I've heard said time and again that if you don't show up and treat this writing thing like a job every day, you're not a real writer. :shrug: I guess that means I'm not a 'real' writer.
Oh, the first year of publishing, I treated it like a job. I was crankin' and spankin' on some writerly thing every day. If I wasn't writing, I was editing. Or marketing. Or formatting. Or doing cover stuff. Or schmoozing. I published 4 books that year. For all that work, I sold 1017 copies. Of course, during that year I spent just under $5000.
The next year, I was still treating it like a job but treating it like a job was getting harder. I published three books that year. I sold 693 copies and spent a little over $2000.
Year three, the 'treat it like a job' thing fell apart. I published 2 books and the numbers were 262 sold and $1500 spent.
I'd go on, but I think you can see where I'm going with this. Maybe.
When you look at the numbers, you might think: the more work I put into it, the better I did. Or you can look at it the other way: the worse I did, the less likely I was to want to put the work into it. It's the latter.
Oh, I do see an uptick in sales when I'm putting more effort (and more money, by the way) into it, but it's rarely enough of an uptick to make it seem worthwhile. I'm sitting here shelling out funds I don't really have to make sales that don't even come close to covering what I spent. The reality of that is that I can no longer justify the outgo. In money or in time spent.
I realize that last part there might make it seem like I'm prepping y'all for an announcement that I'm quitting. I'm not. I'm still writing. I'm still editing. It's just slower now and I'm more likely now to put time toward other pursuits that might actually give me something to show for my efforts. If that makes me not a 'real writer' in others' eyes, I guess I'll have to live with that. :shrug:
But when you get here and see that I still haven't progress toward the publication of another book, you might understand a little better where I'm at. The last three books I published sold 30 copies. Not thirty each... thirty combined. The one book I published this year has sold just over 11 copies. Numbers like that don't make me jazzed about putting in a full day at the job of writer.
Add in the other, non-writing stuff that gets me in a bad place, and you can understand a little more.
Of course, even to me, that all sounds like excuses. If this was a regular job, I would've been fired years ago. I'm not putting in the hours and I'm not making any money for the company I work for. Thankfully, the CFO likes me. And he sees all the non-writing things I do for the company as a whole. And he appreciates the writing stuff I do do even if it's not making money, so I'm not in danger of being fired by him.
The CEO isn't so sure. I may fire myself yet. But not today.
So, I'm not a real writer. Not at the moment anyway. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next year. Until then, I'll be plodding along and hoping.