For those who have ever published a book or desire to be an author, writer despair is far worse than any kind of writer’s block. What is writer despair you may ask? Writer’s despair is when you realize how difficult it can be to make a full time living out of writing. That’s much worse than not knowing what comes next in a scene, in my humble opinion.
You can break out of writer’s block by doing a lot of different things. You can change where you write, how your write, who you write with. Writer’s despair only becomes worse and more locked in when you try to make your way out, like a Chinese finger trap. Article after article shows authors and would be authors that making a living involves raw luck or content writing for SEO purposes. Each “but what about” door is slammed in our faces. Wide acclaim and book deals? Doesn’t mean you’ll be able to make it as an author. Most full time authors can’t afford to even support themselves, so they rely on a spouse to help them pay bills.
I’ve found my way out of this deadly maze with one trick: stop thinking about writing as a new job. Instead, I think of writing as my “retirement job”. Every time I write a book I am helping build a body of work that will build a royalty nest. With any luck, that royalty nest will be big enough that when I retire, I can write full-time. That’s right, I think of writing not as a job, but as an investment. That’s the way out of the writer despair many of us face.
Let’s put this in another way: If I just got hired in a new job, would I expect my first two paychecks to equal out to $50,000 – $100,000? That’s downright silly, right? However, when you build a new book, that’s the kind of return a lot of authors are expecting. They want to be able to have something that pays their bills for an entire year, then produce another book a year later. That’s the service industry method of thinking though. Writing books is producing a royalty product, not providing a service. Let’s say you produce a $50,000 product in that awesome book. That means your royalty, if you are marketing effectively, could be around $3,000. Does that mean you should decide that it’s time to give up because $3,000 won’t pay the year’s bills? No. It means you have an incredible asset for years to come. Write more! Build more assets! And have the kind of investment/writing portfolio of your dreams.