Thursday, September 10, 2009

Realistic Probability


Well, my agent wrote to tell me that he thinks he has something going on as far a a sale is concerned. Decent money, he tells me. Details as they emerge.

This is good news.

I was talking to one of my nephews the other day. He's a doctor...a pediatric neurologist to be exact...and we were discussing my persistence as a writer. I'm 52 years old and I've rarely made more than $10K from my writing in any single year. And I've always known that it was a constant struggle to make any money at all from the endeavor of crafting words as fiction. Fortunately, I always had an objective view of my chances of actually being able to make serious money from writing prose. I've always kept my day job, for good reason.


I've been working at this job for decades. Some years I'd get lucky and make a few dollars, and some years I'd try like Hell and not make a dime. I think there were abut three years when I was between the ages of twenty-six and forty-five when I didn't write at all. I'd hit the wall and just couldn't see anything good ever happening. Times were really tough. At one point I'd gone through three literary agents and despaired of ever selling a novel. In addition, places where I'd had good luck in the past were fading away. The magazine markets were drying up, the comic book industry was folding like a crooked boxer, and I didn't see any way to continue writing.


But for the first time in my life I feel that I might actually be able to make a living at writing. I've had my share of day-jobs. Sometimes I sold collectibles for a living, but most of the last fifteen years of my life I've been a common laborer taking whatever work I could find that involved lifting and moving heavy objects. It was tedious work, but honest. A few times during that stretch I gave up hope and almost abandoned writing.

What always carried me through the blue periods was just the basic urge to write. It's always been there since I was a kid. Just like my urge to walk the mountains and canoe down wilderness rivers, it has always been there and I hope always will be.

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