Thursday, February 16, 2012
What's Not To Hate?
1) Hours of Lonely Toil
Yep. That's romantic. Sitting at the computer, trying not to get sucked into the distractions of all the cool stuff online, and realizing that while I am struggling to make something happen, the world is having "the-best-time-ever!!!" just outside my window.
2) Rejection and Critique
Who doesn't love getting rejection letters? And if the impersonal rejection isn't enough for you, how about those critique sessions in a writers' group. What? Some of you are in groups where people pat you on the back and tell you how extraordinary you are? I've heard those exist, but...
Yeah, I know. We all wanna be Stephen King. I wrote a short story and sold it for fifty bucks. That may not seem like a lot, but hey. So, if I spent twelve total hours on the story writing and re-writing, then I made 4.16 cents an hour. That's below minimum wage. And if I average into that amount all the other stories I've worked on and never sold, then I figure I end up owing about ten thousand dollars to Barnes and Noble, just for the privilege of dreaming of being on a shelf somewhere.
4) The Disposable World
Alas, memories are short. If you published once, you better publish again. And just because they loved you Monday, it doesn't mean they'll love you Tuesday. The marketplace changes. You better keep your ear to the ground and listen for the sound of advancing change. If your book is on a shelf somewhere, and if you were published by a small press, then the chances of that book lasting on that shelf more than a month or two before the book store sends it back to the publisher is slim. Hey! What have you done for me lately!
5)The Illusion of Fame
So, you're published, and maybe you get a handful of reviews that are favorable. Maybe on Amazon, or Goodreads. Maybe someone will say something nice about you on a blog. In the end, it's you and the keyboard. You're not a baseball player hearing the crowd roar over a home run. You're not a rock star with groupies beating the crap out of one another to touch your sweaty brow. You're not a crazy politician with a fanatical following who scream your name as a form of argument. You're---you. Just you. And even if you realize some of your major goals, you'll pretty much just be lucky to occasionally be invited to a few things and have some fans say a few nice things about you.