I just got back from Career Day at Chisholm Trail Academy, and one of the decisions I made early on was to be frank and honest with them about writing as a career. I focused on three words for success as a writer: Tenacity, Versatility, Dependability. You have to want it enough to persevere through all kinds of challenges. You have to be willing to write whatever will help you pay your bills–at least to begin with. And being the person able to meet deadlines is more important than being the talented kid who isn’t reliable.
On top of all this, I broke the bad news that only about one percent of writers become rich doing it. The other 99 percent have to find a better reason to write. I do it because I love it, because I can’t imagine life without writing. I do it because I must.
My reward is the individuals who tell me how my book has touched them. My reward are the 40 sixth graders who cheer me as the “famous” writer who teaches at the local university.
I don’t anticipate becoming rich anytime soon. It would be nice, but I won’t hold my breath.
Because I am, proudly, one of the 99 percent.