Unlike the huge authors you may see strewn about media and bookstores (King, Koontz, McCammon, Harrison, Golden, etc.), most authors are sadly incapable of subsisting solely on their published works. In fact, many are stuck trying to find the time to write around a solidly packed schedule.
For example, I am a self-published author of two books that I am most proud of: Beyond the Shadows and SpellCast from Darkness. These are the first two in what I plan on becoming a trilogy. Unfortunately, this is not my bread and butter, so to speak. Forty hours a week or more are spent working in government contracting. I need to do this to fund my love of writing and to pay the bills.
Would I love to just spend all day writing? Absolutely! I would be able to quickly put out the third book in the trilogy and even finish creating the science fiction book I’ve been working on: Killer in Blue. I would drink coffee, eat biscotti, and get a second dog. Hell, maybe I would even take a trip to one of the many countries in Western and Northern Europe that plague my dreams.
However, that’s not my lot, nor is it the lot of many writers. We toil away at stories, desperately trying to cram in time to write around jobs, children, health scares, and just plain old life. Would that it was all different…
To top it off, I recently read that even the ones who make it, who are successful, are simply lucky and experience the right things at the “write” time (Mitchell, 2022). Sadly, there is no way to accurately predict who will become successful, despite having amazing storytelling skills or a brilliant marketing team. In parallel universes, the same huge authors are unknown and never crack the top 10. In alternate timelines, that one key thing that made them successful here never happened at all.
The only thing within our control is the ability to write, to create, and to continue to do it despite the limitations on our time. We need to keep cranking it all out, increasing the chance that we’ll be seen, that society will take notice of our work, our talent. We are in control of our luck.
Until then, we work our day job. We write. We hope. We dream.
Tell me: What is your day job?
Mitchell, Todd. (2022). Ever Wonder Why Some Books Take Off and Others Don’t? Here’s a Study You Need to See. https://writingcooperative.com/ever-wonder-why-some-books-take-off-and-others-dont-here-s-a-study-you-need-to-see-141b016a4506.