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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

For the Love of It

As I started to write today on "Seer, Tyro, Fiend," the scene was about to move into a new day, and I realized I did not know what day it was! Time to go back through the manuscript and chart the days according to the major events that happened in each. I knew the major scene in Chapter 5 occurred on a Saturday, so I worked backwards and forwards from there. So the story begins on a Tuesday night, and I'm now about to start on the Friday morning nine days later. All this in order to avoid any anachronisms. As any day begins, I need to know whether Stefanie's husband, Paul will be going to work or if it's the weekend. Can't have him going to work day after day without ever getting time off!

Earlier today, I got my act together to do some accounting of my little writing enterprise, filling in my spreadsheet of payments and expenses. Following that exercise, I checked email and came across the daily "digest" from the CWA Yahoo group. It contained an article written by an author about how much money he made from having a "best seller" on Amazon. The $12,000 he made seemed awesome to me. I haven't made anywhere near that much with six books!

I'm sure everyone who gets a book published has lofty dreams of being the next James Patterson or Jodi Picoult, but I've seen in various places that most authors sell fewer than 100 books in their career. So why do we do it? Is it just pie-in-the-sky high hopes that we'll be the exception to the rule? For me, it's the love of doing it, turning my flights of imagination into real stories others can read. It's the thrill of seeing my books for sale on various websites and receiving checks from my publisher of any denomination. It's having people I know tell me they read one of my books and how much they liked it. And it's going to conferences and book events where I meet people, perfect strangers, who want my advice or to hear my experiences. I'll add to that the comments people leave on this blog, or as on most days, seeing the "hit" counter here go up, and knowing someone out there is reading me.

In light of all that, today's Gotcha: Write for the love of it, write for the recognition and accomplishment. Writing to get rich may work sometimes, but with so many people now able to make their works available for very little money, instant fame and wealth might be a long shot.

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