You know you’re not going to make it, right?

A writer’s life…

I’ve got a five year plan.

Lately, I’ve become more and more realistic about writing and publishing in this brave new world of authorship. I read a great deal about the self-publishing world and the immense effort it takes for an indie author to stay afloat in this vast sea of writers and self publishers. I watch my fellow writers blog about their Amazon marketing strategies, their Twitter blitzes, their visits to independent bookshops, courting their email subscribers, and writing up monthly or biweekly newsletters. Imagine all the time and energy that takes and it’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Frankly, it’s discouraging. Gone are the days when a writer could concentrate on their craft. Poring over their manuscripts by the light of a candle or an oil lamp, gaslight, even. I want to be F. Scott Fitzgerald banging away on the typewriter at the beach house with a ubiquitous glass of whisky. The modern author is expected to self promote, market and network. That’s what agents used to be for. I don’t want to spend 90% of my time promoting myself and 10% working wearily on my next project. All the while worrying whether it has the right hook, the perfect opening lines so that it will sell. Because that is what even the traditional publishing route is looking for —a self-motivated author with mass market appeal. Oh, and don’t forget, a unique and compelling story that has never been told before. Sigh…

Since I’ve been here on WordPress, I have met so many talented people, some really exceptional writers and storytellers. I’ve seen them blog enthusiastically, begin projects, slow down and eventually run out of steam. Then, poof, they disappear. We’re not all going to make it. That’s the cold truth. All the talent in the world does not guarantee you commercial success. Only guts, determination and massive self confidence is going to win you the seat at the publishing table.

Look, I think I’m a pretty good writer, but I don’t like saying it out loud. That sentence even made me cringe. The little bit of promotion I’ve done on my blog makes me uncomfortable. I hate the idea of constantly barraging my followers with posts screaming: “BUY MY BOOKS!” I don’t want to write a biweekly email newsletter and beg everyone to sign up for it. I’m not even on Twitter! I don’t have the stomach for that. I get nauseated thinking about it. But this is the climate we live and work in today. Is there any hope for a writer like me?

Back to the five year plan. I am writing a new novel, separate from my previous series. I may even publish under a pen name. When it is complete, I will try to shop it around to an agent. Five years. That’s how long it took John Grisham to find someone to publish “A Time To Kill.” If, after five years, and no success, I will hang it up. Throw in the towel. Listen to the voices around me saying “you’re not going to make it” and move on. Let’s get real. I’ll be ok. And…

I will always be a writer, even if I am writing for an audience of one.

Three Days, Three Quotes (Day One)

Challenge accepted my friend, Anand!  The idea is to post 1-3 quotes per day on 3 consecutive days and challenge someone else to do the same.  Anand, one of my favorite people in all of Bloggerdom, hosts blabberwockying, a wonderful blog loaded with pearls of wisdom, philosophical musings and stories of his own personal journey to peace.  Please go visit him!

Here is my first quote:

“Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”  – Albert Einstein

(Image courtesy:

Today, I’d like to challenge Alex at A Wandering Woman’s Travels.