I read a post this morning from a writer who apparently doubles in the daytime as a ghost writer and editor.
According to this post, he met a stranger online that, at first, wanted him to ghostwrite a book, but they eventually went into business together; the stranger was willing to front an advance for the books this writer would write, in exchange for half of the sales in the future.
It certainly makes me appreciate my situation all the more, worshiping at that altar of that Great Mythical Unknown.
It’s difficult as a full-time writer, unsure of where your next paycheck will be coming from. Unsure how many books you will sell this month and if you’ll make your expenses – if you’ll have enough money to eat.
Too often, writers pander to what’s hot at the moment because they need an influx of cash right now, rather than taking the time to lay a foundation for their writing and their voice. But, what do I know?
I’m also not one to fault someone else who’s making it work for them. It’s just not something I could ever do. Giving up control and free expression? Collaboration is not what draws me to writing. On the contrary, I’m drawn to the other benefits of a writing vocation: solitary, isolation, solace. I write and aspire to “be a writer” regardless of the potential financial gain, because it affords me a genuine lifestyle that I’m really comfortable with. Coming from a business background, I’m attracted to needing no employees, working alone, and having little to no direct contact with the public.
If I spent all day writing non-fiction for someone else, I think I would probably go mad. Maybe that’s just an excuse, but it’s definitely how I feel.
I know I spend a lot of time trying to strangle that Great Mythical called the Unknown. Planning. Goals. Strategy. The how-to business tombs say to position yourself so, no matter what happens, you win. I figure you can’t do that very well if the unknown is there, taunting you.
If you happen to see the Great Mythical Unknown on the road, do us all a favor, and kill him.
Until then, I’ll be over here, trying my best to out-write him.
(I wrote 1041 and edited 3960 words today)