I spend a lot of time griping about how much I loathe my day job and how I want to write for a living. But one thing I hadn’t considered too much is the safety net that my job provides. If the writing doesn’t work out, I have a fall back. If my sales drop, I can still pay my bills. If I get to the point where I hate my current WIP, I can move on to something else with general impunity. Yes, I’d prefer to finish and get new stuff out to fans in order to maintain the platform I am building, but I don’t HAVE to.
I realized today that that makes me lucky in a way that some authors are not.
I was talking to an author friend of mine who’s editing the book she intends to put out next. It’s been on the backburner for a while as she’s worked on other projects, and now that she’s returned to it, she really hates it. Like deep and desperate loathing. I’m not sure that I have ever reached that particular point with any of my past WIPs, but I certainly have hit complete and utter boredom, and that’s usually the point when I walk away and work on something else. If I am too bored with it, I won’t do it justice and it won’t be the best book I can write, which would–as far as I’m concerned–only hurt me if I put out a subpar book.
My friend isn’t so fortunate. Writing is her sole income stream and if she doesn’t have something new to put out by Christmas in order to take advantage of the OMG I GOT AN EREADER rush, she’s going to be in dire financial straights. So she’s faced with a horrible dilemma. Does she try to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, potentially putting out a book that isn’t quite as good as her prior work, which might turn readers off her series, or does she take the financial risk and move to something new that she’ll be excited about, which will ultimately be a better book?
What would you do?