Thursday, February 2, 2012

Earning Something from Writing...Daydream of an Indomitable Writer

I had never missed a month in the years I've been posting this blog. Until now. I overlooked January 2012. Shame on me. I've been painting. No excuse at all.

I am quite poor, you know, mostly as a result of traveling too much (internationally relocating too often, to be precise) and following my two other major raisons-d'etre - writing and painting. I am able to augment my meagre income with the occasional sale of humble artworks, but there is absolutely no financial gain from my (less humble) fiction. To date. Which leads me to my little dream of 'what if?', which rarely presents itself, but when it does, I indulge it.

What if I do sell one of my novels...even all of them (four so far)? How would this change my life? Being very equitable in my attitude to money, I'm not expecting to reap huge rewards. Why should A earn so much, compared with B's earning so little, for the same standard of work? So my theoretical advance from a publisher would be suitably undramatic. A few grand, ten or even twenty. Wouldn't that be nice? No expectations of six figures, which I think is a fantasy some cling to.

To be earning something from my writing would have to be the greatest thing in the world, even if it barely covered a mortgage. I rent at present. It makes me miserable. I am only truly happy owning my own home, even if a lot of it is co-owned by a bank.

Selling a book - whatever the print run - would be heaven. And I've started thinking about that scenario again. Jaded and disillusioned as I sometimes get about the industry, there is still this microscopic - no -  nano-hint of hope in my brain.

You're probably aware (if you've read my snippets before) that I have an agent. She was quite ill in 2011, but is well into recovery now, and actively trying to seduce editors into looking at her undoubtedly fat list of manuscripts. One of them is mine. I daydream about her dialogue with one of said editors..."You must read this one first," she says. "This one will blow your socks off," she says. "Don't look at another submission until you've read this," she says. Oh, and I just love how warmly she says it, and how the editor's eyes widen with anticipation. This then, she thinks, is the one we've been waiting for, to put this company back in the limelight.

I love my daydreams. For a while, I believe. We writers have to be the most optimistic people on the face of the earth. But you knew that.

It's now one year since I completed my last book. Enough is enough. This painting has to stop. It's a substitute for my real work. I hope I have better news next time.