I just attended the New England Authors Book Expo in Danvers, MA. It was a wonderful event that was supported by writers from many New England states including MA, NH, CT, and ME. I was impressed by many of them and I now have a lifetime supply of bookmarks.

The creativity that each of us has to offer always amazes me. There were themes such as vampires and witches. And levels of interest that range from pre-schoolers and middle graders, to young adult and beyond. As to a recurring theme that I noticed, we would all love to duplicate the success that Stephanie Myers has enjoyed. There was even one author who had a 7 book series in the making, emulating J.K. Rowling, I'm guessing. And there were also most likely one-time writers whose goal is to honor a parent or loved one with their book.

Personally, I write because I love writing. I never think...'wow, wouldn't it be great if they made a movie of my book' or 'imagine if I was as successful as J.K. herself'. I write because I have to, because it is the easiest and best way to entertain myself. I would never burst someone's bubble and say something like,' well, you know, becoming as successful as Stephanie Myers or J.K. is a very unusual thing and rarely can anyone expect to attain such success and financial wealth with their writing.' We all need to learn our own lessons. I think everyone should dream and put that positive energy out there. Just remember, it isn't about the money, it is always about doing what you love and doing it because you love it so much that you couldn't survive in life if it was taken away from you. The money is a bonus for hard work, love of your chosen discipline, and good entertaining writing (for me it's Avi, Michael Chabon, Dostoevsky among many others).

When I was painting full-time, these were hard lessons for me to learn. I couldn't focus on anything else except making money. I guess that is why I know that what I am finally doing now is the thing I was supposed to be doing all along. Because I've been writing for years (actually decades) with no thought of compensation. I did work as a technical writer for many years but it never got me laughing like I do now when I write my stories (except maybe near the end, before I got out of the business, but that may have been a form of hysteria bordering on insanity if I didn't leave my job soon. You know what I mean, you start laughing right before you start crying uncontrollably.)

If writing causes you anxiety, and not because your publisher is breathing down your neck to finish that book, or causes you any kind of pain, or sometimes feels like torture (not fun), maybe you should consider a different career path.

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