Saturday, April 5, 2008

Juggling Desires

I write and I create graphic art work. I've also been working since I was 18 years old. I'm tired of the 7:30 to 4:00 drudgery and am so wanting to retire, I can taste it like hot chocolate on my craving tongue. But alas, I have five years to at least early retirement. What does all this have to do with writing? I'm sure I'm not unlike most authors who, when embarking upon the great writing career, have hopes of becoming successful and famous enough to make writing the only thing they need to make a living. Who wouldn't want to work from home in jammies all day?

At 57, I am neither famous (not even well-known), nor able to make even enough royalty for a weekend dinner from my writing. I no longer have that burning passion or desire to burn down the doors of agents or big-time publishers in search of a lucrative contract that might propel me to the desires and expectations I once had. I've been through three disastrous contracts with publishers that were less than admirable and I will name them here: Justice House, Barclay Books and Bella Books.

So, what do you care if I'm stripping myself naked here in front of you? Well, on second thought, don't answer that. I'm at a crossroads where I wonder how many other authors might have come across or will come across. If you don't get what you expected, despite much work on your end, how prone are you to letting go of writing altogether and soul-search for something more fulfilling? I've been writing since the late 1960s. It was fun then. Today, I keep hearing the buzz words: "It's a business." Well, it might have been a business back then too, but it sure didn't feel like it. Mind you, I'm writing this simply through my own experiences. I never felt that writing back in the 60s and 70s was so cutthroat. Perhaps it was my own naivety. I was a beginning writer. What did I know?

I'm a graphic artist. I work for a photography studio and do Photoshop work. I've lately gotten freelance work doing book covers and am greatly enjoying the diversion. I haven't been writing as much. I like the instant gratification of creating a piece of art work in a day or two and presenting it to waiting publisher and author. I like it.

Juggling desires......Should writing be my mistress or my wife?