I've admitted it before: I used to think writing would make me rich.
True story. I was dumb. I'm a little smarter now. (just a little)
My first stumbling block? I had no idea how many people were trying to write/sell fiction. Finding an agent/publisher for fiction is enormously competitive at the same time fewer people are reading fiction.
I know...what the (insert explicative)? How does something like this happen?
Sorry. Off track. This is about writing and money, not the ins and outs of the non-reading public.
I stumbled across this bit of information from Tobias Buckell's blog. The entry is a little old, but relevant. Go check it out. Then come back, please. I have more to ramble about.
Add the grim numbers from that survey to a tidbit Brian Keene (yes, that Brian Keene) let slip in a Cemetery Dance interview re: mid-list authors having to spend their advance to promote a book, and I wonder what the hell is the point.
Well...it sure isn't money.
For the best author's, I imagine (and I could be wrong), royalties work as some grand pyramid scheme. The more you have in print (if people are buying) the more you will make (once the advances are met).
When I was dumb (or dumber than I am now), I thought writing was going to be about the money.
It isn't. I don't think I want it to be. Just like the proverbial cellist we all learned about in general psychology (the little girl who loved to play until her parents started paying her), I think writing strictly for money would kill the passion.
Wait--I know it would.
Positive feedback from readers, however, is something a writer has to earn by making the best of the words at his/her disposal. That is the challenge and the heart of my passion (i.e., translate my jumbled thoughts into something moving and complete and real, even if I made it up).
I really would rather be read well than paid well. Yes, the two intersect...and it would be nice to find that intersection.
Oh, and in light of all the self-publishing rip-off BS last week (the whole IndieReader shindig), if I ever self-publish, I'm setting the price cheap or free 'cause it ain't about the money at that point folks: it's about the exposure. Nobody's getting rich around here.
For now, I have miles to go before I sleep...