they may be unhappy. To this end, I've decided never to use DRM on any of my books from here on out. Now, my old ones do because I wasn't thinking about it, but any future ones won't for the convenience of my customers. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Finally! A Rating! Woo!

Finally, either yesterday or earlier today, someone rated not just one, but two of my books on Goodreads! Woo! The two books were Wet in Space (3 stars) and The Erotic Worlds of the Janus Key Chronicles (4 stars). Honestly, they could have been one stars, complete with a review saying something terrible, and I would have been happy... why? Because that means someone read something I wrote, and cared just enough about it to go that extra step and put in a rating. That's. Awesome. It's why I always try to leave reviews for stuff I've read whether good or bad, because to me... that someone cared enough to write something about your book (or in this case, click the 3 and 4 star categories) means the world.

Now, of course, I know I'm writing stuff which people jerk off to, and that's fine. Obviously I'm stirring some kind of reaction there, heh. Most stroke readers don't leave reviews, so that's why I'm really thrilled. I don't think it'll translate into sales or anything, I just think it's cool as hell. :)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

This is Why I Use DepositPhotos...

In my "real life" job, I work in customer service. It's a shitty job, in no matter what form... whether you are selling a product, doing customer reviews, or anything inbetween (I happen to do both, hurray for double stack of shit! Mm. Shit sandwich), it's important to always be friendly to the customer. As you know, people are human (gasp!) and even CSR's (Customer Service Representatives) have their off days. What's important is that you fucking eat that shit sandwich, smile, and ask for a double helping of it. It wears on you.

In the computer age, some aspects of customer service have gotten easier. For instance, you can email your customer directly with some sort of form letter asking for their opinions on your service or product, or you can respond to reviews directly online without actually having to interact with them at all. It's easier, but trust me, after writing the billionth response to an online review, it's like churning out erotica... it's the same fucking shit just packaged in a different way. Burn out also sets in here.

Yesterday, I had an email from DepositPhotos, which is the site I use to get stock photos for my covers. Now, I had the $69 (haha, I just realized... sixty-nine) deal which allowed me to download five stock photos per day for a month. I missed a couple of days, but the price for each stock photo was still around like sixty cents apiece. Great deal. I mean, just fantastic. They have a wide selection too...which got even wider when I realized that not just "erotic" and "erotical" tags were ok to be used for erotic sexy covers, but also "sex", "sexy", "passion" and so on, which opened up a lot more photos. I'd just cancelled my account because I had a lot of photos to work with (and I'm busy using them!) and didn't need to download anymore until I started running low again.

So, the email I got was this:

Dear Alana,
My name is Katye and I am your personal account manager at Depositphotos.I wanted to gather your feedback about our site and find out how you are planning to work with Depositphotos.comDo you have a need for stock photos still?
I would be happy to guide you through our plans and pick an optimal solution for you.
Feel free to contact me with any questions by replying to this e-mail or let me know the phone number I can reach you at.
I am looking forward to your reply.

This chick did everything right. She identified herself right off, added a personal touch ("Personal account manager", really? I warranted that?!), asked for feedback, asked for a future gameplan without asking "are you coming back"... she just assumed that (slick shit there), offered a solution to a non-existent problem, asked for contact, and invited me to reply. That's fucking spot on customer service.

I responded with this:

Thank you for your response! I found the depositphotos site easy to navigate, and I especially loved I could create folders to contain my favorite photos so I could find them easily later to download.
I use the photos for book covers, and right now I have a fair selection due to your fantastic daily download plan. I am planning on renewing in the future, but right now, I am flush with gorgeous pictures. I have also found your customer service reps to be especially pleasant and prompt with any inquiries I've had.
I highly recommend your site to any fellow writers who need stock photos for their covers.
Thank you so much for your inquiry! Have a fantastic day!
A. Melos
Hehe, you can see my CSR roots in here too, esp. starting out with "Thank you for your response!". I really didn't have anything negative to say about them, but if I had, I would have pointed it out here, in a positive way. "You could work on X to do Y for your customers." And it's true... I do recommend depositphotos for erotic stock covers. Their selection is fantastic and the images are nice and crisp.

She responded immediately with this:

Dear Alana,
Thank you for your feedback!Next time you need to buy images - just send me an e-mail, I'll set up your account with a special discount promo code.
Also please let me know if I can be of any further help to you.
Have a great day!
 Spot ON customer service. I didn't even ask for a promo, yet now I'm tempted already to resubscribe to take advantage of that. I actually probably will at the end of the month and I know how much I made for certain. I don't know what the discount code is, but I'm excited to get it. That's amazing.

Now, I don't know how good their deals are if you are buying one or two with their credits, but their subscription plans are completely worth it if you plan on, like I do, pushing out a lot of books. I have over a hundred images stored already, yet I'm contemplating buying more that I don't need. Not only was she a great CSR, but also a great saleswoman. I cannot recommend them enough for the good deals and friendly and prompt customer service.

Monday, April 20, 2015

A Shotgun Blast or a Kick in the Ass?

... blog title pulled from some song lyrics. Which may or may not be applicable.

What should you do when writing erotica... make a wide scattershot or focus in on one area? Odds are, if you do the scattershot (ie, shotgun blast) you're going to hit something. Don't know what... but something. Advice often given to erotica writers by other erotica writers is to find your niche and write the shit out of it... but you gotta find it first.

Or, should you just concentrate in one thing which you enjoy doing (ie, kick in the ass... aiming for one spot) and just do that? If you find success right away, then that's awesome! Especially awesome because it's something you enjoy doing and you're making money. However, if you don't... then you might just be funneling time and effort into something that just won't ever pan out.

Me, I take a shotgun blast to it. I would like to make money. I won't lie. I would like to be successful. However, I just can't not write something... and I don't want to credit to go to other names. Yeah, they're me, and no, this isn't my real name anyway, but I personally would like to see all these titles, all these genres, all these different things under one name to show what versatility there is. It's against all advice I've ever read in erotica. ALL advice. It comes back to my favorite author, Stephen King. When you open a King book and read for a moment, you know it's a King book... no matter if he's writing horror, drama, action, or anything else. And you know what? He's famous for horror, but he writes in a lot of different genres, even if they may be secondary to horror. He's got a style... when I read the Bachman books--and this is before he came out as Bachman (which dates me, I know)--I knew it was King right away, and I was confused at the name and picture on the back. "This is totally King! Did he ghost write or something?!"

He's got a lot under his belt, and it's really not what people think he's famous for. He writes what he thinks is interesting. Most of that tends to be horror, but not all. Not by a long shot. If I had to imitate an author, it would be him. Hence, I am writing what I'm interested in, with only a nod to what would sell a lot. I found I really enjoyed writing femdom, and it sold alright, so I'm going to continue with that. What else interests me? Fantasy, horror, sci-fi, action thrillers... I really am like a dude in this regard. I also enjoy character studies too. Do I expect it to sell? Yeah, a little. Do I expect to be famous or rich overnight? No. No freaking way. Yet, it's self-publishing, I'm in a good spot in life to do this, and so I can indulge in whatever whims I want. No, my horrorotica doesn't sell worth shit, but I enjoyed writing the hell out of it, and those are both stories I'm proud of... cause I would read them. I enjoy the JKC, and I'm proud of them as well, even if they're cheesy and hokey. They're supposed to be!

So, if you take any advice away from this article, it's write what you love if you don't care about making money, and write what's popular if you do.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Communication is Key

I'm awake here when I should be sleeping. It's my day off of work and I get off schedule, but tonight I've a pain that just won't let me rest, so while I wait for painkillers to kick in, I got to thinking... what is about words that translate into hotness?

Let me back up a bit. I was reading a bit about The Claiming of Persephone and why the author wrote it, why it was hot, and there was an excerpt. Read the excerpt and granted, right now I'm like "fuck sex, I want sleep" so I didn't find it arousing... but it's not because it wasn't hot (told you, paaaaaaain), so don't get me wrong there. However, it got me to thinking about why things, why words, are "hot" or not. This is a bit rambly, so bear with me. (Paaaaaain. :P)

All these words we use convey an image, or an idea. Communication is the key to understanding, and the vehicle we have for that is words. If you sit and consider each word individually, you'll get many different meanings for each word, and every person's interpretation of them is different. Yes, mostly the same, but we all add our own experiences to flavor it for us personally. When you put a single word in with a bunch of other words, it conveys a different context. We'll use hot for example... "The kettle was scorching hot." What does that say? Says don't fucking touch it, mother fucker! Now if we say "Her pussy was scorching hot." What does that say? Well, you're not going to burn your hand on her pussy, lol. Words and context. Communication. Conveying ideas.

What does all this mean for a writer? Well, first, you have to keep in mind that you are not your audience, and your audience is not you. The average person doesn't know what "loquacious" is, or "vacuous", "extrapolate", or (one of my favorites) "sesquipedalian". Mind you, that word is used so not often, the spellchecker thinks it's spelled wrong. I was reading at college level in the third or fourth grade... and I used such big words all the time my mother had no idea what I was talking about most of the time. Over time, I learned to modify how I spoke so that I could communicate clearly, even if it felt odd to me, and sometimes still does. I had to modify my speech for my audience so that I could communicate my ideas clearly.

Second, keep to your genre. If you're writing erotica, yeah, you want your throbbing, pulsating, warm, wet, hot, scorching, hard, rock hard, etc etc etc. to describe things. If you're writing horror (depending on the kind), you want your gore, blood soaked, creepy, noxious, sliced, crimson, hot coppery, and so on. Writing action, you want action packed stuff, like riveted, whirled, brandished, snarled, shouted, fiery, etc etc. Keep your vocabulary in line with your genre.

Third, keep to the basics. Don't fucking used murmured or whispered all the time for say tags. Use said. People's eyes just skip over said. It's tried and true. Only when you want to stress something use another say tag. Alter the flow of your sentences to match the scene. If it's frantic, use shorter sentences. If it's something surreal, use longer. Keep in mind the rhythm of the words as you're writing. Read it back to yourself. Does it feel right? Are you using too many fancy descriptors when a simple word would just do? Are you not using enough?

Last, if you can't connect to your audience, it isn't your audience's fault. I read a book not so long ago where there was a whole scene I had no idea what the fuck was happening. The writer jumped around, and didn't describe what was happening clearly, and as a result, it was a mess. I can read just fine and put words together just fine as well. So, it was the author's fault. They didn't go back and view their prose as a reader would and their message got lost. They knew what they meant, but they couldn't convey it clearly to me. It might have been the best fight scene ever, but I would have no way of knowing because their message got lost due to unclear communication. I've seen writers on the eroticauthors subreddit who are just like, "MY porn is the BEST porn... but it's not selling. People are stupid!" Well, no. You're not communicating your porn clearly, sorry. I won't admit I'm selling the most, or writing the best, or anything at all like any other erotica writer is doing... cause I'm not. I'm not just selling sex. I'm selling a story with the sex. If people like it, great. If they don't, that's great too. However, I communicate clearly that's what it's about... that there's a story there. Generally, for erotica, people want to just get off, or get to the sex right away. Plot is like window dressing. For me, it's the opposite. The sex is the window dressing. Hence, I'll never be super popular.

Well, not unless I go into more traditional erotica routes. My femdom series has come with some success, and that's kinda traditional. And that's cool... I enjoyed writing them, so I'll write a couple more, and keep that going... but they're short, and I just... I don't like shorts. I don't get into them. I much prefer my JKC because of the story. A friend of mine read them, and said, "I'm surprised how much characterization you got into your porn." It's because the characterization is a priority to me... and I don't expect to sell because of that, I expect to sell despite it in this genre.

I'm ok with that. If I wasn't, I'd change my style. These new authors, though... I don't know. They just aren't communicating clearly... because the last part of communication is listening, and that's on your readers. You have to speak your message clearly, but readers have to listen. That you can't control, but it is what it is. C'est la vie. Not that I've gotten any reviews yet, but when I do, I will listen to reader feedback and see what they thought. That's about the only way it applies to authors, I guess.

Yes, rambly. I think the painkillers are kicking in now though.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Adult Dungeon... It's Not Just for Whips and Chains Anymore!

So, I've mentioned that I got a couple books "adult dungeoned", but what is that exactly? Since I mostly publish on Amazon, I mostly obey their rules and restrictions on erotica. However, when you happen to step over the line, they'll put an "Adult" filter on you which means when people search for your book, it's not in the general population of books... it's in a special section, which people have to click a button to turn on to search IN it. Needless to say, the button is sometimes hard to find, and people don't really bother with it. Being in the adult dungeon can be the death of a book, and usually is. There are exceptions for this rule, but not many that I've found.

What gets you landed in the adult dungeon? As far as I can tell, here's an incomplete list... and I'm sure there are more things, these are just the ones I know about:

  • Nudity on the cover. Definite no-no.
  • Implied nudity on the cover... such as not wearing panties, lol, but also "hand bras". This seems to be more lax with bare chested men though.
  • Certain words or phrases in the title or blurb. Anything vulgar like cock, pussy, dick, etc, is a definite, but there are some other phrases which aren't as well known, like BANGED (hehe), anything to do with 'school' girl or boy, probably anything to do with implied underage (girl, boy) sex, definitely anything noncon and possibly dubcon as well (forced, raped, etc, but "taken" is ok, at least so far), anything to do with incest (ie, mommy, daddy, sister, brother) and some to do with PI (psuedo incest), but a lot of people seem to be getting away with certain phrases like "brat" or "man of the house"... also "step" stuff, though I still wouldn't put brother or sister on there.
  • Images which depict a woman being bound. It's unclear if men are under the same restriction, but I would assume so. Because, you know, BDSM is just SO FUCKING HORRIBLE and people can't possibly be bound with their consent.
  • Anything on the cover actually depicting a sexual act.
There are others, but those are the big ones off the top of my head. Basically, think of like a ten year old who might come across it... if it's anything that you'd really be embarrassed about them seeing, then don't. Make sure your models all have their clothes on and are enjoying things in a consensual manner. Write teasers... but don't spell everything out. I've found in my personal experience that writing short descriptions of what's IN the books are ok though... like putting in "oral, anal, group sex, mmf" and so on doesn't get you filtered, but some people insist that putting anal in there will. Well, I've gotten a couple of books adult dungeoned now, and not one of them have been for putting anal in the blurb, so I'm calling bullshit on that one right now. If someone DID get blocked for that, odds are it was actually for something else. Or Amazon's fucking with them.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Dubcon Vs. Noncon

For those of you not in the know, "Dubcon" refers to "dubious consent" while "Noncon" refers to "non-consent", and both are styles of writing in the erotica genre. Before I get into this post, though, I have two things. First, this may warrant a TRIGGER WARNING, just in case, because I do talk about rape and coercion and other things which may trigger bad memories for those of us who have had some very not-good experiences. Second, in NO way am I EVER EVER EVER condoning rape in any way, shape, or form. This includes by coercion or trickery, or because someone was unable to consent (ie, on drugs or drunk for example). Any reference from here on out pretty much refers to fantasies... as in people often have rape fantasies, but in no way want to actually be raped.

IRL... both dubcon and noncon are rape. We're not talking about in real life here though. We're talking about fantasies. If for any reason this isn't clear to you yet as you read, I'ma make it clear: If your partner at any time says no, withdraws consent, or can't give consent and you keep on having sex with them? You're a rapist. If you have enthusiastic consent, then you're not! It's that simple!

Gonna repeat: anything here on out applies to writing and fantasies. I am absolutely NOT condoning any of this in real life. Am I sensitive on this issue? Why yes, yes I am.

Anyway, I won't write noncon stuff. Generally, from what I've seen of it, it's pretty brutal and describes graphic rape. I'm really not into that... it's not sexy to me. For some people, it is, and bully for them. It's just not my thing. It tends to be a lot more violent too, and while I like BDSM, I'm not really into beating the shit out of people to get off. Like, ew.

However, almost all of my stuff could be considered dubcon, which as I pointed out above, IRL would be a very not nice thing. However, in fantasies, it often comes down to, "Oh! This person/creature/whatever is ravaging me! I don't want to like it, but I do! Give me more, person/creature/whatever!" The question is, what exactly does dubcon cover?

It could be the use of force, at least a little. Think of the bodice rippers where the handsome pirate throws down the maiden and has his wicked way with her, but she loves it. Little bit of force, but if she truly struggled, he'd either stop, or it'd go full blown into noncon. A little ways into the ravaging, she gets into it, and becomes a full fledged participant. This goes back to the fantasy of being ravished that women in particular have, because it gives us awesome mind-blowing sex without the fear of being called a slut. We're not sluts, he totally ravished us!

The second use of dubcon could be coercion or blackmail. So far, my "Dominating" series (of which there will be another... should I label them together? Hm. I am planning three books, so I might as well) concerns the woman blackmailing the man into becoming her bitch. He can choose to walk away and suffer whatever consequences there are, but chooses to stay. It's still dubious, because even as he's making a choice, it's blackmail... there's no real right choice to be had there. In this case, he turns out to love it (of course). Or in the Janus Key Chronicles... Dirk & Debbie are basically coerced into having sex in order to get the Key to activate, which may or may not bring them home. Of course, they love the sex, but the point is... they're coerced into having sex whether or not they want to.

The last use, that I can think of anyway, is using mind-altering drugs or other forms of mind alteration (such as hypnosis or mind control) to increase desire or lust. This is the worst form of dubcon in my opinion, as it actually changes a person's being. There are varying degrees of course. In the JK Chronicles, Debbie eats some elderberries which increases her sex drive... but not quite to the point where she can't choose not to indulge. It's really hard not to choose, but she could have if she wished to remain that strong. Hypnosis, if people operate by the "real" rules of hypnosis, can't make people do what they don't want to do already. It's the mind control which is the real kicker... it's not just using the person for their body, but altering their minds, changing them in even more intimate ways... in some ways, it's like the ultimate rape. That's why I won't ever use mind control initiate sexual encounters either... that one is just too icktastic for me, even though the MC in the Villainess book is actually a mind controller. And a sociopath. But she views it as being too easy to do that... yet she keeps it as a back up, just in case.

Now, even though dubcon is shady, it can still be hot. It's sort of like... animal instinct winning over the rational mind. Civilization versus savagery. It's no surprise to me that bikers and vikings are hot right now... they are "savage" and yet can be tender at the same time. Savagery tamed by civilization... and come on, girls, let's face it. Who doesn't want to tame the bad boy and make him fall totally in love with her? It's a dream of just about every girl in the world. It's why bad boys are so fucking popular and why so many girls think, "Oh, I can change him!" Well, as I discussed above, reality and fantasy are definitely not the same thing.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Day Never Finished, Massa Got Me Workin'

I'm often astounded how often people ask authors, "How do you write?" (It's right up there with "Where do you get your ideas?") The answer is pretty simple: you put words down on paper, derp. It's not a hard thing to do. People write all the time when they text, text chat with friends online, jot down notes for work... I think what they mean is "How do you treat writing as a job?" Let's face it... unless you're Stephen King or Dan Patterson or some other big name, people just don't view writing stories as a legitimate way to make money. They don't. They view it as something they had to do in school, or something they do as a past time or hobby. They don't view it as something serious.

My brain works funny. (DER HUR HUR, see, laughed for you there) I can't not be thinking about things. Even when I go to sleep, I narrow down my focus to one thing and think about that, and eventually I'll drop off if I'm warm and cozy. When I ask people, "What are you thinking about?", I'm often surprised when they say "nothing" and mean it. Like... how can you not be thinking about something? It doesn't compute to me. So, for me in particular, writing is a way to clear my mind to make way for new thoughts. It's serious fucking business. Although with this erotica I'm writing, I just vomit it up on page and forget about it (yeah, sexy image there, eh?), while I'm writing about it I agonize over what's happening next, and next, and next, and how do I wrap it up? And so on. It is a job for me, one that I'm always doing, perpetually working. Telling stories is a need. Not a want, a need. Putting it down on paper and selling it is just giving me an outlet to tell stories.

However, to answer the question properly, you have to break it down into what you think a job is. A job is something you have to do to get paid, or a task that needs to be achieved to keep your house in order. It's often viewed as something not pleasant (you ever get a job you love, you never work again), and you have to do it repetitively. It's usually not a one-time-and-done thing. So, in order to treat writing like a job, follow these simple guidelines:

  1. Treat writing seriously. Yup, that's right. Treat it like it's not a hobby or something kids do. Treat it like it deserves to be treated: as a very serious endeavor. A lot of people make their living writing: journalists, script writers, novelists, advertising peeps, scientists, researchers, and so on. They treat what they do seriously, giving it the respect the profession deserves.
  2. Write at the same time every day, for a set amount of time every day. Sure, maybe you can only devote a half hour every day for your writing, or maybe four hours. Whatever the time amount, set that aside for your writing time. Sit down and write something every damn day. You have to go to your job every day, right? (Oh wait, that's just me with the ridiculous amount of overtime I've been having lately) Discipline yourself to be consistent. 
  3. Don't expect to be complimented... ever. If you get some, great! Fantastic! However, more often than not your efforts will go unnoticed, even by the people who read your stuff. People don't leave reviews, especially in smut. Not only that, but people often take delight in tearing down others with harsh words. However... just like in a job, you don't expect to be complimented for doing your job, do you? Every once in a while the boss might poke his head in and say "Hey, good job", but for the most part, it's not every day... because you were hired to do that work, and thus, it's expected. Hence, steel yourself for never getting a compliment on your hard work in writing. 
  4. Don't expect a massive paycheck without putting in massive time. Let's face it, what you put into a job is what you get out of it. If you work part time, you get part time wages. If you work full time, you get full time wages. And if you're stuck at work continually, you'll get ridiculous amounts of overtime. However much time you put into writing will directly affect any cash you get out of it. Unless you are very fucking lucky (EL James for example), you won't get a hit book (BASED ON FUCKING TWILIGHT WTF) right away. You just won't. The more time you put in, the more stories you write, the more stories you publish... the bigger your paycheck will be. 
  5. The more education you have, the better you will do. This is not saying "Go to college!" What I mean by this is that the more you research not just how to write, but also what to write, the more you learn about the craft. The more you know about what you are doing, the better you will do. If you're not writing and you're serious about writing, you should be pondering these things (which is why you guys get my long rambly posts on blogger) or researching (which I do when I'm not writing). When I'm getting ready to write a story, I research the elements I know will be in it first, and then set it down. 
  6. The more joy you find in your work, the less like work it will be. It's just what I said above... if you do what you love, you'll never work again. People who groan and kick their feet every time when it comes to writing probably shouldn't write for a secondary income. They'll get discouraged after some failures and give up. Well, guess what? People fail at writing all the time. The reason why the big names authors are big name authors is because they didn't give up. If it's that hard, just don't. However, the converse... if you love telling stories, and love putting your thoughts down on paper, then don't be discouraged by those first failures. Everyone has them. Keep going at it and find joy in the written word, in your written words, and you'll do well in what will seem like no time at all.
Cha-ching. One more random nonsensical post under the belt.