Today my husband asked me the question I have most been dreading for the last 17 years. “What is the point of your writing? Are you just doing it for something to do, or do you mean to make money at it?”
He has never asked before. He has put up with my self-indulgent behavior, placing writing ahead of so many other tasks that needed, and continue to need, to be done. True, I have published 2 books, completed another and written about 1/2 of a fourth, and contributed a short story to an anthology, but I haven’t made any money to speak of.
I can make an impassioned speech about the value of the written word and the cultural importance of storytelling, which is true.
I can claim that I have a right to follow my dreams after devoting my life to husband and children, which also has some truth to it, though I was hardly as self-sacrificing as I might have claimed previously.
I can say that I believe in myself, and it’s important that I don’t give up, because the next one might be the one that hits. That statement is wrong on many levels, but it is a conventional argument to justify writing as an occupation.
Where is the truth, the real truth?
The truth is that I love to write, but I am lousy at marketing myself. Like many writers I am shy and self-conscious, and I definitely do not like being the center of attention. I am willing to do anything that the publisher tells me to do, but I find otherwise that I am not very good at self-starting.
So where does that leave me now? I don’t know. What do you think?