A Life of Writing and Obscurity
Mike Cernovich recently published this post and said this line that really hit home for me:
The life of a writer is to write every day in obscurity….for years. If you’re lucky, you’ll “break through” in three years. It took me 15 years to earn a full-time living from writing. Today it’s easy street, but factor in opportunity cost and you’d wonder why the hell anyone gets into this game.
I’ll say this: I published my first post on this blog on July 7th, 2013. You know when I started to feel like I might truly, truly “make it” and not have to head back to my corporate job?
Around November of last year, 2016.
Three years and four or so months. And yes, I would 100% consider myself “lucky” to have made it that quickly. Not that I didn’t work hard, and publish the content. But there were still large elements of luck involved in the process that helped me get to where I am (as well as a large number of other skills that made the process go quicker as I didn’t have to learn them).
As I mentioned recently on my newer site, I probably could have had more success if I’d gone the more sales-letter-writing route of doing things. In fact, I have little doubts about this. Creating/publishing, selling, and supporting your own product is indefinitely more difficult than reviewing someone’s product. Nor as profitable.
I mean, check out this Rocket Spanish review I penned the other day on Eastern European Travel.
Guess how long it took me to write that first draft.
Add in another 13 or so minutes for images, editing, and inserting some links and I spent a grand total of half an hour on that article. That article will potentially make me an infinite amount of money (not really, obviously). More realistic is that it sells three or four copies a month at $60 each which would net me nearly $250 a month. Again, for thirty minutes of work.
(These days, I almost spend more time giving article ideas and editing the articles of my employee and intern—but I’m working on becoming a lot faster with that process.)
Whereas if you compare this article you’re reading now, it’s been ruminating around in my head for about the last 9 hours. I read Cernovich’s article last night before bed, slept on it, and then actually stared at my keyboard for about thirty minutes before I figured out what I wanted to say here.
Sure, this hasn’t taken me that long to actually write it (probably 15 minutes). This piece of content will only be about 500 words when it’s all said and done. It will never make me a penny (other than traffic converting). But I wanted to put it out there.
BUT…WOULD I CHANGE IT?
I won’t even lie, I’d love to be making five figures a month instead of four. But, I do like having this site. I like having my platform. I enjoy having my face published (usually). I love meeting up with you guys on the road to cause a bit of trouble.
Naw, I wouldn’t change a thing.
- BTW, you can support my writing by purchasing Cracking OkCupid---on sale this weekend.
I’ll just leave off with this final line from Mike:
Becoming a writer is actually the stupidest thing you can do.