I have heard this argument many times in the past week, conveniently in the wake of reaching another milestone in my first draft that has been a long time coming: 50,000 words.
A few people have listened to me talking about my plans to eventually publish my first novel independently, and they have all expressed doubt that it will be a success. "That's nice," they say, "but, you aren't exactly getting paid now for writing your book. Don't you have something else that you're doing? What about your career now?"
Of course, I do have two jobs. This is the reality of writing as an unknown. They are not related to writing, but I do show up to them seven days a week. I've done it all my life. During high school and college I wrote relentlessly, filling boxes of paper with my thoughts and ideas. However, I didn't have anything publishable back then, and I was still trying to find my own writing voice. Now that I have that, nothing has really changed in the job department. I am still working to pay the bills and writing in the evenings when I am not overwhelmed by my jobs. If I am generating income to "keep the lights on," why do I still run into the idea that I should also be doing a day job that involves writing? Must those two things be connected when I am just starting out? I wonder if other authors have come across this.
I know this question is not asked to be mean. The people who have asked about what I plan on doing for my "career" are looking out for my well being. But, I just want to tell them - this is what I want to do for my career! I want to write many things, especially fiction. These characters can't stay hidden forever in my mind. With every success story I read, my determination gets stronger. I know I can do it. Whether there are readers out there who would be interested in my particular novel remains to be seen. Still, it was (and is) fun to write as I continue onwards towards the completion of my first draft. With a second draft, I know that the story itself will be stronger. It's like a sketch, being refined until it ends up as the drawing that you see hanging on display.
Everything is possible in this age of digital technology and connectivity through the internet. Planning my publication is a huge responsibility - but for the time being, I simply need to focus on finishing the book and making sure that I balance my creative time with my actual nine-to-five job time. I do know that every time I write it feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my chest and I can head home with my head high and a smile on my face.
With that, now time to finish another chapter!