I wrote a million words before I made a dime, and another million before I made an average US income. Once I did catch a break, I signed books at 1200 bookstores in 42 states. And my wife still had a fulltime job, and we still made so little we got a tax refund every year. I was on the phone earlier today with a bestselling erotica author, and we were joking about how poor we were (she had ketchup soup for dinner, I lived in a basement apartment and couldn't afford both food and electric heat in the winter and woke up one morning to find my shampoo had frozen in my shower).
Now we're each making an unbelievable amount of money.
Because we didn't know how to quit.
I'm fond of saying that writing's easy. It is. It's like talking -- you open your mind and words come out.
If writing seems hard, it's because:
* You forget that writing is a PROCESS. Once it's on the screen (or on paper -- if you're like me, and prefer to draft fiction on paper first) you can revise, edit, write, revise, edit and so on. In plain language, you can FIX IT.
* You over-think things. Instead of getting out of your own way, you live in your head. Forget thinking while you're writing: thinking happens later, when you're editing, or revising.
* You never know what will happen. In my first few years as a writer, I thought about quitting occasionally. Then I decided that no matter how miserable I was when writing, I was more miserable when I wasn't.
Here's the thing. At every low point, something happened. I got a phone call from an editor, or something I'd forgotten about sold. Things change.
Write. Don't quit. No matter who you are, or what challenges you're facing -- wonderful things are in store for you, if you keep writing.