I was watching a documentary this past weekend about To Kill a Mocking Bird. Harper Lee is of course from my home state of Alabama, but I didn’t realize she was living in New York at the time the book was published. She was selling airline tickets, waitressing, and babysitting for a couple who were friends with her.
This couple believed in her book so much, they made her an incredible offer. They told her they would cover her expenses for an entire year, so she could take off work and concentrate solely on this book project. She accepted the offer and the rest is history.
I think I’ll try that. The next friend who loves my book, I’ll say, “Great. All I need is one year off work to make it perfect. I do appreciate you believing in me this much. Here’s a list of my monthly expenses. The mortgage is due on the 1st, the car payment on the 15th, electric, gas, water, cable, internet, phone, cell phone, and Netflix are all due on different dates, so I’ll just give you those bills when they arrive. I think you should go ahead and pay up a year of insurance on my car and home. I’ll only eat out twice a week and I prefer Coke Zero to Diet Coke. Again, thank you so much.”
Of course I wouldn’t really do that, not because my friends don’t believe in me, I just don’t have friends who can afford it. I’ll just keep doing what I have been doing and squeezing in every spare minute to write between 12 hour days at work, regular home chores, and taking my wife to the mall as I sit on a bench wishing I was having a root canal instead of being at the mall.
Everyone knows how hectic everyday life has become in this modern age of two working parents, single parents, or working two jobs. Writers don’t have the luxury of deciding they can stop everything else just to write.
I read an article recently that bothered me. It was explaining why Indie books are not as good as traditionally published titles. The reasons stated were because of lesser quality editing, proofreading, book cover designs, and distribution. Thanks, genius.
When you consider that the Indie author did everything themselves, not just managing to squeeze out a book between life’s chaotic schedules, but also the editing, proofreading, cover design, and promotion, that is all the more reason to admire Indie authors, not trash them.
It reminds me of high school. We didn’t have “early out” in those days so I went the full day. I had football practice on Monday and Wednesday nights, football games on Friday night, math team practice on Tuesday and Thursday nights, math competitions on Saturdays, and worked full time on third shift in a hosiery mill in the valley. I did everything my senior year except sleep. But I saved up enough to buy my first car, a 1974 Monte Carlo.
So, when the rich kid pulled up beside me in his brand new Corvette that his dad had bought for him, it didn’t bother me at all. I still knew my car was the coolest car on the planet.
Neal Wooten, Publisher/Indie Author/Illustrator/Cartoonist