One of my all time literary heroes – Eric Blair aka George Orwell 1903 -1950
Probably not. All that any of us who are serious about what we do can ever hope for is to keep on writing. Most of us are lucky if we make a few pounds/dollars per year. Very few ever achieve fame and fortune. J.K.Rowling immediately springs to mind as an obvious modern day exception to the rule.
Even once you have shuffled off this mortal coil, there are still no guarantees of fame, despite the world’s book shelves being full to overflowing with dust covered books penned by dead writers. But then again back here in the land of the living, so is the list of those who were never read, or are ever likely to be by all accounts, despite the majority of them being gifted writers.
But will anything I write do well? Who knows? It’s all a matter of luck as to whether or not your book sells. Tastes change. One year romance is the most popular genre, the next its the turn of adventure or crime.
Face facts – it helps to be insane if you want to write for a living…
Then there is the thorny issue of being financially rewarded for your work. I’m sorry to burst any potential writer’s bubble here, but the only people who are always guaranteed to benefit from all of your hard work are your agent (if you have one) and your publisher, whether you are alive or dead, especially in these days of the self published ebook and Kindle Edition Normalized Pages Read.
This reality doesn’t just apply to writers. Think about some of the most famous painters the world has ever produced. Did Vincent Van Gogh make it during his lifetime? No! How about Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn, or my absolute favourite in the long list of old masters – Michelangelo Merisi da Carravagio. Like Vincent, did either of them make it in their lifetimes? While its true that they both never went hungry, neither of them grew rich or were considered famous during their lifetimes.
So, whatever you do, don’t be disillusioned by the brutal reality of our calling. Instead, gird your loins, toughen up, and just keep on writing…
Has what I’ve just said made you feel depressed? Then hopefully listening to this recording from The Goons will help to cheer you up. Please note, I did say listen!!! 🙂