This is one of those posts that’s more a reminder for myself as it is for any reader – namely, the whole point of choosing a creative endeavor should be that it’s enjoyable. That it provides a satisfaction of a deeper kind. Like a warm fire on a winter’s day, or just the right mix of sun and breeze in the afternoon.
When you start publishing, or, really, putting any of your work up for sale, at least part of your life becomes a business. Even if you go through a publisher, these are still your words. Your paintings. Your songs. And how well they do in world’s various storefronts becomes, to a degree, part of your identity. Stephen King is known as an author, yes, but he’s also known as a best-selling author. J.K. Rowling has had countless articles written about the money she’s earned thanks to a certain scarred wizard.
It’s easy to fall down the trap of taking dollars and cents as your sole indicators of success. Didn’t get enough sales today? Now you’re depressed. New launch not going to get you a new Mercedes? Maybe not even a meal at Jimmy Johns? Now you’re questioning why you even made the attempt.
But if you take a look back. To the scribblings you may have made as a child, to the stories you wrote in high school and/or college. To the first rambling blog posts or tales you threw up on the Internet. None of that earned you a dime. All of that came out of a joy, a need to do slap these words down, no matter where they were doing to take you.
Don’t forget that.