Friday, May 15, 2015

Love or money?

Michael W. Davis

Personally I enjoy talking to readers at signings, people acknowledging, “You’re the writer I just read about in the newspaper”, or being introduced by friends as, “This is my bud, the author.” It’s one of the major returns from locking myself away for a thousand hours to craft 90,000 words that will be bound into a book. Surely not the money. I’ve been published seven years now, and the first three I operated at a loss. Although I do turn a small profit today (if you ignore the hours I put into promotion) I write for the reward of my inner peace. See, since I was a kid, I’ve always created stories in my mind to entertain myself when I was bored or driving alone or waiting to fall asleep. I get off on visualizing new worlds I’ll never see in my lifetime, or evolving characters I empathize with, suffering with their traumas, and thrilling with their triumphs.

Not saying that more of the green stuff wouldn’t be nice. Thing is, I’d just put it in an educational account for my granddaughter. Many are not so lucky. Last time I checked the stats, about 99.98% of those wanting to share the visions in their mind’s eye never get the chance. They’ll never experience a reader announcing at a signing or by email, “Boy did I love your story. How did you create such realism? Felt like I was there beside each character.” That opportunity, if only for a moment, should be experienced by all that strive for the chance to be read. That’s truly what it’s about. Call it the aww factor, because each time I get such feedback I do physically and mentally sigh.

The transition to this place, this recognition of why I (and many of my author friends) continue to hermit away in our dungeons took several years. I went through many periods of frustration and declarations of, “Hell with it, I’ll just quit!” Even had too author friends suggest, “You’ll never stop. Your stories will always need to be released, set free to be shared, even with the few,” and they were right. After this long journey, I accept where I am. Long as I can take a breath and my publisher continues to provide a haven for my imagination, I will continue to dance, on occasion, with my muse.


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Well expressed, Mike. It's a rough ride to be read, but worth the effort and really a fun journey. One big exception is when at a book signing someone slithers by and announces proudly, "I don't read," and stalks off. But then, we know who's missing out, don't we.

January Bain said...

Excellent post, Mike. Lots of writers can relate to it. I write because I have to as well. It's pretty much as necessary as breathing these days! Hugs, January