Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Times They Are A Changing!


"May you live in interesting times."

This is, I believe, an ancient Chinese curse. Our times are certainly interesting, but have we been cursed? Are we in a recession, or on the brink of another Great Depression? Not being politically or financially savvy, I wouldn't know, but hearing about upheavals in every industry, including our own publishing business, is unsettling at best.

My plan in becoming a writer was to earn a living doing something I enjoyed. Not to get rich overnight, but to earn enough to be able to retire from nursing. Well, obviously, that's not gonna happen, at least not anytime soon. Fortunately, along with a lousy economy, there's a projected nursing shortage—which is nothing new. Seems like there's always a shortage of nurses—nurses who want to work as nurses, anyway—so I doubt that I'll be finding myself unemployed. However, I've given nursing more than thirty years of my life to date, and I'm ready for something different.

Writing may be less stressful on my aching feet, but it's stressful in other ways—until I'm actually writing, that is. I love writing. I love making up characters who make me laugh or cry or fall in love with them. Now that I've come this far, I can't see that I'll ever stop writing, whether I ever publish anything again or not. I had a readership among the hospital gang, some of whom have said they sort of miss reading my books as thick stacks of paper in Amazon boxes. I could go back to that with no problem. I might not make any money that way, but I'd still be writing.

Many writers are talking about what our place will be in this economy, and most agree that there will always be writers who write and people who want to read what they have written. Will it be in electronic format or paperback? Or will it be a manuscript in a box? I don't know the answer to that, but I do know that when the dust finally settles, I'll still be writing.

LOL!!! And you all thought I only posted pictures of hunks!

16 comments:

  1. Cheryl, I think you are very wise. A writer writes. The publishing part is something else altogether entirely.

    I have to agree, I would be writing, whether or not I was being published.

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  2. This is very true. Writing is a passion that isn't mandated by whether anyone buys what you write. Or whether anyone even reads what you write. Writers do it because they just can't help themselves! Also, I greatly admire nurses. They are some of the most amazing people I have ever met. A writer/nurse is something like a superhero.

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  3. I would be writing--heck, I HAVE been writing--published or not! And if I never make a nickel, the experience won't be wasted.

    Markets come and markets go. And life goes on. As you say, there's always a need for nurses, and I believe there's always a need for stories of hope, and courage, and overcoming.

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  4. I so agree with you and the others, Cheryl. I've always been a working writer, from my first job as a newspaper reporter to my current job as a communications director for a national membership organization (like RWA but for government finance types). But until I began writing fiction five years ago, I didn't understand HOW I was supposed to be using my one special gift. Other people got math, the ability to change a tire, the capability build a house or draw a straight line with a ruler. This is what I got, and I couldn't be more delighted by it. I wouldn't exchange it for the ability to sing, to build, to paint, to make massive amounts of dough in the markets... Published or not, I will never, ever stop writing now that I have opened the floodgates and found my calling.

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  5. I agree, Cheryl. I may not even get published which will be a great disappoinment but I am thankful that I've discovered this passion for creating worlds I can pop into at will. It's a treasure.

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  6. Cheryl, I love that you started off with books in Amazon boxes. I have no doubt that you'll keep being published and that the world will continue to enjoy your excellent imagination, but you have a great attitude about the whole thing. I figure, as long as I'm loving the words I put on the page and have people like you and the Casa Babes to share the experience with, ups and downs and all, I'm good.

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  7. Hi Michele,
    Just can't help it, can we? Fortunately for us, writing is something that improves with practice...at least, I hope it does!

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  8. Christina,
    Superhero, huh? Where the devil is my cape????
    I must admit, sometimes nursing makes me feel that way. Watching someone visibly improve because of your care can be a real high, and writing is a way to reach out to even more people. Unfortunately, sometimes the magic doesn't work no matter what you do, but when it does, it's pretty cool.

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  9. Mary Margret,
    Right now, I think we could all use even more stories about hope, courage, and overcoming adversity. It's our job to keep them coming!

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  10. Marie,
    I'm with you on the floodgates thing. All of this stuff has been rattling around in my head for years, and now, it has an outlet. When I sit down at my computer, I'm there, inside the story watching it unfold. There's nothing else quite like it, is there?

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  11. Marley,
    Even if you're never published doesn't mean people can't read what you've written. I wrote a lot of books before any of them were sold, and I can honestly say that while I love hearing from readers, nothing can quite compare with watching one of your best friends sitting at the desk, flying through pages and getting really irate when someone interrupts them!
    However, having someone willing to actually pay for your work is pretty cool, too!
    Good luck to you!

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  12. Kendra,
    The Casa Babes are surely the best part of this whole endeavor. The support and encouragement we each receive is astonishing, considering we are technically competitors. The most amazing thing is that I've got friends that I haven't even met in person yet!
    If it all falls down, it's nice to know that there can still be manuscripts in Amazon boxes or emails that we can share, and friendships that I hope will last a lifetime.

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  13. I have the same dream, of course. To be financially successful enough to cut back on working the dreaded night shift. I can't quite imagine ever giving up working with sick babies, but after 25 years I sure would love to be able to ignore the politics of health care! LOL!!

    But, whether that dream ever comes true, the dream of writing and getting the words out there for folks to read is coming true. And an unstoppable force. I may 'want it all' but will take what I can get, even if I have to fall back onto self-publishing again.

    I like a serious, introspective Cheryl! Of course, I like the naughty Cheryl too, so good thing this side is only making a brief appearance! Ha!! And Christina, I want one of those superhero cloaks too!!

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  14. Sharon,
    Don't get me started on health care politics!!! I turn into a raging beast whenever I go there, but I'll let you know when your cape is ready, babysavr!

    I tried self-publishing, too, but I'm such a rotten promoter, I never sold very many copies. I have, however, sold one since I mentioned somewhere that I had done it and a reader emailed me to find out how to buy it. It's not much, but it's a start, and yes, I could do it again if I had to. Some people like reading manuscripts in boxes, but most prefer something that will fit in one hand.

    And yes, Cheryl can be introspective, but prefers being naughty! The serious side has already invaded my new blog site for tomorrow. *heavy sigh* It was bound to happen sooner or later....

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  15. Cheryl~ I'm sorry I'm commenting late, but better late than never, right? I totally agree with you. Writers write. It's more of who we are than what we do. I've written all my life, it's as much a part of me as my eye color, that doesn't change because I'm getting paid to do it.

    I'm of the school that says in these hard economic times, people buy books - it's cheap entertainment. It's a great escape during the times where everyone could use an escape. I'd sooner eat mac and cheese every night and buy books than do without.

    Robin :)

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  16. Hi Robin!
    Yeah, I'll keep on writing no matter what happens, and keep reading, too. Got no problems with living on mac and cheese, either. Hopefully our readers feel the same way.:)

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