Today’s post will be short — I am soon going to be spending several hours packing up my entire office because they’re putting in new carpeting and painting the walls over the weekend. Huzzah! No one will be able to defeat me in my freshly appointed fortress.
My invitation to vent yesterday certainly elicited a strong response, and I hope people found it therapeutic and cathartic rather than a dandy opportunity to fall off the wagon. Trust me, I really do empathize with the difficulties of an up and coming writer, and whenever I think about all the time and energy and blood, sweat, and tears that go into all of the novels behind the 6,000-7,000 queries I pass on each year it kills me.
I was having dinner last night with a great friend who is an editor at a big publishing company in New York, and some other friends from outside the publishing industry. The non-publishing friends were really curious about the economics of publishing and how publishers and authors make money. Inevitably, once we explained how few authors make big money and how the blockbusters go a long ways toward supporting the smaller books, they were shocked. There are better ways of making money. But then they started thinking up book ideas anyway.
People love writing books no matter how many copies they sell — and that has to be the thing that keeps you going. Not how much success you will or won’t find. I described the “If only” game in a previous post, and it’s really true. Happiness isn’t always just around the corner for a writer, and despite all of the frustrations inherent in the process people still write books, right? There’s gotta be something there that makes it meaningful, and lord knows it isn’t waiting five months for an agent to write you back.