Well, that was a bait and switch, sort of. It all depends on how one defines rich.
I wonder how many of us start this writing journey with secret dreams of bestsellers, movie deals, roly-poly royalty checks, and hiring efficient staff with clipboards to manage our fan mail.
I write fantasy after all. A little dreaming is in order. Yet, I always knew that dream was a stretch (a gigantic one).
My husband, on the other hand, had high hopes that he’d married Ms. Moneybags who’d drag her sacks of gold from her thousands of books sales down the red carpet to the bank.
Ha ha ha. That would be nice! It didn’t take long for him to become disillusioned, the poor man.
Because that’s not how this author thing works (just in case you’re a dreamer and think it is). Oh yes, some few among us have outstanding good luck and write a book that rocks the charts, but for most of us, that trip to glittering literary super stardom is and will always be a literal dream.
So here’s the truth (from my perspective, anyway)…
Writing is hard, hard, hard work. It’s also one of the top fun things I’ve ever done in my life. What a luxury to spend hours with one’s imagination, to create whole new stories from ink and air. Writers live multiple lives and get to share those worlds of adventure, romance, mystery, history, truth and fiction. We move people, change them, distract, heal, excite, ease, and educate.
And our gifts cross continents, forging connections. Our stories cost almost nothing for hours of enjoyment, and if we’re lucky, our pages land in libraries where they’re free to the curious borrower. If we blog, we do this within a community of writers and readers who are generous with their time and talent, and we cheer each other on.
Even now, once I invest – or to be honest, once my husband invests because I’m broke and super nice to him – in all the stuff that supports my writing addiction like covers and ink and paper and software and giveaways and festival fees, etc, etc, there isn’t much left. Does it matter?
The answer is no. I’d write anyway. To those of you with this addiction, do it because you love it and it makes you happy, because that, my dear writers, is what makes us rich.