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Unsound Investments
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Now that the new novel is practically finished I wonder whether it was wise to have spent so much time on it. I always ask myself that question when we approach the end of a book. Writing is not a particularly good bet. The odds are long and most of the prizes are small. This book is more worrisome than the others because it isn't even a mystery. It's a Victorian occult thriller (says Mary) for which we have no publisher or agent. We didn't even inquire as to whether there's a market.

Because we freelance for a living, our time is money. If we are not eventually compensated for the months spent on this project there's going to be, at some point, a sizeable hole in our household income. We think it would be manageable.

It's often said, with regards to investing that you shouldn't invest (or "gamble") more than you can afford to lose. Writers don't always adhere to that rule, often with disastrous results.

Some gamble their livlihood by quitting their jobs. Many others keep their day jobs but gamble their marriages by pouring every available moment into writing rather than family. Other aspiring writers gamble their whole lives by never coming up with a feasible career plan aside from "making a living writing novels" or even "being a bestselling author." When that doesn't pan out they are left not only destitute but directionless.

Unfortunately, writing being the difficult calling that it is, it often happens that the minmum investment necessary to have any chance at all of success is more than the writer can afford to lose, if the writer is being honest about it. Mary and I try to be honest with ourselves.

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