It’s Hard To Keep Going

Sometime recently I crossed the 2,500 sales mark.  That’s a decent number of real, live people who paid to read something I wrote.  And not just family or friends although they are part of that number.

The sales are spread across a lot of titles, which means no one title has done great, but it’s still a nice number. To me it indicates that I’m not completely wasting my time and energy with writing.

Add to that my last review which included the word “fantastic” in it and the fact that one of my pen name fantasy books is getting some nice attention and you’d think it would be easy to sit down and write that next chapter.

But some days it isn’t.  Some days I ask myself why the hell am I doing this.  What is the point?

The Author Earnings report for this month is up and they calculated how many authors they think are making over $25K a year and over $100K a year.  The numbers were not pretty.  Somewhere south of 5,000 authors for the $25K number.

That’s it.  For all authors, trade or self-pubbed.  $25K.  I earned more than that in my first job out of college.  Hell, minimum wage may pay more than that if the $15/hour crowd gets their way.

I want to make a full-time living from writing.  Because I love to write.  I love to see what crazy insanity my mind is going to throw on the page and what issues I’m wrestling to the ground without even realizing it.  (Turns out my adventure fantasy novel may have a very strong undercurrent of dealing with grief running through it.  But no one notices, because fighting!  And horses!)

But I look at a report like that and think, will I ever reach that level?  (Especially since I can’t seem to stick to just one pen name?)

And if I don’t reach that level, what’s the point?  If I can’t break free of the day job, why do it?  Why not just go back to the easy work that pays enough to cover all my needs and spend my free time reading other people’s books?

Those are the bad moments.

The good moments are just me and the page and my fingers flowing across the keys as a new world opens up before me.

It is hard to keep going some days.

But if I don’t keep going, I’ll never know what I’m capable of.  And I most certainly won’t make that next level.

About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
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