As NaNo is pressing on and the end of it is on the horizon, I believe it is time for some self-reflection. Now this piece is not to bum you out and to get you to stop writing, but to become a realist in your writing.
Why do you write?
Is it in the hope that any day now you will be discovered and you can finally pay off those pesky bills, because if it is then I have some bad news for you. You will earn more by running the cash register at the local Walmart than you will ever do writing. Writers do not earn a lot and those who can actually pay their mortgage with it are just the one in a million. Having worked with several publishers and written for quite some magazines, I can tell you there is a lot going into the trash bin on arrival and a lot more after it has been leafed through in the selection process. Only the rare few as J.K. Rowling and (for some reason I cannot understand) George R. R. Martin make it, and the rest falls by the wayside. It really is a one in a million shot, just about as big of actually winning the lottery and a lot less expensive and harrowing in hours wailing away on the keyboard.
Is it for fame? Because quite honestly, authors don’t get fame, or glory, or the girls. They might get invited to a few talk-shows (which is utter crap, speaking as someone who has worked there), but that’s about it. You would get more famous by showing your ass at strange locations and put the videos on Youtube. (just don’t show the front as Youtube frowns on that sort of thing).
No, I believe the only real reason to write is because you cannot not write. Some people just have this drive, this need to write the stories that are floating around in their minds, or after having seen some crappy movie or TV series have caught a glimpse of something beautiful that was just thrown away like pearls before swines. Or you watched something and said “I can do that. I can do BETTER.” (which is why I loved/love Harry Potter, the HungerGames and Mazerunner).
As Neil Gaiman said (and I am paraphrasing here from a few of his speeches:
‘Make good art. Write and write often. Write a lot. Then finish things. Publish, and learn from that. And then go on and write some more. Keep heading for that mountain on the horizon and don’t turn back. Do nothing that takes you a step away from that goal and reach for that star. But deal with the problems at hand as you are walking. And don’t be afraid to fail. But make good art.’