Reading Ursula K. Le Guin's No Time To Spare: Thinking About What Matters I got thinking she had a pretty good writing life. She made enough money to live a comfortable life because of writing. What do I want out of a writing life? And what do you want from your creative life?
I don't expect to write a best seller. Is that just doubt talking? Am I daring myself? No and no. I'm not looking for an attaboy here. I don't need to be told that I can be anything I want to be. Please no.
What then do I want? I want to keep writing, have more people read what I write, and become a better, more interesting writer.
If there's money to be made from it, fine. I don't need much. If I earned what I make teaching, that would be plenty. Wanting more would be greedy. But I'm not even sure I want to make money from writing. It might take something out of it and ruin the whole enterprise. Probably not, but pursuing money likely would.
I wonder how people survive giant first books. Harper Lee never wrote again, on purpose. Andy Weir killed with _The Martian_ but the blurb on his second book has me shaking my head no. Big books out of the gate seem dangerous. Big books in general can do harm. How much Anne Lamott have I read beyond _Bird By Bird_? Those books can make a writer wealthy, but I can imagine myself buying a Tesla then not being able to afford insurance because I had run dry.
That said, if anyone reading this wants to make a blockbuster movie or book out of my stuff, I'll risk it. I really do want a Tesla.
Really though, I'm not looking to make a bundle. I have income enough for living and saving. To wish for much insults all I have and those who have less. Besides, I've got writing which, cheesy as it might sound, is worth quite a lot to me. I would just as soon make writing as make money. Lucky for me, I get to do both, though not in one fell swoop. I can accept that.
I just want to be good at this craft and there I have a lot to learn. If I keep writing and learning, I'll find a wider audience. I'm curious what that will feel like, what effects it will have on me. My guess is that I'll need to grow into any audience I earn.
This year I started a web site and post to it most every day. My weekly newsletter lets people know what I'm writing, thinking, reading, and listening to each week. I do this while holding down a job or two and that has me feeling compassion for everyone who has done this sort of thing before me. With the support of my family and the hours of my jobs, I have it easy. If you catch me complaining, show me the back of your hand.
What comes next? I don't know, but I'm curious and willing to push. Not needing this to make money gives me all sorts of freedom to see what else I can make of it and what it can make of me.
What do I want from a writing life? I want to see what comes next and what I can create. I want to keep on writing. So long as I can do that, I'm living the good life.