For the Love of Writing or Money?
I’m not good enough to do this writing thing! I can barely buy groceries.
Are you a writer who’s said something like this? Do you get discouraged when that quarter rolls around with the numbers and there aren’t enough place holders before the decimal point? Well join the millions that don’t get big checks! I mean, not everyone will be Stephen King, JK Rowling, or EL James for that matter. Despite the fact only a select few make a lot of money on their books, many still decide to jump in the pool to show their work to the world. Some get upset when they get those statements and give up while others continue to press on and plug away. Why? Because they love to write!
Think about this. The electronic revolution has opened doors for many authors like myself to tell our stories to the masses. This might not have happened as soon as 10 years ago. The print market was closed to authors like me who like to delve in m/m and or gay romances. The het market is saturated with many authors who are more seasoned and have already built a following and well, I’m not a scifi or horror author so there goes that market but now, because of the amount of electronic publishers I’m able to tell my tales to people and do what I can to market them effectively to make sales. Does it work with every book? Not always. Will I keep at it? Yes I will.
Why you ask? Why put yourself under scrutiny for reviewers and even some book bloggers who seem to be know it all’s? The reason is I love to write. I definitely didn’t decide to do this for the money. My royalties last quarter were good in my opinion for a relatively unknown writer. There’s so many other authors who are household names when it comes to m/m. I’m most likely at the bottom but I’ll keep on truckin’ and hope to get there.
The key is to have a support system to kick you in the ass when you feel down. Yeah, I have one whether it’s my friends who got me to publish in the first place or the many authors in the genre who will give a kind word. Yeah there are those that won’t but that’s on them. Writing is a lonely business and in my opinion, when you close yourself up in a bubble and not interact online or even in person with fellow writers you’re doing yourself a disservice.
Not getting the support at home from the SO? Well, that’s something that varies by household. My husband is very supportive of my career. He allowed me to sit at home in the beginning after I was laid off from my last job at a bank. Recently, I decided to take on a part time job not because I felt I wouldn’t make it. I did it so we’d have another check coming in the home. I’ve got two growing kids so I have to do what I can to support my family and even if I was making more, the checks still only come once every 3-4 months. Do I get discouraged too? Yep. But I continue to think about how I’d feel after I gave up. Yeah, I could write for my friends and not worry about promoting, just putting up stories on my blogs. Or I could go back to writing fanfiction. *giggles* That would make my fanfic friends happy. Would it be the best solution? In my case no. I might never be JK or EL James making millions off my writing but that’s not my sole purpose. I love to write, I have 3 muses who have many stories to tell, and damnit, I feel I’m good enough but can always improve. Am I the best? Not even close but I’ll always do what I can to get better!
Whew! This is your pep talk authors. Whatever genre you write, we all feel the same. We could make more. We want to succeed but everyone has different levels of success. Stop comparing yourself to the above said writers or even your peers who have made more of a name. Concentrate on making YOURSELF better! Promo and market whenever possible. Tune out the naysayers and the negativity and surround yourself with positive people. A lot of them, including me are in the same boat as you are. Being an author isn’t easy but do it for the love!
Author Sharita Lira: In one word, crazy. Just crazy enough to have 3 different muses running around in her head, driving her to sheer exhaustion with new plot bunnies and complex characters.
This happily married mother of two beautiful children loves music, computers, reading, and still enjoys reading and writing fanfiction. She’s a proud member of the Erotica Readers & Writers Association, as well as an advocate for rights of LGBT citizens. She’s also a contributor to the heavy metal ezine Fourteeng.net.
For more information, please visit http://www.thelitriad.com as well as her Facebook fanpage, The Literary Triad.
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