No matter how hard one tries, there are always time when dark clouds gather and hide the sunlight. I'm having one of those days--questioning why I do what I do and is there really a good reason? This dilemma always lingers in the back of my mind, and when I get really enthusiastic about a project, something always seems to shoot a hole in it and send my doubts soaring.
There are so many things that get in the way of doing what I love: family comments, opinions of peers...meager royalty checks. The mixed opinions of critique groups and stories shared always leave me more confused than when I submitted my work for opinions. They say, if you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. Here's an example: I recently submitted a short beginning to a few friends for their comment. I said I expected honesty, but then wondered if I could handle it. *lol*
This story is something totally outside my normal range of writing...a mystery. No hero, no heroine, but an object. One person wrote back saying it left her hungering for more. Another said, 'overall, it's good." I wrote her back this morning and asked what that really meant. It's something my husband says when he's looking at old rusty dented cars, and somehow sees something there. Of course, I never see what he sees when he says, "Overall, if you look past the deterioration and flaws, it may have possibility." Anyhow...I went right to my negative place when I read that comment, and now I'm questioning my writing ability. Stupid, isn't it? God, I hate when emotions go unchecked, tears come unbidden, and I forget to count my blessing. I'm having one of those cloudy days.
I guess my most recent royalty check also might be what stimulated this post and raised some questions I need to answer for myself. I spend my days blogging and promoting myself, reading the favorable reviews my work garners, interviewing on other blogs, hosting others here to gain traffic, spending endless time on the numerous loops, posting excerpts lost in a sea of others and truly wondering if anyone even reads them... and what is my gain? I'm going to share that my royalty check for one book for last quarter was $2.98. Yep...seventy-seven cents from Fictionwise and two dollars and twenty one cents from Amazon. That's depressing and dismal, to say the least. I can't even buy that "Happy Meal" I occasionally joke about.
I'd love to do a survey of my peers and see what type of return they get on their time spent. How do we calculate our royalty checks into an hourly wage? Or should we? Do we write because we love it and we don't care about the naysayers? Or do we have hopes that are continually disssed and expectations never met? I love creating stories and characters, but the truth is...I want to know that others love them, too. I'd appreciate some comments from others who share my dilemma...or maybe from some readers who can honestly tell me if they read promotional excepts, blogs, etc. If you do, what types of things catch your interest and reel you in? I'm searching for some inner truth today, I guess.