Monday, January 22, 2018

The Challenge in Writing

Challenges.  I believe being a writer is a huge challenge in every way. 

Most writers believe in the beginning that if only they could get published, everything would be different.  There would be no more rejection letters and it would be easier to get published after the first one.  As if a (small) paycheck for their words would magically open every door.   

But that isn’t true.  It doesn’t get easier once you are a published writer.  Rejection is still part of life for an author.  Books are still hard to write, and it is still hard to get the next book published.  Editors and publishing houses like to say “we publish authors” but that doesn’t hold true.  They publish their author’s next book if the sales numbers of the first one are decent and they want the next one.  But if they don’t like the author’s next manuscript or for some reason don’t want it-they will reject the manuscript.   

But that isn’t even the biggest obstacle.  For me, the monster that challenges me most often is the fact that I cannot make a living writing books.  I work full time writing books for an embarrassingly low amount of money.   I put time and energy and passion and sweat and tears into writing a book.  Yet, I could make more money working at McDonalds.  Each year I think, maybe I should just give it up and get a job with an actual paycheck.
So I often face off against this monster. And every time I do, I feel the pull to write about powerful true stories.  Every time I think about walking away from it, I come back to the same conclusion.  I believe this is what I was meant to do.  These are the books I was meant to write.  So I keep writing the books I must write. 

Carla Killough McClafferty

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Esther Hershenhorn said...

Thanks for your honesty, Carla!
Kiddos ask me during school visits, "How much money do you make?"
I respond: there are all sorts of currencies in this world. Electric. Monetary. Currency of the heart. My heart is VERY rich, thanks to YOU!"
We do what we do because we can't NOT do it!

Carmela Martino said...

I know this feeling well, Carla, sad to say! But I'm so glad you're sticking with your calling, as difficult as it is.

Carla Killough McClafferty said...

Thanks, Esther and Marti. I suspect most of us face the same issue.