(From Janice Dick)
I’m at it again, trying to craft a story from my creative mind that will intrigue, inspire and entertain the reader. Why do I do it? There are certainly enough challenges to tempt me to quit.
One obstacle is the time it will take from my otherwise busy life to craft another work of fiction. Time to plan, to weigh, to judge, to consider, to ponder. And often non-writers do not understand this seemingly non-efficient phase. It’s much easier to clean the toilet or mow the grass. At least you know when you’re done.
Another hurdle to leap is the sale of the manuscript once it’s been developed, written, rewritten, edited, rewritten, edited (et cetera). The face of traditional publishing is unstable, to say the least, and “indie” is the new byword. But it’s a steep learning curve.
For those of us who write from outside the United States, there are unique challenges regarding the sale and delivery of our books beyond the borders of the U.S. I agree with my current publisher that hands-on, signed book deliveries are a good idea, but in reality, shipping my books within my country and beyond is cripplingly expensive. The cost of adding on the shipping pushes the book into the expensive category.
Add to this the hassle of ordering a supply of books to have on hand for local readings and launches. Since I’m rural (no house or street address) and the printer will not deliver to my post box, I must contact one of the three business establishments in the nearest hamlet to receive and sign for my books and then contact me when they arrive. But before the books can be delivered to my hamlet, I must pay duty on each box to keep Customs happy. I feel the profit margin slimming even as I type.
All that said, why do I (we) bother to continue with this aggravating exercise? I suppose it’s the same reason women continue to have babies. The gestation period and the delivery might be exhaustingly difficult, but the birth of a book, or a baby, is its own reward.
Happy writing, my international friends.