I sometimes wonder if writing is even worth the effort. Struggling to get anything done, I pound my head against the desktop and glare balefully at the screen. I ready myself to a life of having people in my head, driving me nuts. Then I suddenly get a burr in my rear and crank out 7,000 words in a period of five hours. It’s not all golden and needs a lot of editing, but it’s a start. It’s progress.
There’s no profit in this industry. Don’t kid yourself. For every Twilight or Harry Potter there’s thousands of others who are lucky to sell 5,000 copies of their novel. Authors get paid less than minimum wage for the tears, sweat and effort we put into a single novel. I think for Corruptor I put in something like 40 hour weeks on top of the job at the school for three solid months, and it’s been 2 years since I received a contract for it. The payback, so far, has been zero. The book’s release has been delayed, which is okay with me. I’d rather have a finished, polished project than something that resembles Atlanta Nights.
It got worse as I wrote Vindicator and later the first two books of the Christian Cole mythos. Horrid hours, women in my life wanting to destroy my computer and haul me out into that retched thing call “outside”… Too much love and energy goes into the standard novel. Yet when it comes to actually seeing the work published, most authors have to deal with either an agent or the dreaded pit o’ doom and despair: the slush pile.
Yet we do it. Consistently. Not for the glory, nor the money (okay, a little bit of the two doesn’t hurt when dreaming). We do it because we have these characters and stories in our heads that, if we don’t get them out in a timely manner, will surely drive us insane.
Support an author, buy a book. Tell them you appreciate their work and effort, even if it’s The Eye of Argon.