It’s nice to take a day off, isn’t?
I’m doing that today.
I’m writing a blog, obviously, and I’ve been invited to write a piece of flash fiction for an anthology, so I’ll be working on that. I must finish reading that book, partly because it’s good research, and partly so that I can get onto the next. I might start that edit this afternoon; it’s a long job, and a fast turn-around. Must pop to the post office to pick up those comp. copies... Oh, and I should collate Twitter questions for the husband so we can get that job out of the way. I can do that while he prepares his address for the kids at the grammar school.
It’s so nice to take a day off.
I’m sure it’s not just writers, and writers married to writers, who fill their ‘days off’ with all the stuff they can’t fit into their working weeks; probably, pretty much anyone who works for himself or who simply loves his work will happily find time to do more of it in what most salary-slaves would consider down-time.
In the end, I reserve my real admiration for all those ‘weekend writers’, writers who work a forty hour week, or longer, and then spend more hours in the evenings and at weekends working on their novels.
Sadly, in the end, I also reserve my real scorn for ‘weekend writers’, for the wannabes who are kidding themselves that one day their fictional novels will not only be published, but will make them millionaires and household names overnight.
It doesn’t work like that.
I read somewhere that, on average, a first novel sells 18 copies. That’s right, the ‘0’ on my keyboard does work, and I haven’t forgotten to hit it. EIGHTEEN, people. If “Naming Names” is ever published it might only sell 18 copies, and, as that’s the average, it might sell even fewer. In my case, that could mean that even my closest family members chose not to buy my first novel. So, SO sad!
The husband has published over forty novels and any number of comics and short stories, and he still works VERY full-time. He took 6 days off last year, and I am including weekends. Don’t think for a moment that signings aren’t work, that conventions aren’t exhausting, that talking to a school full of kids or a library full of readers doesn’t involve decent preparation and a knack for keeping a crowd happy.
And don’t think I wouldn’t love to be in his shoes.
We do it because we love it, and loving it is the best, perhaps the only, way to be successful.
I’m hopeful that when my first novel is published, and it will be, every member of my family, every one of my Twitter followers, and every one of you will buy a copy.
It was never my plan to be average.