Monday, 9 April 2012

H is for Hope

I have friends and acquaintances who have declared that they have to get a book published. They are doggedly, energetically determined...a nice way of saying obsessed in a few cases. Of course, I hope I get published, but my stated goal is to write a book to publishable standard (in my own head) and the best way to test that is to actually put it out there. So, I hope I get published.

But I'm astonished at some comments I've heard from a few other writers - they seem to be saying they have to get published, it has to be a best seller and they have to get rich. Which is absurd. The average advance for a two book deal for new novelists, according to Kate Kellaway in the Guardian, was £12,000 five years ago. For two books. So, according to the usual idea that a two book deal pays out over three years in small chunks, minus the agents percentage that makes -  about £3,400 a year. Hardly riches, especially with today's financial climate. Yes, some people do better, maybe lots better, but on the MA we were warned that between £3k and £8k was reasonable for a first novel. Ouch. 

My hopes are smaller. I hope for someone to read my book and enjoy it (maybe lots of people). I hope to keep enjoying writing, and learning about writing as much as I do now. I hope that writing leads to other things I enjoy, like more success with my poetry and teaching in my own community. I hope to build a career from this early base. I would still like to be writing in twenty years time. So, yes, publication would be nice, but I'm not going to get sour over it.     

4 comments:

  1. I totally agree.Write to enjoy yourself first and if you do get somrthing published great but hysterical carrying on is plain daft and stultifying.

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    1. Thank for stopping by, Angela, I notice from your blog you are just up the road in Truro! Love your garden...I think we should do creative things first and foremost to please ourselves...if they please someone a bit like us, great.

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  2. I hope that your dreams come true, I can feel the sincerity in your words.

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    1. Thank you, Kate! I do feel most of my dreams have already come true - great husband, healthy kids etc. but a good book would be the icing on the cake.

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