Hello, lovely peeps, Doris here with a hefty dose of realism today. I apologize in advance if this turns a bit ranty, but I’m just sick to the back teeth with people’s attitudes to writing.
Many of us quillers on here have touched on the general slump which seems to prevail in sales these days. Not a day goes by it seems, when you hear of another author who hangs up the writing head.
I always shake my head in wonder.
Maybe, I’m just being naive, and of course, I’m not walking in that person’s shoes and there are no doubt a multitude of reasons why a person stops writing, but I just don’t get it.
Writers write. It’s what we do. I know I don’t feel right when I don’t have characters in my head clambering to have their story told. Then again, from as far back as I can remember I’ve spun stories in my head. Imagine my surprise when I found out that some people didn’t do that.
The number of times I was told off for daydreaming in class is unreal. Even nowadays, I can be lost in my own world, and you know I like it there. You’re never lonely when you are constantly concocting stories and get to live a thousand lives. Be that as the characters you write about, or the characters you read about in a book.
I’ve always felt sorry for people who don’t get that enjoyment from immersing yourself in a book.
I digress, however.
So, how then can anyone simply stop writing?
Oh, don’t get me wrong I get the financial reasons behind it. How could I not? Do you think it’s cheap bringing up nine children and assorted furbabies in the south east of the UK?
I can tell you, it’s not. Far from it. Hubby and I had to tighten our belts on more than one occasion, and that’s okay. We chose to have a large family, and we stand by our choices. Hubby has always worked his socks off to support us all, and I have always worked in one form or another to help out with the family income.
At one point, when we had just the two kids, I was actually earning more than him.
However, all I ever wanted was to be a mum at home with her kids and when that day finally came, I was beside myself with excitement. I still worked, in one form or another, mind you, always around the kids and driving myself ragged.
Fast forward quite a few years, and hubby’s work situation changed to such a degree that we could manage on just his wage, and I was free to pursue a life long dream.
I had stories that I wanted to share with the world, and the fact that readers out there want to read said stories still gives me the most amazing thrill.
That’s why I’m writing. Not for fame, status, money or whatever else you can think of. Certainly not to become a USA or NYT Bestseller, nice though that would be. And should I ever make it on one of those lists, you’ll hear me squealing about it like a loon, for sure.
Could I live off my writing? Heck NO! But then, very few writers can and you know what, that’s okay. For me, at least, writing was never about the money.
Sure, I love a healthy royalty cheque as much as the next writer, but Hubby and I long ago decided that this writing business is far too fickle a mistress to ever be able to rely on it as a source of income.
Sure, there are those writers that do and kudos to them, but I don’t need that pressure in my life. As it happens I do sell well and I make a nice enough contribution to the family coffers, which means that we don’t have to tighten our belts quite as much as we used to.
A big thank you to my lovely readers here!
I can see you all roll your eyes now. Well, that is all well and good for you Doris, as you don’t have to live on your writing. Not all of us have a hubby to support us. No, of course, you don’t, and that’s why the majority of writers have an Evil Day Job that actually pays the bills.
Trust me, if my sales ever drop that low as to not help us out anymore, then I, too, will have to seriously think about going back to some form of paid employment, but, does that stop me from continuing writing?
No, it wouldn’t. Writing is in my blood, always has been, always will be, and while my productivity might drop right down, I would still be writing.
Like I said, I can only speak for myself, and I’m not walking in that author’s shoes who makes the decision to stop.
I do feel sad for those that do.
This is a tough business and hugely oversaturated market, but there will always be room for good stories, and writers write.
Just do so with realistic expectations. If you’re looking to get rich, then this is not the career for you. However, if you’ve got stories inside of you burning to be told, then take a deep breath and dive right back in.
Tell the stories on your heart, and if you do manage to get some success then don’t let it get to your head. Likewise, if you don’t or you only sell mediocre whereas others, in your eyes, far less talented authors, soar….
Well, the green-eyed monster gets to us all, yes even me. I shake my head and I bitch and moan about the unfairness of it all in private as much as the next person, but, you know, it’s a wasted emotion.
It really is. Even for authors right at the top of their game, there will always be someone who sells more, is more popular etc.
This isn’t kindergarten, folks. Life isn’t fair. Deal with it.
Instead of getting sucked into that negative spiral chose to be different. Stay and think positive, and write. That is the only thing you have any control over. And for goodness sakes be grateful. It is such an incredible privilege to be able to write a story, to have a publisher wanting your work and to have readers spend their hard earned cash on you.
That’s all from me today, folks, but before I go…
Stop groaning in that corner! 😉
You’ll notice some changes around here because we had a little shuffle around. Some of us Quillers are taking some time out, so we had a bit of a restructure.
So, your future schedule on this blog will look like this.
Monday: Jules Dixon
Tuesday: Yours truly
Wednesday: Kacey Hammell
Thursday: Raven McAllan
Friday: Moira Callahan
Saturday and Sunday, you can take a breather from us. We’re nice like that, folks.
Now, get outta here, but do stay naughty. 😉