Browsing the net the other day, I came across the article "Want to get rich quick? Don't try writing" at a British writing site. "If it's fame and fortune you're looking for, don't bother writing a book. You'd be better off going into business, or sleeping with a footballer."
I don't know who Jenny Diski is, but if this article is any indication, she's one bright lady. And she's very correct.
I admit it. I had dreams of writing and making lots of money. Who hasn't seen Crichton or King and thought of the days when they're writing best sellers and raking in the dough? I never had the dream of being famous, but rich? Oh hell yeah. I had the idea I would finish my first book and everyone would see it for the wonder it is, and I'd sell millions of copies. I still think if ever gets published it has the potential to sell well, but I no longer harbor the illusion it's going to make me wealthy.
Back in the day, when there were fewer writers of quality taking all that time to pluck out a novel on their Smith-Corona, each of them had a better chance of making lots of money. It was a sellers market then. It's a buyers market now. So many books are being published, people can be very selective about what they buy. There's a larger pie, to be sure, but the pieces have gotten so much smaller.
The dream still hovers in the back of my mind. I still want to be paid for all my hard work, but after three years of writing as an occupation, I know the reality of it now. This doesn't make me want to write any less. It just helps me stay grounded.
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