Bread and Breadcrumbs

by jonnahzkennedy

Recently, I received my first and second quarterly report for my book The Maze Games, which was published almost 2 years ago next March. The quarterly report is basically telling me how much I made for this quarter and this is how many copies I sold. Historically, I have not gotten a very large paycheck for my work: 10 or 11 dollars at most, but this quarter, I got 25 dollars. I know, I know, so much money. I realize that 25 dollars in the context of today’s economy and such is not a lot of money, but you won’t believe how happy it made me to see that I had sold 25 dollars (when the publisher has taken their share) worth of my book! A lot of people would see this as an incredible sign of failure, but I don’t because, if I made 25 this quarter versus the historical 10 dollars, then I think that’s a call for celebration, because that means that I have done something to improve my sales and while I don’t have fan mail coming at me at all hours of the day and I’m not crossing the country on some book tour, my words have reached a couple of more people, and I can be happy about that because in the history of my career as I writer, I have never given a damn about how much money I make, I was always wondering how many people were reading my books, I wanted to know how many more people I connected with, and that is because I do not write because I want to make money, I write because I love to write. Like Stephen King, I could never imagine doing anything else with my life, and I would be lost without writing. Just last week, writing got me through a little rough patch between my mother and I. 

I was once very depressed, and often times when my parents would yell at me or we would have a screaming match, I would feel so incredibly bad that I would start abusing myself: punching myself in the face and banging my head against walls and hard objects (I was never keen on cutting myself) and pulling at my hair because I just hated myself for all the things that were said to me because they were all true in the moment, but then I would get calm enough to stop and I would begin to write, and last week I wrote two poems that relieved and alleviated the hurt so much I was astonished, because nothing else would have made me feel so well, and nothing ever had. That is why I like to write and read, because it takes the hurt away and it gives me escape, and this is why we read books I think as well, because we need a place to go that’s not outside, but in our minds: we need to go see some old friends, go talk to Dumbledore or hang out with Scout, Jem, and Dill for a little while before we come back to reality, that’s the real joy in it all. 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that, for all of you who have self published books or just books in general that are published, and you get an unappealing check, don’t feel down about it: be happy. Is it more than last week? Is it less than last week? If it is more than last week, rejoice because that means your a little bit more famous than before, and if they didn’t, don’t feel bad, because as long as you’re happy with still writing and you know that you have more material coming soon, then be happy, and think about this way: at least you still sold something. There are a lot of people who will sell nothing that they created in their entire lives, and look at you: you sold something! You actually did, you’re one step further towards that goal that you have been dreaming of since the day that you started writing. You’re one step closed to being on that talk show, you’re one step closer to going to that massive book signing, you’re one step closer to buying that new laptop you’ve been wanting so you can write even faster! The key to being a successful writer is that, you must take everything in stride. You cannot become upset over one little thing or one failure, you have to smile about it and say, ‘At least I did something,’ instead of glowering and believing that you have done nothing. You have to be satisfied with the breadcrumbs that you find, because you’ve been starving, and even small things like this make you full, and just know that the next time around or the next book, you’ll be eating bigger crumbs and bigger crumbs, and soon you’ll find the loaf of bread in the rain. 

Hope you guys enjoyed, be strong and fly high my ravens!