Friday, January 25, 2013
I write because... (a rant amid an affirmation & progress)
Lol, doing my best to have posts up regularly here. Though my brain goes awol sometimes, I have a whole crew of guests lined up for the coming weeks to keep the postings flowing. So this week might've been some hit&miss, after the staggeringly knackered kinda day I had yesterday, I missed the Links posting. Forgive me, and here's a glimpse of what I went through.
Imagine dealings with an ISP to make sense of their contract; banks conveniently 'forgetting' to cancel your standing order payments even after we've rolled into 2013; muggy heat and scorching sub with temps in and around 38degC at barely 10AM - and you have my day yesterday. On top of that, I had a scene to write in Inescapable, Book 1 of the Eternelles series, so my bestie and collab partner, Natalie G. Owens, could progress with her part on the project. Oh, and edits to finalize for not 1 but 2 clients.
In the middle of all this, I come across an email from my pub house's accountants, informing me that, as from February, they will be withholding taxes from all royalty payments, and any non-US citizen could fill in form whatever number to claim a refund under tax treaty laws.
Amount withhold? 30%
Issue for me - I'm from Mauritius... which doesn't have a tax treaty with the US.
Consequently, the IRS and US government just sent me a reeling 'up yours!' by chucking 30% of my earnings without any hope of me getting that money back.
Which made me wonder - if I lost 30% of what I made, was it worth it to continue working to earn a pittance? For a minute, I stared my projects in the face... Wouldn't it be the same for me to offer them all for free? After all the blood and sweat and time and energy that went into them, I also had to forego 30% of everything I would've made?
I must've hit the lowest pits of despair and self-doubt possible for an author yesterday. I had tons of projects lined up; in fact, so many projects I could derail my (somewhat fragile) health in trying to get them all on the rails. Was it all worth just 70% of what I can make on them?
But then I remembered. I recalled why I wrote, why I started writing, why I powered on when rejections were slamming me down from left, right, up, and down.
Why do I write? Because I want to share my stories with readers.
As simple as that. I won't go as far to say that I bring something totally unique to the book world - every author worth his/her salt does that. I won't say that my take on the cultural world of Indian-origin folks and Muslims in Mauritius is not seen elsewhere. Trust me, I know I have tons of competition out there.
But I also know that I have opened countless emails, and even met 'live' fans, who have told me I brightened their day with my stories. That they've loved reading what I have penned down. That my writing brought them something 'special' (whatever that might happen to be.)
I never thought I'd write for money. Yes, it's a dream of all authors to be rolling in the moolah brought in by fantabulous sales and a movie deal and all that hoop-la, but that's just what it is. A dream. Something we all aspire to. Doesn't mean we'll make it... I remember a quote that I'm gonna hash up badly coz I don't recall it exactly and also who said it originally, but the gist was:
"Knowing we'll never reach the stars doesn't mean we can't chart our paths by them."
I don't know if my sales will ever be fantabulous. I don't know how much money my writing can and will bring me. I don't know how many fans I'll ever get, how many lives I might get to touch...
I do know that I have stories in me, and that I'd die if I didn't write, and if I didn't share them with the world. If I can do that, and still earn something beside those lovely words from fans, then awesome. If not, well... It's all God's work, and I accept it. I know who I am and where I stand, and that's what matters.
And speaking of writing, there is some progress to show this week! Worked on Book 1 of the Eternelles series, that takes a jump of nearly 6,000 words this week through my addition to the plot. Now Natalie G. Owens must work her magic. Who knows - by next week, we might've crossed the half-way mark on this project!
Oh, and Leila, the heroine from my upcoming 1Night Stand release, Once Upon A Second Chance, (releasing February 5) is in the demon Bunny's hot seat today. Come read a bit about this Muslim girl who's not had an easy life till now, but who, nevertheless, allows nothing, and no one, to cull her spirit! Here's the link!
Looking forward to a nice weekend with the hubby & hyenas now. Hopefully, these temps will lower and we'll be able to sleep at night.
Hope ye all have a lovely weekend!
From Mauritius with love,