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 How much success would be too much success?

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Malcolm
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PostSubject: How much success would be too much success?   Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:33 am

In a few days, Dan Brown's next novel will be released. It's already at number 1 on the Amazon bestseller list.

In this post, I wonder how many of us could cope with being under the microscope Brown's under and still be able to write:

http://sunsinger.blogspot.com/2009/09/writers-do-you-want-to-be-dan-brown.html

How about you? If you suddenly sold 25,000 books, could you keep writing? What about 250,000?

Malcolm
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: How much success would be too much success?   Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:43 am

It would be hard to hold on to anonymity, wouldn't it? But I'm not sure if I would recognize Dan Brown or J. K. Rowling if I saw them on the street.

But, seriously, I'm afraid it would be intimidating, creating a sequel. Once the original story is out there, the public interpretations are out of our control as writers. The book is no longer solely our creation. There might be a temptation to attempt to write the book the public would want to read, rather than the one we want to write.

But I think I could scrounge up the courage to try by focusing on the size of the royalties.

Ann
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: How much success would be too much success?   Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:57 am

Malcolm,
I don't think I'd want to be a Dan Brown. The publicity and everything that goes with it is tiring just thinking about it. I will read his book. He's a great writer.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: How much success would be too much success?   Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:57 pm

Ah, but with success comes researchers, assistants, personal editors, publicists, and no more day job. I could stand it for awhile. I'd just take myself off to a health spa for six months and write, write, write. Oh, just the fantasy of it all sends me into a word I can't spell without looking it up.

If you've checked out my new Avatar; I just received the cover art for Ghost Orchid, my hope for the future and that trip to the health spa.......the release is so close I think I have my book in my hand.
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Liam
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PostSubject: Re: How much success would be too much success?   Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:24 pm

Dan Brown is a very intellectual author, and his books are well thought out and plotted. If you work that hard on your books, why wouldn't you want to be recognized?

I do not feel that any amount of success is too much. I would want to achieve a little more than money if I wrote a best seller.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: How much success would be too much success?   Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:09 am

I think a little success is easier to deal with than a whole lot. Too much is when you become a public figure and you lose your privacy. There isn't a person that I know who doesn't have some dark secret. There are many people who would make great public officials who don't run because it could destroy them. The days of privacy are gone.

I think it is the dream of many to become famous and see only the glamour and ignore the downside. So to answer Malcolm’s question, I think a little success is good. A whole lot is not good for most unless they have a thick skin, can accept criticism and are able to deal with lots of stress. How much is enough varies with the individual.

I wish everyone all the success they can handle.
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Dick Stodghill
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PostSubject: Re: How much success would be too much success?   Sun Sep 13, 2009 6:04 am

I had a closeup look at fame while covering the Cincinnati Reds. The star players, men like Johnny Bench and Pete Rose, couldn't even eat a meal in a restaurant without being hounded to death by people. While their food got cold they had to smile and accept it.
Even writing a daily newspaper column and a popular sports contest in Muncie had a price to pay. Jackie grew weary of constantly being approached by people so I would remind her that it's just part of the job of selling newspapers. Just walking into a basketball gymnasium to cover a game meant being surrounded by fans who wanted to talk or ask questions. It went with the territory. Once people know who you are, forget privacy or quiet moments. You become public property.
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Malcolm
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PostSubject: Re: How much success would be too much success?   Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:36 am

That "public property" scenario isn't what I'm looking for.

Malcolm
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Sue
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PostSubject: Re: How much success would be too much success?   Sat Sep 19, 2009 8:26 pm

When John and I taught C/W dancing in Arizona we couldn't go anywhere without being mobbed. We even tried going to small out-of-the-way towns only to be recognized and surrounded.

We would tell our friends that we weren't going out. Then someone would see us somewhere. They would call someone who in turn would call others. Before you knew it, our table for two had about 25 people around it. At the time it was overwhelming and very much not appreciated. However, now I would love to see some of those friends. I truly miss them and the life we lived back then.

I don't know if I would want that type of recognition now. I guess I will just have to wait and see.
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Dick Stodghill
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PostSubject: Re: How much success would be too much success?   Mon Oct 12, 2009 3:41 pm

Ann was correct about most writers. People see their photo on a dust jacket, but where else? One I know through MWA - Mary Higgins Clark - earns a million bucks on every book she writes but I'll bet not a person here would recognize her if she walked into a room.
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