Updated: Sep 17, 2020
What the hell am I doing? This is a question I seem to ask myself more and more these days. I have yet to answer it.
I’ve been writing since Jan 2015. I wrote my first book, then learned everything I did wrong. Had it edited, made corrections. Then published it in April of 2017. Now I have 6 full length novels, 1 short story, and 1 novella.
I'm not rolling in dough. My books are making money just not enough to pay bills. The money I am making I can at least put back into my book production, keeping me from using "family money".
It does take time to get traction. At least I keep telling myself that. However, I did think I would be making more at this point in my career. I get discouraged and downright sad at where my writing career is sometimes.
The point is, as a writer you will face many obstacles. Some will test your true desire to write and make a living at your writing. There will be times, when you want to throw in the towel. Especially after you receive a particularly scathing review.
You may be wondering why I'm telling you this. It's not to send you into the throes of depression or make you think writing is not a good profession. Actually, the point of this post is to encourage you to continue writing.
It's so easy to walk away. Especially if you are writing your first book. You don't have anything out there so why not just put down the pen and find a new hobby? That would be the easiest way out. Kind of harder to walk if you have a trilogy with two books published and you can't find the words for the third.
Like anything you want in life, nothing comes easy. Right?
It's at this moment you find out what you are made of. Do you keep going, or do you give up?
I was having a hard time with a cover I created for my recent book. My husband asked me why I still write. I cocked an eyebrow at him and asked him what he meant by the question? He asked if I enjoyed it. He asked if it was worth the time and effort I put in it. He said sometimes I seem so discouraged or frustrated, he wondered why I put myself through the misery.
I didn't answer right away. I thought about it. In my head I mulled over all the money I've spent on my writing. I opened my mouth to say something then closed it.
He looked me dead in the face and asked again why I still write. As the tears ran down my face I told him it was the only thing I truly enjoyed and I was good at it.
He shrugged and said, then quit bitching and keep writing.
But it's not as easy as that. Or is it?
It actually is.
If you enjoy writing, then keep writing. You may be having a hard time finishing your book, or creating a cover. You may need to take a job to pay for things related to publishing your book, or paying your bills. Yes, writing may not pay the bills as quickly as you would like. Heck, it may not ever pay your bills. You may have to work full or part time while you write. There's nothing wrong with that either. It doesn't make you less of a writer. It makes you a hustler.
I recently took a full-time job because my teens are both driving now and insurance is killing me. I'm having a hard time focusing on my stories. I've been working on book 2 in the Derek Reed series and I can't seem to sit and get it finished as fast as I normally would. But, every day I add a little more to it trying to complete it.
And I will get it done. Sooner than later.
I love writing. And as soon as I can, I will get back to writing full time. In the interim, I'm working on learning the ends and outs of Amazon advertising. Which is at least keeping my books profitable.
Don't give up if you find you can't write full-time. Do what you have to get back to that place. And you will get back there just as I will.
Now if I can get murdered by a serial killer, that may breathe life into my writing career.
Victoria M. Patton
Author, whiskey drinker, and Netflix binge watcher.