Got this from Monica’s blog—a non-fiction writer is quitting the book business after 24 years and 70 books—and for a variety of reasons, namely that a) the market is too competitive, and b) publishers don’t want real talent, just machines with good platforms.
I respect this, but I also want to scratch my head and say, “Well, isn’t it like that in almost every other industry?” Heck, when I graduated from law school it was during the worst slump in almost ten years. Only a very few could get a job, because a) the market was too competitive, and b) law firms did not want fresh raw talent, but proven machines with good platforms. So to speak.
And yes, it really is easy to get discouraged. Publishing is a rough business. But as far as I’m concerned, so is everything else. And I would rather be doing this, despite the hardships, than anything else. After all, had I not followed my overwhelming desire to write, I would now be working 80-100 hours a week in a law firm, scrabbling for some elusive goal of partnership, stressed into early wrinkles and gray hair. As opposed to now, where I work 80-100 hours a week at home, scrabbling for some elusive goal of success, stressed into early wrinkles, flab, and gray hair. But at least I’m happy! Wooo!
Attitude is everything. Survive, adapt, have fun, be joyous in what you do (whether it is writing, or anything else). Check out PBW’s Way of the Cheetah for more of this.