Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Thought #5612

When I was doing my tax last week, and sorting out the profits and receipts from book sales, it occurred to me that I have been at this writing lark for a bloody long time and interestingly enough, after the first what-the-hell-am-I-doing-year, sales have remained strong and consistently the same for the last 7 years despite dealing with some appalling, Nazi-like publishers. Nope, I never expected to be a JK Rowling. I’m too realistic for that. I expected writing to be a part time job with a comparable income. I got what I expected. Yep, by all means dream big but a healthy dose of reality keeps you grounded.

Why I bring this up is I’m tired of writers who whine about their sales and how they’ve not sold the five thousand they expected to sell because their family and friends all like that book so ‘why aren’t I on the bestseller list?’ It could be that you suck. It could be that it takes a while for readers to find you. It could be that you're family is doing what families do. Then there are those people who do disgustingly well on their first books. Some of those people are flash in the pans while others just go on to write the same book over and over again because the first did so well so why change the story – just change the names. Good luck to them I say. Then there are others, one in particular springs to mind, like Rita. I really liked her as a person and a writer. There are those of you who would remember Rita fondly. She wrote one book then walked away from the writing business. Why? She had more important and interesting things to do in life. I’ve always admired her stance. Writing is not life. Go Rita.

So what am I crapping on about? Writing – it’s a tough, uncaring, manipulative, shithouse business. The strong survive and evolve into indie writers and publishers, with a steady income, because they’ve worked out what’s going on and they can do better with more honesty and less drama. The average continue to plod along scared to upset diva publishers because apparently they think they’re God. They ain't. And the truly awful writers? Sometimes no taste or sense is a good thing.