Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Creative Hours

I belong to a few different online groups for writers. They are filled with helpful, supportive people and are good places to ask questions, bounce around ideas, and occasionally simply vent or share success stories.

A few months ago, a writer in one of the groups was musing about how there was a book she really wanted to buy by a writer she really liked, but the price was five dollars, rather than the usual one dollar she'd become accustomed to through online promotions. She regretted that she couldn't get past the price tag and I think was looking to commiserate.

Honestly, this shocked me, along with many other writers in the group. Not because we don't know people are generally cheap and don't want to pay more for things than they have to, but because she was a fellow writer. She knows how much time and effort it takes to publish a book.

Five dollars? Five dollars is nothing compared to the hours upon hours spent creating characters and story lines and editing and editing again and suffering as your test readers have your manuscript and you have to wait an eternity wondering if your work is garbage or not. There is the struggle for the right cover design and chasing typos and formatting issues. And then there are the elusive bursts of inspiration that you have to harness while you can in order to turn them into a story worth reading. The core of what you do is dependent on something you can't even predict or rely on. It's hard. Writing is hard. (Super fun when it's going well, but still...) A fellow writer should more than understand why a book might be five dollars.