So, I've decided. I'm going to be a rich and famous author. It's true. I'm going to write a book and everyone will love it, I'll be critically acclaimed you know. Getting an agent and finding a publishing house shouldn't be too big of a deal, once people get their hands on my manuscript they'll be beating down my door for it. I've read a lot of books, yes sir, and a lot of crappy ones at that. If those schmucks can make their way into print there's just plain no stopping this literary devil!
Okay, so I guess, just to make sure, I need to clarify that the first paragraph there was a joke. I WAS KIDDING! In truth though, there was a time when I did equate writing books with being famous and having insane royalties flooding in. Unfortunately, the more you research the more you learn the breaks of the industry. Some people find it extremely hard to break into the markets, some people get their books published only to find that they would have been better off working at a gas station for what they made per hour. Every now and then I wonder how many aspiring writers are actually readers. Especially in recent years with Harry Potter sales and the general popularity of the series, so many people want to jump on the band wagon. It's not only the Young Adult market and the influence of young Master P. - hundreds of thousands of people have moved to Internet Publishing (blogging) as a source of income, and not without good reason. For some people there is money to be made... but like all things, there are the successful and then there's everyone else. At this point I definitely fall into the 'everyone else' category as I view this blog as a creative release and have a hard time picturing it as an income source, it just doesn't fit.
So, yes, I suppose some people do become rich and famous authors or even 'internet publishers'. The question you should ask yourself, though, is whether you can stomach the idea of never becoming universally recognized for your work. If your dreams are all wrapped around writing as a path to financial success, I wish you the best of luck. If, however, you just feel the burning desire to write and do so because you know nothing else, well my friend, that is where true happiness can be found. No matter how many rejection letters you get you will never be able to stop writing. It is both the greatest gift and a wretched curse. But without writers who write for the passion of writing we are left with blogs on how to make money with your blog and sites dedicated to the goings on of wayward celebrities...
As I write this post my daughter sleeps in my lap and I can't help but wonder if I won't be able to somehow influence in some small way the books that will one day be published for her to read. If I was only interested in writing for money I doubt I would ever achieve such a thing, but if I continue to write for the pure enjoyment of writing I can change the world by sharing my stories with my children and their children. That is how culture and beliefs are passed down, by the stories and lessons of our elders.