What is failure for a writer

The average yearly income for an actor is below the poverty level. That is because for every successful actor you see there are hundreds not so successful. The same is true of writers. Not everyone has a following like Stephen King. I would wager most writers, especially in the e-book revolution, also have incomes below the poverty level. I know mine is. Does that mean those of us writing for a few dollars here and there are failures?

Thomas Edison, or rather those who worked for him, had over 10,000 attempts before the light bulb went on and stayed on. One could say that Edison failed 10,000 times, but as he told a reporter, “I know over 10,000 ways that a light bulb will not work.”  I would hate to write one page 10, 000 times before I got it right, but for writers it is different.

A light bulb will work one way and over 10,000 ways it won’t, but in writing, there are many ways to write. First person, second person, or no person (don’t’ ask). Many genres to write in, many ways to approach a story, rules to follow, rules to break-as many as you can- and critics be damned. Writing is not a science, it is an art, and as such is open to interpretation.

I haven’t had many reviews, but they were positive; though I have not checked lately, and things could have changed, but it matters not. Even if you get bad reviews it does not mean you are a failure. Many famous writers received bad reviews on books that are now considered classics.

Since bad reviews do not indicate failure, and book sales do not indicate failure, what does?

Quite simply it is the failure to write. To get lazy, discouraged, lethargic, to put it off when you know you should be at the keyboard. You don’t get reviews-good or bad-by not writing. You don’t get sales-few or many-by not writing. The point is to create something. So quit reading and get to work. After visiting my Amazon page of course, then you can write.



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Filed under dalies, e-book publishing, Uncategorized, writing

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