By Jaime Samms (Guest Blogger)
When can an author definitively claim, "I am a writer." This is my job, this is what I do for a living? Is it when you get that first contract? First royalty statement? When you use royalty earnings to pay the first bill, buy the first birthday gift, make X number of dollars? When you have made enough to pay taxes on that income?
Let's face it, monetary reimbursement isn't always a good indicator of talent or even success.
Everyone measures success differently, after all, and only our indulgent, consumer-based society has placed the definition of that word squarely in our quarterly financial statements. Success on an emotional, spiritual or intellectual level usually has very little to do with our bank accounts. At least, that's so for me, and I'm not just saying that because there's often very little in my bank account, either. My sense of fulfillment rarely has anything to do with my financial solvency :)
As for talent, let's talk about Vincent Van Gogh.
The artist who created Starry Night died a little-known pauper, having only ever sold one painting in his entire life. Now a single painting of his costs millions of dollars. Maybe I can count myself successful when I can afford to buy one of his paintings with my royalties. No one could doubt me then. Hopefully, not even I could doubt me then.
So maybe you measure by the number of words written, the number of releases or sales, or by your first novel, your first book in print. It's so hard to tell.
I've logged thousands and thousands of words over the years. Many have been published. Most haven't and never will be. I have novels published and books in print. And yet, at the end of the day, can I call myself a writer? I do have a day job correcting people's tax returns. The spectacular irony there is that I'm one of the best clerks in my department and I have never in my life filled out my own tax return. So can I really call myself a tax expert, either?
Back to Van Gogh, he spent some time in his life as a missionary and as an art broker. I wonder, if I could ask him now, what he would say to the question "What do you do?" Would he say "I'm a missionary." or "I'm an art broker." Or would he simply answer; "I paint."
I know for sure how I would answer that question. "I write." It's what I do, it's as natural as breathing, as deep in my soul as loving and hating.
So. Is it a job? Or is it just...me?
What do you do? How do you define yourself? Does your job make your soul sing?
Find out more about me on my website, my blog and join me on facebook and twitter:
Interested in what I write? Check a new release: Finder's Keepers
All his life, Rory Sanders just wanted please the people he loves and always thought he failed, until the day Gabriel Stark rescues him from Kane's abusive hand--and Rory's own misconceptions of what it means to be submissive.
His search for a way into the world that lets him live out his need to serve others has left Rory Sanders estranged from his family and without a lot of friends. When he meets Kane, he thinks his dreams have come true. Those dreams are shattered when he discovers Kane is less interested in his submission than his total subjugation and humiliation. Unable to figure out how to please Kane, Rory is left in a dangerous and humiliating position, bound and helpless in a fetish club where he at last meets people who understand.
Gabriel Stark is not only the private investigator called in to figure out who Kane is and why he has been abusing submissive men, he's also a professional Dom and the man of Rory's dreams come to life. It remains to be seen if Gabe can overcome his own losses and mistakes and be the Dom Rory needs, or if he will let his own past be the ruin of yet another submissive who needs his help. That Rory is physically, emotionally, and intellectually everything Gabe has been looking for only makes Gabe more determined not to get emotionally invested in Rory's recovery.
Keeping Rory safe from Kane might be more than Gabe can manage on his own, and the result of failure could cost the submissive his life.