You’ve completed your great American novel. As an indie author you’ve found the best self-publishing outlet. You’ve told all your relatives and friends that you’re finally in print. Then you sit back and wait for the money to roll in.
What’s that you say? You haven’t seen a cent and you’re now hovering around 1,000,000 in the Amazon sales rank? Maybe, its time to give up. Take your novel down from the site, delete the writing software from your hard drive, and call it a day. Perhaps it’s a good time to start that rubber band collection you’ve been considering.
Wait. You didn’t think writing would be easy, did you? You mean you really thought that all you had to do was churn out that Fifty Shades of Grey knock-off and just watch the cash come rolling in.
If that’s the case maybe you should really quit.
But, there’s another way of looking at this. Writers write. By this I mean, money be dammed. Sales be dammed. Fame be dammed. You write because it’s in your blood. Stories run like mighty rivers in your brain and drive you to the verge of madness until you get them down on paper. But, then once one is complete another hatches and begins to run rampant through your imagination. You can’t help it. It’s what you do. It’s who you are. You can no more change that than you can reverse your age.
Writing for you is like being a junkie in need of his next fix. You have to be at that keyboard knocking out the next chapter or, if you’re at work, away from your PC or Mac, snippets of dialog or that difficult scene careen around inside you like electric eels.
If writing were suddenly outlawed and your computer confiscated, you’d awake at 2 a.m., sneak into a dilapidated abandoned house and under a blanket by the glow of a flashlight scribble your magnum opus onto a cheap spiral bound notebook with a number two pencil.
And who needs approval? Perhaps your tenth grade English teacher told you that you couldn’t write your way out of a paper bag. So what? If there was anything of merit on writing the teacher told you, you inculcated it and continued to put words on paper.
If you’re sick with the flu, you continue to write.
If you’re about to be evicted, you continue to write.
If you’ve got to choose between paying the electric bill in winter and buying cartridges for your printer, you put on your overcoat and hat and continue to write.
Rain or shine, thick or thin, feast or famine you write. You write because it’s your passion. Nothing else makes sense. You bleed ink and consume story premises.
You will continue to write until someone pries that pen from your cold dead hand.
Then again, I heard that C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien run this writers workshop in Heaven…