From Woman Writers, Women’s Books
A few years ago, someone commented on my Facebook post, “Sweta, you must be ready to retire now that your poetry book has become an Amazon bestseller”.
According to this person, my royalty payments, from my poetry collection, would keep me smoothly sailing for the rest of life. I laughed so hard at the irony of this person’s ignorance.
Media portrays both incredibly rich and realistically impoverished writers. People choose to believe what suits their needs. Truth is that we, the writers and poets, don’t have a wand that we wave to magically create money from a book. Words and writing take discipline, sacrifice, and many hours (often years) of rumination.
Completing a book and bringing it into this world takes persistence and years of hard work. Writing, sometimes, takes us into dark places and unknown emotional territories. What readers see is the final product with the book jacket; the journey to get to that point is hardly rosy. Most importantly, NOT everything we write gets published. Ask any writer, and they will point you in the direction of the dark corners in their homes stacked with unwanted manuscripts catching dust.
Writing and the arts in general don’t pay much. That’s why most of us in the creative fields have a day job or a side hustle to buy food, pay bills, and follow our creativity. We don’t become poets, novelists, and nonfiction writers for the money. As writers and poets, we write because that’s how we see, experience, and navigate the world. We definitely don’t get into writing because we aspire to buy a mansion in the Hamptons from the advance. Most of us wouldn’t turn down that offer, but the probability of such a deal is far and few in between.
But we also didn’t get into writing, so we would become an unwilling charity for those who don’t care or understand that writing doesn’t come for FREE and continue to ask for help without ever offering to pay. It’s not an easy task to work a full-time job, care for a family, keep your creative passion alive, and respond to preposterous requests.
Link to the rest at Woman Writers, Women’s Books