“Writers don’t make any money at all. We make about a dollar. It is terrible. But then again we don’t work either. We sit around in our underwear until noon then go downstairs and make coffee, fry some eggs, read the paper, read part of a book, smell the book, wonder if perhaps we ourselves should work on our book, smell the book again, throw the book across the room because we are quite jealous that any other person wrote a book, feel guilty about throwing the schmuck’s book across the room because we secretly wonder if God in heaven noticed our evil jealousy, or worse, our laziness. We then lie across the couch facedown and mumble to God to forgive us because we are secretly afraid He is going to dry up all our words because we envied another man’s stupid words. And for this, as I said before, we are paid a dollar.”
Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz
I think this is supposed to be a joke. Kind of. What freaks me out is that it describes a pretty average day for me. Except I don’t pray nearly enough. My friends ask “Who is this?” when I remember to practice social skills. My kids complain they can see all the crusty glass shelves in the refrigerator. My butt is as flat and wide as my blown-out desk chair. Good thing I’m about to turn my latest manuscript over to others wiser than myself, who probably have some semblance of a life, for critique. Maybe I’ll get dressed today. Or not. I may need a day in bed (alone, thank you very much) to recover from the revision process.
Today I’d take one measly dollar to see my last 8 months of work in print. No, I’d pay the publisher. Not much, though. I’ve spent all my money on print cartridges.
I’d get to mow the lawn again! Go to the grocery store! Pick up all the dry, legless cave cricket carcasses collecting cat hair on the floor! Pick a peck of pickled peppers!
I think I’ll just start the next novel.
Maybe I’ll make that dollar after all.