Some times I wonder why I do it. Every time I make progress climbing uphill, I find out the mountain is higher than I thought. And the ball I push starts rolling backward.
Have you ever felt that way? For every step forward, you take just as many backward.
My chosen profession, writing, takes a lot of hard work. But it’s also, oddly enough, a lot of fun and I can’t imagine doing anything else.
Much harder than writing, for me, is having written and seeking publication. I’ve queried countless agents this year and gotten pretty close with a few. But not close enough. One agent wrote that in a year, she receives 4,000 queries and signs a contract with approximately three of those. Not very good odds.
Writing is not the smart choice if you’re looking for a career with a guaranteed solid income. (Neither is majoring in art or becoming a missionary. Just sayin’.) Only a fraction of writers actually make it financially as a writer. I read in the latest Writer’s Digest that the median writing income in America is $6,000—per year. Yikes!
So why do I bother?
I write because I love it. I’ve had a passion for writing since I was very young. I go so far as to say I believe God put that desire in me. I feel exhilarated when I express my talent. For many years, I left my gift fallow–while I pursued other extremely worthwhile things. I came to writing as a late career change and I’m determined to follow this dream!
Hoops, Bars, and Goalposts
When I started down the publication road with the first of my three-novel series, the hoop writers had to leap through to get a publisher’s attention included the number of facebook friends. I had to grovel and ask people to like me. Many of my friends have shops or restaurants and they ask people to like their business. But my question was, “Do you like me?” It’s personal.
And soon even that wasn’t enough. The bar was raised. People needed to actually click on a writer’s posts. Then the goalpost was moved again. (Don’t you love my clichés?) People needed to engage by commenting or sharing.
Has that ever happened to you? You work hard and achieve one thing, only to find out that now you must do another thing. When will it ever be enough? Probably when the donkey in this photo was hitched to the cart, only one or two boxes were piled on. Then another, and another, and before you know it, the burden was more than he could handle.
Now I have a new hoop to jump through. I recently found out that now I need people to engage enough to subscribe to my newsletter.
Gulp! I had a big problem: I didn’t have a newsletter (until two weeks ago), so the number of my subscribers was a big fat goose egg. So, once again, I had to swallow my pride and ask for help. Hard as it was, I asked.
Why? Because I believe in what I’m doing. When my self-worth gets trampled on by rejection and I wonder if I’ll ever jump through the final hoop, there is something that keeps me going. I believe that God inspired me with the idea for the young adult historical fiction novels. And someday, soon, these novels will be put out there into the world.
Someday, if you keep putting one foot in front of the other, I believe you will scale your mountain, too. You got this!
As Teddy Roosevelt said, “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”
P.S. If you haven’t yet and you’d like to, you can subscribe here. My newsletters will be brief, fun, and delivered to your inbox every month. You’ll get a sneak peek at Chapter One and hear all the latest, before anyone else.