Friday, October 31, 2008



Today's Halloween and I'll tell you what's scary. National elections will soon be here and the Democratic candidate has consistently voted pro-abortion. I, personally do not want a President who sanctions murdering innocent babies. This Holocaust against innocent unborn children occurs in "free" American every day. I don't much care for the Democratic candidate's socialistic politics either. SCARY.

However, this is Ask Anne Day and I have a question to answer. Anne, do you think I should give up my day job to write novels full time?

Oh, valid question. The nitty-gritty, down and dirty short answer is no. Writing novels is hard, competitive, and lonely work that pays very small potatoes for the hours spent toiling on your hot computer.

True, after years of writing and building up a loyal following, or, for the blessed few that God chooses to become recognized household names, writing offers rich bucks. But for the rest of us, our driving force is not money, or even making a living. We write because we must.

If you do not have that burning desire to keyboard those movies playing inside your head and the voices you alone can hear, seek a different career. Sure, it's fun to watch the players and construct their lives into scenes, and scenes into chapters. But you've got to love the process. You've got to love words because those pesky polishes and ruthless rewrites go on and on. But for a writer, that's not the real problem.

The real problems usually start with the synopsis. Each book proposal must have a synopsis that sells. Yep, the dreaded synopsis. Condense an eighty-thousand word novel into a three-page synopsis that spells out character, motivation, and plot in such a stunning way that editors salivate to read your manuscript. Not easy.

Then come query letters, pitching your baby to agents and editors . . . and the bitter taste of rejection. Hard.

Then there's sacrifice. Sitting at a computer year after year as your rumpus grows rounder and rounder and your eyesight weaker and weaker. There are many times when you'd rather be with family and friends, when you'd rather travel or shop . . . anything but sit trapped at the computer. Sure, you can set your work day hours, but deadlines don't wait. Ideas don't wait. Books don't get finished without self-discipline.

And I haven't mentioned money spent on computer, printer, paper, conferences, sell sheets, how-to books, contests, postage, travel, and websites, all without earning one cent.

Then there's promotion. Yep, every author must promote her book. Not even going to go there in this post.

But if that desire to put your thoughts on paper won't let you sleep, do keep you day job, but don't give up your writing. In between raising children, taking care of dear husband, and earning your living, work in every free minute to write that novel burning in your heart. Today, with computers, on-line classes, and writer's groups, the process of producing a novel grows easier.

So, go ahead write - you may be one of the blessed ones.

But don't quit your day job until you have a signed book contract in hand.

Okay, I'm open for your other questions.

And, please visit my website for a book review of Diamond Duo and a chance to win a free book.

1 comment:

Amy Deardon said...

Anne, great answer! Donald Maass wrote a book about when it's *OK* to quit your day job and write full time, called THE CAREER NOVELIST It's a few years old, but the advice is still good.

As far as the election, keep praying! 2 Chronicles 7:14