Reading through Prospera Publishing's newsletter yesterday, I came across this:
Forget about equating writing with financial reward. You need to write because you love it, not because you want that contract and a place in the bestseller charts. The first should help with the second, but writing is one of those jobs that pays nothing for a very long time, and the sooner you come to terms with this, the better you'll feel about continuing your work.
And I had to smile, because this is such a great piece of advice and something I constantly struggle with. Leaving the corporate world and my own income behind and relying solely on my husband was a giant step. At the time, I didn't realise just how huge it was. My eyes were set only on getting published. I didn't think about what would happen after I got published. There was no need to, because I'd be making money then, right? I'd at least be able to buy my luxury hair conditioner again rather than the cheap non-name stuff (this was a giant sacrifice at the time, I can assure you)!
Because here I am, two published books later, and I can assure you that my hair is still slathered in Tesco's conditioner rather than my lovely Aveda one. I still fret over whether I can really afford that dinner out with friends. And I'm into my overdraft just to attend a conference in July.
I know, I know: poor me! I am so grateful and proud to have those two books published, and a novel on the way. And with one just out in November and the other released this month, my books are selling relatively well, too: sales are increasing month by month! So it's not that I'm not on my way. It's just that it takes a long time, and a lot of work, for the profits to start showing.
For the past two and a half years, I've worked every day from 8 am to 4 pm - a regular work-day (and often on the weekends, too). If I was to take the profit I have made so far from my published books and divide it by 30 months... well, let's just say it would not even buy me a cupcake a week!
Writing is hard work, and it's the rare author who can live from the profits they make. So yes: forget about equating writing with financial reward. Write because you love it, and don't lose sight of that -- even if your hair does fall out of your head!
(Thank you to everyone who added The Hating Game on Goodreads yesterday! Mwah!)