A week or so ago, when I said, Sure, I'll write a post for a vacant day, I threw that title up there at the top to save my place. "Showers of Riches." Because, you know, showers for April. Riches because...well, because no one had used it yet. And because, when I went to adding them up, April does indeed offer an abundance of them.
Both of my parents were born in April, as were my oldest son and two of my grandkids. That same son married my beloved daughter-in-law 31 years ago on the 30th. I am grateful beyond measure.
But this is a writing blog, isn't it, and my writing life hasn't been quite so enriched in past years. While I'm happy for those who've had great years and who are embracing the changes I can't quite keep up with--actually, there's no "quite" to it; I can't keep up, period--I've spend most of the past several years wondering about my place in publishing. In the inimitable words of Clash, "Should I stay or should I go?"
Of course, it was never a real tossup. I'm staying. Probably until they withdraw the mouse from my cold, dead hand. But I've talked about quitting so much my friend Nan rolls her eyes and my husband completely ignores me. (He does that on other occasions, too, but we're not talking about that today.)
So I did what writers always do. I asked my friends what it was like for them.
Kari Lemor said, "Every time I look at my dashboard and see days and weeks of no sales, I think 'what's the point?' But then the stories in my head nag at me to write them. I'm not really given a choice."
Well, yes, there is that...and Nancy Fraser agreed. "Like Kari, the stories that pop into my head keep me going. I'd hate think how crowded it would get in there if I didn't get them out."
Marcia King-Gamble said, "After writing as many as five books a year, and managing a demanding full time job, traditional publishing underwent a change. Publishers began buying a different kind of book. Sex really does sell. My income took a hit, but I couldn't not write. There's still a market out there for readers who want good stories with a slower sensual build."
From Bonnie Edwards: "I'm not sure what my mind would be full of. Without writing I envision a huge black void, like the deepest reaches of space...infinite, cold and alone. What would I fill that with if not characters and stories?
The whole idea is terrifying."
The whole idea is terrifying."
M. J. Schiller said, "I've never thought of quitting, but scaling back on marketing, yes! I have a few more books I want to get out and aggressively market and the others I will take more time with and make it more of a hobby than a job."
From Jan Scarbrough: "Writing is part of my identity. When I was getting chemo last summer, I couldn’t volunteer, I couldn’t go horseback riding, but I could write."
Kara Watson says: "I keep publishing so I can make my characters real. If they stayed in a manuscript on a laptop, no one else would ever get to know them. And that's so sad to me."
From Amie Denman: "Writing makes me happy, and I need a place for all the stories in my head!"
For myself, once I asked this question, I thought over and over about how many 1000s of words I've written since the beginning of the pandemic. Did it make my voice different? Uh-huh. But it gave writers an endless and bottomless place to put our frustration. It reminded us every day that even masked and distanced, we could still laugh, love, and work.
Quit? Oh, no. Not going to happen.
Thanks to everyone for their answers to my "help me with this!" question. Both the variety and the sameness in the answers reflect back to the blog title, don't they? Whether we are traditionally, indie, or hybrid published, our voices and the methods in which we use them are indeed showers of riches.
Of course, that prose is a little purple: showers of riches, indeed. Hmph. Obviously, I need an editor.