This week starts the seventh year of my writing journey. I’m not where I wanted to be, but I’m making forward progress. And I have to keep in mind that when I started down this path I had heard that it can take ten to fifteen years to break in, so I’m not behind yet. And certainly, in some respects, I’m probably ahead of lots of folks who’ve been at this for as short a time as I have.
But that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard and that I don’t want more now.
It’s kind of crazy really. Last year I wrote 323,985 new words. (That’s words added in any writing session whether it’s an editing session or pure writing session which means I probably wrote more words than that because when I edit I can delete four hundred words and then add five hundred and I only count that as a gain of a hundred.) And I feel like a slacker. I feel like I should’ve done more. I technically could have. I don’t need to watch television every night.
But at the same time there’s only so much I can extract from my subconscious at any given time and only so much time I can spend wallowing in emotion before it exhausts me. And, really, not like 324K words is some pathetically low number. (Although I do wonder where those went in terms of what I published…Half of that was two novels, but the rest? IDK.)
I’m in a tricky spot right now.
Technically, I could quit and walk away. There might be a reader or two who wonders what happened to that author whose book they enjoyed. But it’s not like I’d receive hundreds of emails from strangers wondering what happened to me and asking when I’m going to write the next book.
And in many respects stopping now would probably be the smart thing to do. Go back to the 9-5 that pays a helluva lot better than writing does before it’s too late to do so. I’d always know that I accomplished something more than most people ever do. I not only wrote a novel (I wrote seven across all my pen names), but strangers bought it and enjoyed it. At full price, too.
It’s not what I wanted out of my writing, but it’s not failure either.
But it seems I’m too stubborn for my own good.
And I don’t like to fail. Especially at something I think I can succeed at that’s showing steady forward progress. My year four self-pub income should be twice my year three self-pub income which was 1.5x my year two self-pub income which was 20x my year one self-pub income. And I just had my first $1000+ month. (Gross, not net, so not as exciting as it sounds.) It’s hard to quit when there are glimmers of hope like that.
So one more year. Or at least six more months. And then I can reassess again.
I just hope when the time comes that my friends are generous with their spare bedrooms and couches. And that they like dogs.
Haha. Sigh. (I’m a fool.)
Forward progress & glimmers of hope work. Don’t stop, this next year, the next book…can be the one. I wish you success.