This post has been percolating in my head for some time, and what brought it on is actually something from my day job. I filed my tax return recently, and had to prepare a schedule for my independent business income. The amount was not very much. And if you consider book royalties, it is still not very much.
When I was running all of this by someone in my blood family, I got the invariable question of, “If you’re not making money, why do you do it? Don’t you have a full-time job?”
My answer is the same, and my brother still doesn’t get it, even though the answer hadn’t changed since 2006.
A stellar post by Sara-Jayne Townsend, A Writer with a Day Job, explains it pretty well.
I will be the first to admit that it’s extremely difficult for self-published authors like myself to get acknowledgment and book sales. I’ve not advertised my book in some time, which is in a huge part my own fault: I ceased to have time. The graphic design, which I did as a hobby until recently, started to pick up in a business capacity, which gave root to the enterprise I’m running now. Together, this means that The Index fell to a backburner, which is completely not what I intended to happen. This series came to life in 2006, and five years of work is something I refuse to abandon. The story is too, for lack of better words, alive to do that.
The result of my faltered free time is reflected by the lackluster sales. My graphic design had gotten the attention and acclaim of some fantastic people, but my books are still seemingly in the percolation stages. I entered A.B.N.A. 2011 without really being ready and/or focused on my writing, and while my books are now available for Nook and Kindle, I’m still more focused on my business than my writing.
Of course, there’s this blog too, and it turned out to be a whole lot more than just a place to discuss the books, as you can well observe. My focus here had turned out to be my music and, while it detracts from the original purpose of this blog a good bit, I’d never have it any other way. I am a writer. I will be a writer until the day I die, whether I write about fantasy characters exploring worlds not much unlike ours, or what goes on in a crowded music hall when a favorite performer takes stage.
The day job only makes my writing possible, until such a time that I can rely on that writing to fuel itself.
Every once and again, I get asked, “Why do you continue writing if you don’t make money doing it?” My answer is the same, day in and day out, whether it’s about the books or not: for the love of it. Yeah, it’ll be a while until I’m able to support myself by writing, or graphic design as the profit-related case may be. But the most important thing is to love what you do.The money follows.