Feeling like the world’s against me, Lord

So in about a month I’ll be a published writer. I sent my book to a small electronic publisher, and he wrote me back recently to let me know he wants it in his catalog. This comes on the other end of two decades (I’m 31, and have off-and-on wanted to do this since grade school) and thousands of hours trying to get better at this, mountains of free time spent glaring at a computer screen or a notebook, thousands of stories begun (and a handful even finished!), and dozens of industry rejections.

My hope is that this brings me a step closer to my eventual goal of doing this for a living. This will almost certainly not happen. Getting paid to write for a living is exceptionally difficult. I have known personally several brilliant, original writers who are still plugging along after years of trying. Conversely, what I’d regard as utter dreck sometimes finds a record-breakingly large audience. Some of these widely-read books are so wretched, I have to wonder if those old Twilight Zone episodes where the protagonist makes a deal with Satan are documentaries. Even from that tiny fraction of authors who do publish, the faction of that subset to find a wide distribution is tinier still. The odds are astronomically against any single author quitting their day job.

Part of me thinks that’s a good thing, because it means nobody in their right mind would get into this for the money. The odds are far against ever being paid well for this, and there are much, much easier ways to earn money, if that is one’s chief concern. No matter how good or terrible a book is, you know its author started out with a love for it. First-time authors are, if they are nothing else, passionate about their work. Books don’t become disinterested and transparent financial scams until later in an author’s career (see: Terry Goodkind’s last few books, books 9-10 of The Wheel of Time, etc.)

However well the book sells, however well anything I ever write sells, it doesn’t really make a difference in the end. The art of fiction is my passion, and will remain so until the day I die.

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~ by kroveechernila on December 11, 2012.

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