Unfortunately, WordPress is wrong – since only posts appearing on this page get counted, anything else on the site counts as a big fat zero; then there’s the bits and pieces scattered around other sites on the interweb, and let’s not forget my original blog\s that preceded this one – which themselves account for around a further year’s worth of posting. So, taking all things into account, I passed the 1000 post milestone some time ago. (Coincidentally, when I proofread this piece – I found I’d misspelt ‘milestone’ as ‘millstone’ – a somewhat apt slip of the fingers, if ever there was one!)
My usual daily offering is between 700-800 words, with a fair whack being considerably more verbose, which means that I could reasonably add a few more zeroes to the heading above, and put in a valid claim to somewhere around a million words, which is probably pretty close to my actual output over the past six years. If only I’d accumulated cash at the rate I’ve accumulated words I’d be a millionaire by now, but sadly that isn’t the case, and it’s highly unlikely it ever will be.
Let’s face it, anyone who has ever written even a modest amount ‘for pleasure’ has harboured thoughts of becoming the next Grisham, Rowling, or Crighton, but if it was that easy, we’d all be up there on the rich lists. I know a few people who write professionally, or have done so in the past, and I doubt that any of them are holding out any hopes about making even a modest fortune from their work – not that they aren’t any good at what they do, it’s just the nature of the game.
The same is true for those who dream of making it big in SL. It’s true that some do, but the vast majority – no matter how accomplished they may be as designers, builders, artists, or whatever – are probably going to end up spending more than they make, or at best, breaking even over the course of their SLife. There really is no guaranteed way to make a fast buck in either life, even if you’re at the top of your game – luck, timing, sponsorship and market forces all play a hugely significant part in securing success, and it doesn’t always go to those who are the best at what they do, (just consider E.L. James, for example, oh my!).
Perhaps a bigger consideration for me – given the chance – would I really want to turn what I do for fun into a business? Whilst you may not immediately appreciate the sentiment here, it is something that I’d counsel anyone thinking about turning a hobby or interest into something more to think very carefully about, before taking the plunge. There are some things in my life that I am extremely good at, so good in fact that other people have suggested I should consider developing those talents into a career, or at the very least, think about making a living from them. However, these are things I do for pleasure, not for profit and if that were to change, so would the whole dynamic around them. To write for a living means to be disciplined, consistent and to write with a purpose – there can be no off-days or times when the effort is too much, or there’s something else to occupy the time that you decide is worth doing more. You have to write on the basis that the aim is to put food on the table, not because you want to vent, rant, chat or wallow in nostalgia for a bit. You’re up against the clock – forget wandering off mid paragraph to toast a bagel, make a cuppa or potter around on the internet, (all of which I have done in the course of writing this post): That focus has to be unwavering, and procrastination has no part to play. And, perhaps most difficult of all, your work is no longer your own – unless you’re very fortunate indeed – you may be doing the writing, but other people are making the decisions… topics, titles, length, language, form and feel are dictated by editors, publishers and even the intended audience – what you once did for fun, when you felt like it, becomes the property of somebody else: Somebody with their own rules and expectations, and they are writing the cheques!
There are few things more deflating than reading a piece over which you’ve sweated blood, and finding that someone else has butchered it beyond recognition.
That’s not to say that some can and do pursue their dream in this way, and do so terribly well. Other bloggers have made the transition, but I’m not sure that I’d have the same courage of my convictions to make that step, equally, I’m not sure that it’s one I’d really want to make anyway – at least for the time being.
After all, there’s nothing wrong with doing something simply because it’s enjoyable; and there’s no rule that says you have to be successful, as measured by others, simply because you happen to be awesome at what you do. Maybe we won’t make our fortune from creating gestures, achieve fame through our skills at making mesh clothing, or be celebrated for our blogging, but if we’re enjoying what we do and we do it well enough to feel good about ourselves, then we’ve nothing to feel disappointed about.
I’ve always said that I’d still blog, even if nobody ever read any of the words – the bottom line is that I write for myself, in the way I want to, much like I build and do all those other things that I feel inspired to do in SL. Maybe one day that will change and I’ll be ready for the challenge of doing it for real, but until then, this will do nicely.
And that just about wraps things up for now, I think: 1,001,010 and counting!
You’re at the stage
You want your empty words heard
And everybody’s ready
They want to know your secret
But you are not telling
Furniture – Brilliant Mind