On Being Published

On November 8, 2010, in On Writing, by lisa

Madame de Pompadour, by Boucher

The best day of my writing career was the day I finally sold a book to a publisher.  It was validation of my writing, and of the ten years I’d spent hoping to reach that point.  It cleared the path to a completely different future for me.  I do not underestimate that day’s importance.


Getting published didn’t make me rich.

It didn’t make me famous.

I still need a second source of income to get by.

Writing is still hard for me.

The work of writing a book is still exactly the same:  me, with a keyboard, alone.  It didn’t become more glamorous.

Getting published was vitally important to my sense of identity (whether that’s healthy or not is a different question!), and to the direction my life has taken.  But, it didn’t change what the work fundamentally is, and I made more money when I had a regular job.

Still, I wouldn’t trade ‘being published’ for a job that gave me ten times as much in annual income.  Writing novels gives me a sense of satisfaction that nothing else ever has.

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