Today, I was blind-sided by an event that I didn't even know was coming. A royalties check. In an envelope from Lulu. I didn't even know they wrote one out, so it was a happy surprise that got me bouncing happily.
In the year since I republished MG, I managed to double the sales I made in the first four years. And mostly by word of mouth and not much else. This excites me, though it is, by far, a long shot from being what I would call a "proper" professional writer. Yeah, like a few digits short and a lot less fame.
It is also kind of depressing. I always hoped, in the back of my mind, that my writing skills for commissions would translate into a publicly published book that sold well. While I have a decent business writing commissions, it really isn't translating into public sales or book offers.
I'm simply not there yet.
I want to be and I don't want to give up on that. I love writing, that is to be true. But, being "awesome" for a commission or a story to a friend is so far away from being the indescribable awesomeness to get into the shelf at the book store or a table at a convention. I can't help imagine Anton Strout staring at his book on the shelf (probably giggling a few times) or Dylan Birtolo re-reading his name on a panel at GenCon. I also was excited for Melanie Niles because she actually got something she could show off at a convention, though that sadly didn't work as shining as either of us hoped. But, all those trials, all those things make it so much better for me. Because it is so real, and it is something I could easily see myself standing in their shoes. As I said, they are further along the path than me.
I'm almost envious of those writers who make it. But, I've always been horrible at feeling jealousy and envy. Instead, I just see it as a goal. I consider the writers I follow on LiveJournal to be those goals, mainly because I've seen the beginning of their careers and got to know them as a person. They are far ahead of me, on the path I want to take, but it is a path that is reachable. I've seen that doubt and fear and how they got through it. I haven't gotten there yet. Standing at the furthest point I can see is Ursula K. Le Guin and Elizabeth Moon. They are probably one of the few people I really hold on a pedestal, mainly because they got me loving writing. But, I'd rather reach their point not as a fanboi but as a peer.
Now that is aiming high.
Good goal though.
Now, I want to write… too bad I have homework instead.