If you really want to be depressed, do a little research into making that creative career switch. As my imaginary stalker Cyndi and you both know, I have a dream of writing that next New York Times Bestselling novel that will make me rich! Oh yeah! I’ll be jet setting around the country in first class (sweet!) and wearing a tweed jacket, reading passages from my latest work to adoring fans, sipping an Americano and chuckling at my good fortune.
I got into this research mode with a stop this afternoon at the local grocery store. I noticed they had some brand new books for sale on a display table near the checkout stand. As I flipped through a few pages of the novels, I wondered how much money the author would receive from this hardcover book. Since it wasn’t a genre I had any interest in, I made a mental note to look up the author when I got home (which I since have forgotten the author’s name and the book’s title). Oh well. I decided to see what an author might expect to sell their first novel for (in terms of advances) and how many copies the first book might actually sell. Was it ten thousand books? Twenty thousand copies?
Yikes! What a wake up call. It might be as low as 500 books! I know that everyone wants to write a novel and become a published author. I didn’t know the pay was so bad. I looked around at a few blogs and some people commented that they wrote because they love to write. Bravo for them! That is fine as a hobby but not as a career. Some comments even alluded to the fact they would make more money flipping burgers at the local fast food restaurant than as an author writing for a whole year.
I have nothing against writing as a hobby. However, if it is something I’m really passionate about and I want to make a living at it, then I do want to get paid more than the average burger flipper. Call me greedy for chasing the dollar but my family does like to live in a nice house and have food on their dinner plates.
Sure, I could say “Follow my heart and the money will follow”. A better piece of advice would be to write that novel in my spare time, try to sell it, and don’t quit your day job. We all know that no one has spare time; it would be an evening and weekend endeavor. I don’t mind doing that as a hobby but it sure would be nice to get paid if I am doing a part time job on the side.
Writing isn’t easy. Characters and plots take time. You have to develop a story, write a rough draft, and edit it.
Am I whining too much? Sure. I’m entitled to do a little whining. Like everyone else, I want it to be easy. I know it won’t be easy but it might be enjoyable.
I just hoped that by investing that amount of time into a project, it would at least spin off some additional income I could invest with. Maybe build up my retirement that much faster. Being 40 and having a stock market crash and real estate crash knock me down a bit, it would like nice to have an extra income stream to rely on. A business that I only had to work on a few hours a week yet would spin off some nice cash flow. Maybe a blog about fairy tales? Because this is what this blog entry seems to be about!
As always, your comments, concerns, and suggestions are always welcome!