am a failed author.
I was commissioned for one book (Don’t Jettison Medicine) which made me a nice bit of money. Fire and Bronze, my masterpiece, fizzled when the publisher died and the company went bankrupt during its release. Early ReTyrement did okay at bookshows but I never got that traction that publicity-pumping, number-jumping authors who are more concerned at ranking inflation than actual writing have. But that’s fine. I still write a lot; these blogs, my interactive games, my various projects, and even a little commissioned erotic on the side. I write because I write.
In a way, it’s like my bike. I’m no speed demon on my bike. I enjoy the commutes, both longer ones on my touring bike and short public-transportation hops using my folding Brompton. Am I going to ever ride in the Tour de France? No (see my comments about publicity-pumping and think about all the doping scandals in the “industry” of bike racing – why bother?). But I love riding. I generally come in to work more satisfied, smiling, at peace after a ride. With a drive, that never happens. And over the years, I’ve gotten a number of people out on their bikes to ride in to work. In that, I am comfortable. I can look back on that and be pleased with myself.
While on the train platform last night, I rolled the Brompton up and got my ticket – the station attendant was there and we always have a nice evening chat. She’s told me about writing poetry – it’s what makes her soul sing. And she told me that she’s actually gotten into on book. “It didn’t pay,” she confessed, smiling in confidence. “But I got in. I can always point to that.”
Yes, so good for her. She’s enjoying her time on this Earth, scratching her creative itch, getting her poignancies out to share with her world. And she’s happy with that. She’ll never be the Poet Laureate. Likely she won’t even stand up in a coffee house on some open mike night and read from her works. She just writes. And enjoys it.
So write. And enjoy it. And be happy with the success of happiness.
And don’t turn down any publisher offers.