Over the weekend I've been perusing different websites, dabbled in research, etc... and I'm at the point where doubt begins to creep into the wonderful, brilliant, orderly realm that is My Future. Apparently I'm one of 81% of the population who believes that I will one day publish a novel. Now, I have drafts of about 20 or so stories locked up in my trunk under the bed, and 2 "finished" stories, so that puts me ahead of the oridinary odds. Will I become one of the 2% to get published? Now I'm not so sure I want to find out.
I've always been writing--maybe that's what separates me from the wishful, hopeful majority. I've always been scribbling down ideas as fast as I can before a new one pops into my mind. In 5th grade, I had a 2nd backpack that I carried everywhere - and I mean everywhere: when I went to the bathroom and to lunch I would pluck it from the rack and clutch it to me as like one of those weirdo bombers you see on TV. This second backpack was full of about 5 or 6 spirals; well, to the average eye they were spirals, but to me they were books, and my 11-year-old self could juggle 5 or 6 stories all at once. Good thing nothing came of those stories or else I might have run into some trouble with a certain Brian Jacques--you see, I enthusiastically embraced his idea of a fantasy world with a medieval-setting and an all-animal ensemble...perhaps a bit too ardently.
So yes, writing. Now, my brain is constantly under a flash-flood warning from all the ideas and scenarios that seem to creep into my mind. I've grown older, my life has become busier, but the ideas are still there--and they're not exactly considerate or empathetic of everything else my life entails. "When will you write me down, Amelia?! I'm ready *now*!" Well sorry, stories.
The reality of 2% published authors and only 10-15% royalties seems less than appealing.
It's not exactly that I want to be famous or weathly or whatever, but I do want to be successful. My way of thinking is: if I put in the effort to write, revise, send off, and open up to rejection, there should be some sort of gain. That's not too much of a stretch, is it? The reason I'm in college right now is to get something beneficial in return, namely: a higher-paying job and a career that only a B.A/B.S. can bring. You don't get something for nothing; if you put something in, you should expect to get something out of it. Ultimately, my goal of writing is to be published. Yes, I love the process and I love creating worlds and characters that are not real, but why send anything off for publication if writing is just a hobby?
So far, I think the most valuable thing I've learned is how to wait and how to accept the reality of time. I'm not in a hurry. I'd rather take 20 or 30 years to develop well-rounded, layered, thematic story than turn something fun--but unsubstantial--out right now, as a 20something.
But will I ever? There's something in the back of my mind that tells me writing is a definite: at some point, I will be published, *if* I can bring myself to write something publishable. My book may sit on the shelf and make a mediocre amount of money and go unnoticed by the general population, but there is this part of me that knows it will happen. That's not supposed to sound arrogant or pretentious, it's just something I can't explain. What nags at me are the things I don't know: will I be able to actually finish? Will I find the resolve to even begin?
Ah, 2010 is going to be *quite* a year...