Suppose I were to travel back ten years and tell my younger self to get into writing now. That writing is where you’ll end up. It is what you are destined to do. But, of course, my younger self would have his doubts. Back then, I thought I was meant to be a computer programmer or park ranger. In truth, I was not sure what I wanted to be. But, eventually, I followed my bliss into the beautiful and sometimes frustrating world of writing. Jumping into a new profession in your 30’s is not an ideal situation. But it is something that anyone can do with a great measure of success. Getting through that initial transition phase and making your start as an untested and unproven professional can be the most difficult.
Writers, specifically freelance writers, are constantly struggling with finding the next client or with losing clients they have had for many years. We are always searching for the next assignment. Recently I had one client end our business relationship, and another just disappear on me. This put me in a tight situation and cut my income in half. A 9 to 5 job restricts your time and freedom, but your income is much more reliable. I am currently looking for a part-time job to fill the gap left by my lack of freelance work. This can indeed be a feast or famine industry.
As a novelist that has yet to release a successful novel, you do not have the royalties from your past works to sustain you. You may spend hundreds of hours crafting your masterpiece only to have your work go on to only sell 1000 or just 100 copies. Through Amazon’s kindle direct publishing, you have an amazing opportunity to publish your book for free. However, you will likely make around five dollars for each copy of your book that is sold. This is by no means a bad deal. The problem arises in dealing with the millions of other titles listed on Amazon and finding a way to shine through without getting lost in the crowd. Marketing your book is one option, but it can become quite expensive. The sad fact is that even if you write a masterful work of art, there is no guarantee that anyone will read it or even be able to find it.
Besides the financial struggles of being a writer, sometimes we simply struggle with what to say. Will our words be understood and accepted by others? There is an infinite combination of words and thoughts that you can bring together on a page as a writer. Sometimes I write things that are deeply personal and do not mind if no one understands. Other times I am genuinely trying to relate to all of humanity. I am not surprised when the opposite occurs, and my personal thoughts are relatable while no one comprehends my attempts to relate to others. Often as a writer, we may not know what will touch the hearts of other human beings. There have been many famous authors that were dumbstruck by their own success.
I’m aware this post may seem negative. But currently, I am struggling as a writer and am simply using this article as an outlet, a way to vent. I have been a writer most of my life and will never regret choosing this craft as my profession. Sometimes, at night, I like to look at lists of books you won’t find on the best sellers list. I am always amazed as to how much superb literature and amazing non-fiction you can find out there. Books I have never read by authors I have never heard of. We are all blessed by the amount of knowledge and life-changing stories that exist in our world. Language will always be an essential communication tool for our species.
Struggles will always be a part of life. As the old saying goes, it will ultimately make us stronger if it does not cause our death. I am lucky and have a wonderful life. But I do not aim to please. I aim to master my craft until I can pull on the heartstrings like a conductor of human emotions until I can express myself both eloquently and precisely. My setbacks motivate me just as your struggles should inspire you. This is my life, my purpose. And I’m not going anywhere.
Until My Next Post
Stay Happy, Healthy, and Free