Someone actually asked me that question. Why am I not hogging up coop space at Barnes & Noble and burning up the Kindle lists and not quitting my day job?
Well, you have to give your agent something to sell. And I haven’t done that in three years. Not through laziness. I simply have been taking my time and working on Holland Bay. And some of what I’ve started wasn’t worth finishing. Writing a book takes time.
On the other hand, I do have an edge over other writers looking for a contract. I’m actually writing.
There have been a number of writers lately venting their annoyance at people coming up to them and saying, “I wanna write, but…” Usually, the person says they’re too busy or they can’t find the time. My favorite was John Scalzi’s comeback about science fiction writer Jay Lake. Jay’s undergoing cancer treatment write now. He still works his day job. He just underwent surgery to take out part of his liver. He gets in 1000 words a day.
Let’s see. Jay is… um… published? And not by an idiot in his garage with a Lightning Source account. He publishes with a real publisher who pays him an advance.
Does make me feel guilty when I don’t get a day in on writing. But Jay does it. It’s a priority with him. So if he can work a day job and do chemo and even jettision a chunk of liver and still write, I can certainly fit it in between job hunting and contract work and academic needs and family.
And I do.
If you want to write, you will, too.
Or you’re not a writer.