Thursday, June 13, 2013

Gigalo of the Buckaroo

It's an odd juxtaposition.  But when most people think of "writers"--they usually think of money.  Commonly, the first question a person asks about a book is:  "How much does a writer make from a book?"

Short answer:  The majority of books don't make a dime.

Most people would be surprised to learn, for example, that I made more from writing essays, poems and articles in 2012 than I did from all of my book royalties combined.  (Which believe me, Nelson, ain't sayin' a whole lot.)

Last week I did make money from selling a short story.  But I did sell one.  For $3.00.  Note where the decimal falls and how many zeroes are after the decimal.  But listen, I don't write for the money.  It's the same with everything I do.  Not about the money.  One has to want to write, and then one has to write, in order to be a writer.  No other way.

This past week, as I've come home late from the gym (and I do mean LATE good-golly-Miss-Molly, post 10 p.m.), I've sat down to write short essays of five hundred words that I'm weaving into chapters.  This has not been easy--having burned nearly 1000 calories an evening with 1.5 hours of Stairmaster work each night . . . but the deadlines don't wait.  The editors want their cookies.  I have to keep cooking them.

Looking back on these first six months of 2013 I noted that I have written (and published) nearly 50 essays . . . which is to say that in twenty-five weeks I've produced nearly two published essays a week, mostly for pay, and with the promise of another 50 more by years end.  (But again, note the pay rate.)

As weird as it sounds to my wife, I've created a goal to publish 200 short pieces in 2013.  Magazine articles, devotions, essays, book reviews, you name it.  She thinks I'm nuts.  Probably am.  But I'm well on my way.  

I may be one of the last writers in America who will write for a few bucks a pop.  I'm like a gigolo.  An editor wants it.  She's gonna get something from me.  Especially if she is willing to pay.

Writing.  It's the oldest occupation.  And the most humbling. 

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