A lot of people have big dreams and aspirations. They want fame, fortune, a good paying job or a career. For a lot of people this means going to school for years and years, learning the ins and outs of their dream job. They slog through classes, some needed, some not. They agonize over exams, they go through internships, and then hopefully when they graduate, they get into the field of their choice. What they do becomes their passion!
Even more so, it’s wonderful when you get acknowledged and paid well. However, it doesn’t always work as quickly as they would like, but yet they still continue to do what they love.
In an author’s case this could come quickly or take years before they build a following. Many do it with a series of books like JK Rowling and JR Ward. Nora Roberts, Anne Rice, James Patterson, Tom Clancy, Lee Child, Stephen King do it through series as well as solo books that hit the tops of the Amazon charts. Almost anything they write becomes a bestseller, but I’m pretty sure this didn’t happen overnight for any of them. The reality is in order to become a successful author you must build a solid following.
For those of us still working towards this, it gets frustrating. You spend valuable hours, days away from your friends and family to do the next great book, only to see it barely get a peep on Amazon. You scream in agony, wondering, “why or why won’t ANYONE buy my book!” And then the doubt sets in.
Do I know how to write?
Are the hours I’ve spent on these stories worth it?
Does anyone read my books?
I would think more authors go through this than are willing to admit it because that’s what creators do. Yes, we create for ourselves, but dammit to all hell we want to be noticed! However, with so many new authors putting books out every day, especially in romance, getting your book to stand out takes a lot more than just writing. Its promotion, it’s sending it out for reviews, its engaging on social media. If you’re lucky, you’ll get someone to do all this for you, but some of us don’t have the money or the resources for those things. So we do what everyone says is the best promotion ever … Write that next book! No matter how the last one did, continue to write because there might be a chance the next one does better. We do this repeatedly until someone catches on. For some authors, they get tired of it and eventually quit writing all together because they get discouraged. Others remember why we like to bang our heads against the wall.
It’s our PASSION.
In the royalty department I do okay. Any money that comes from publishers is welcome. It pays a couple of bills, buys groceries, puts gas in my car, but not enough to retire from my day job. And sometimes that just bites, especially when I don’t want to leave my house.
Regardless of how frustrating it is to see only a couple of digits on royalty statements, you still write. You have stories to be told, characters to make uncomfortable, and if you’re in romance, you’re bringing two people together. You’re building a world only you know about and you’re inviting people into that world. Writing is such a rewarding career. Some go to school for it, others don’t, but the bottom line is we do it because we love it.
So if you’ve been feeling like I have lately, just say those words. Remind yourself why you spend hours at a computer with cups of coffee, energy drinks, wine or even soda, in my case. You type until your hands damn near fall off. Your eyes are heavy, your family is gone to bed or you’re up early before work because, goddammit, you’re an author.
And you love it.
It’s your passion!