2015 doesn’t look like a date to me, it looks like a time.

20:15 (or 8:15 PM if you’re not familiar with the 24 hour clock) is about when I start putting the household to bed, setting up the coffee for the next morning, checking on the cat’s food and water, putting away the dishes from dinner, things like that. I like starting the day with a clean and organized home.

Yes, I know that sounds ridiculously early to most people, but I am an early morning person.  I start work at my day job at 07:00, and I like to have time to write before I go to work.

Anyway, I just can’t seem to accept that it’s going to be the year 2015 here in about 18 hours. “New Years Day, 2015” feels wrong, like the title card for the opening of a science fiction movie, and I am sure that any minute David Carradine  is going to kick in my door with a disintegrator pistol in his hand, pursued by mutants in pleather jumpsuits.

2015 is going to be my fourth year as a self-published author, and I expect to release my fourth novel this summer.  I don’t anticipate making any money from this one, just as I didn’t make any money from the others.

I think I’ve finally come to terms with that.  I had big dreams when I started writing about quitting my day job and living the life indulgent.

Not going to happen.  It’s not about the quality of my work, it’s the economics of the situation. The majority of writers need a day job to pay the bills, just like the majority of actors, musicians, dancers, and painters.

So I am starting another new year with two jobs, one that pays the bills, one that I love.  It’s taken some time to develop a rhythm that lets me get everything done without burning out too often.  I work, I come home and make dinner, then I write until I go to bed.  Then I get up and write before I go into my day job. That’s pretty much it.  I met some friends for dinner at a Chinese restaurant on Christmas, before that I cannot recall the last socializing I did that wasn’t an author event.

In many ways it’s very freeing to not having to worry about paying the bills with my books. I don’t have any economic pressure to conform to my reader’s expectations. I write what I write, take it or leave it. I also don’t have pressure to produce a new book every three months–it takes me about a year to write a novel, if I tried to push it I am sure the quality would suffer.

The pressure that I do have is artistic.  I am, I will freely admit, driven.  I am not in competition with other authors, I am in competition with myself.  I want to better than I am.  I hope I never lose that.

My resolution for 2015 as a writer is not to produce a certain number of words or a certain number of stories, but simply to never be content.

Never be satisfied.  Never settle for good enough.  Never stop pushing myself.  If I ever get to the point where I don’t think that my current project is stretching me as a writer, it’s time to quit.

I’m not in it for the money.

About MishaBurnett

I am the author of "Catskinner's Book", a science fiction novel available on Amazon Kindle. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008MPNBNS
This entry was posted in Artists That I Admire, On Promotion, On Publishing, On Writing, Who I am and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to 2015

  1. Rachel says:

    What a great post. It’s true; a lot of people believe authors make a ton of dough, but it’s just not true. You have to write because you truly love it. Good luck to you in 2015!

  2. Hope you have a great 2015. Definitely admire the drive.

  3. kingmidget says:

    I definitely agree that recognizing you’re not going to be able to pay your bills with income from writing can be extremely freeing. Unfortunately, for me, at the moment, it has freed me up so well I’ve stopped writing. 😉

  4. sknicholls says:

    I am in awe that I have lived into this year. I had a psychiatrist at age 19 years that told me, “Statistically speaking, you should be dead.” I didn’t quite know how to take that then, but I’m glad to be here now. I’m making just enough money on promos to pay for the promos. and a little pocket change for candy…not enough for any of my expensive habits, like smoking…which is something I am trying to conquer this year.

  5. Elle Knowles says:

    Have a Happy New Year and make what you do count as you always seem to do!

  6. I think that’s a fantastic goal. I wish I could be that philosophical, but sadly my writing goals are a bit more concrete. Namely, finish re-publishing Imminent Danger before my IndieGoGo supporters axe murder me, and publish Chasing Nonconformity because I’ve been rambling on about it for three years now and it’s TIME, dammit!

    Happy New Years, can’t wait to read the next book 🙂

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