Thursday, July 16, 2009

So You Want to Be a Millionaire...?

I had one of those conversations with the uninitiated that I hate. One of Mason's friends from school has a mom who decided that, after having met me, that writing must be "the life." She started a book and now called me up to basically ask when she could expect the money to start rolling in.

I hate to burst that bubble of enthusiasm. I don't want to have to tell people that I could not afford to stay home an write if my partner didn't pay the bills. Money isn't the reason a person should consider a career in writing, because even when it's going gangbusters, like it is for me, it comes in drips and drabs and you can't count on it to pay the bills. You just can't.

That conversation sucks. Nobody wants to hear it. Everyone wants to hear how easy it is to break in, and how we're all going to end up like Stephanie Meyer or J.K. Rowling or Stephen King. It's really, really hard to tell someone who is looking for some hope and inspiration that those people are lucky and they only represent 1% of writers. Most of us don't even make above poverty level wages. Sorry.


I didn't actually get around to all that on the phone. That's a conversation, I decided, for face-to-face. Instead, I told her to enjoy the process. Keep at it. Writing can be a very fulfilling and creative and wonderful way to spend your time. And if you can find the writing itself an enjoyable task, then rest... well, the rest won't seem so bad. Honest.


Jon said...

What about the big, fat movie check... There's still that right?



tate hallaway said...

I dunno. I'm still waiting.

Jon said...

Its probably in the mail. I'm sure it'll be there any day now.