…or I don’t care.
There’s a funny thing happening to me as I write more: I am caring less and less whether I make it big. At all. That seems funny, but at least at this point it is true.
Sure, there is that drive that I want to be able to make my living from my writing. Who wouldn’t? Or rather, what writer doesn’t want that? But no matter what happens, no matter if I sell 1 book a year (to that one family member who supports me) or a million or more, I will keep writing. For me.
I’ve always written for me; so don’t misquote me on that. Whatever stories I pursue are always just for my personal enjoyment. Those stories I dump off are because I lose interest. I jump genres because I enjoy writing different genres both for the fun of it and the challenge. Whenever I write a story, even if I get the delusional belief that it has the potential of being as good as a big hit, I write because it moves me to write.
That does also explain why I don’t put as much effort into covers as I could. They’ve become more an experiment in learning graphic design than an attempt to reach readers effectively. Eventually that will change, but for now, it just is. The same goes for editing, marketing, etc. Writing in itself is most important.
And time does have a lot to do with it all. I am a father, a husband, and a professional outside of my writing. Writing is a hobby. The fact that I put work out for the public to read at all comes as a miracle at times. Time and money to make better covers, search out and find an editor who works well with me, to put in play more effective marketing strategies, are all luxuries I scantly can afford.
Now, having said all of that, I would like to be able to devote all my time (or a larger chunk of said time) to writing. But what is that worth to me? Would I be happy pumping out stories that make millions? Only if those stories engage me, if I like writing them. Otherwise, it will be like any other job one does to earn a living. How can I be happy writing and learn to earn a living from it? I can only imagine I do what I do now: write and publish. Eventually the stories may strike a chord that resonates with the public. Or enough of the public.
But if I am not writing for me, there wouldn’t be any reason to even try.