Welcome to Ravenna’s Monday Mumblings!
Today I’d like to talk about remembering why I write. Yes, this is all about ME today. LOL! Your feelings and opinions may vary, and that’s cool, but this is me speaking from the heart today.
Ravenna’s definition of PASSION:
That one thing you would keep doing, even if you never made a dime off it.
And that’s where I am with my writing. Once upon a time I had dreams of each book soaring up the best seller lists. Most writers, do. Now, I’m simply tired of asking why they don’t. I’m told I’m a good writer – a great writer, even. Hard to believe when now, at 83 published/contracted books between the three pen names, the highest royalties I’ve made in a year was $16,000. Last year, I made just over $11,000.
Hmmm… maybe “best seller” doesn’t necessarily equate to “good writer.” AH-HA! Lightbulb moment!
I’m still slightly above the average earnings of most authors. Yes, that makes me feel good. No, it’s not where I want to be. Yes, I know that only a tiny percentage of us earn enough to actually make a living off this. And yes, I know that those who do are not necessarily better writers than the rest of us. In fact, as Kacey’s post so eloquently pointed out on Saturday, and as Moira’s post also perfectly pointed out yesterday, many of the “best selling” authors write the same book, over and over and over again.
But I digress. This isn’t about them. It’s about ME.
So why do I keep doing this? It’s certainly a frustrating business. I watch pirates steal my work, I watch people write crap and make ten times what I do, I watch authors bang out the same books over and over and they can do no wrong, and I watch my dreams and hopes go up in flames. Why would anyone keep doing it???
Well, because I love it. I love to write. I’ve been doing it since I was eight years old. I waited so damn long to get serious about my craft. I’ve been published since April of 2011 (at Evernight, as Carolyn Rosewood, with the Seduced By A Demon series!!), and I can’t imagine stopping. I. Just. Can’t.
I write because I have to. Because it’s the first thing I think about in the morning, it’s what I think about all day when I’m supposed to be doing other things, and it’s what I dream about.
I write because there are stories and characters in my head that demand my attention. I write because I adore creating worlds for those characters, and fashioning their stories into something I hope readers will enjoy.
I write because, with the exception of the sales, this is FUN. ALL of it. I love the editing, the blurbs, the synopses, and the promo. I love all of it!! Dealing with the never-ending question of why am I not good enough to break that ceiling is part of the game. And there may never be an answer to my question. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but that’s part of life as well.
Shit happens. We don’t always know why. My husband and I have lived through some really awful crap. Really awful. Much worse than me whining about why I can’t sell more than X number of books. And we’ve come out the other side stronger and wiser because of it. So … yeah. Lesson here to learn, ya think?
It’s time to put on my big girl panties once more. This time, with respect to those elusive big sales and best seller designations I’ve been chasing for five years. It’s time to shed that beast from my back, break the chains, and write JUST BECAUSE.
Because of all the reasons I listed above. Because writing is my PASSION.
And yes, if you see me whining about sales or listings on social media, now that I’ve put this out there, you have my permission to call me on it.
Until next week, happy writing!