Sunday, February 26, 2012

It's Out There

The American Dream.  The recent economy has presented many challenges to the idea anyone can achieve their heart's desire if they work hard enough.  I wonder soon if that dream will be whittled down to being about to fill my car with gas.  My oldest son is wondering if he'll be able to afford the house he's going to look at tomorrow.  We both work hard, not only at our day jobs but at our extra jobs.

For him, that's coaching, painting with his father and just about any other odd job that comes up he can make money at while still attending grad school on weekends. During the day he is a teacher. I also teach and do a number of small extra duties that earn me a few dollars by tutoring.  But my biggest 'extra' job is my writing.

You can guess since I'm not retired from teaching, I'm not pulling in a big income from being a published author.  The business is tough, time-consuming and not for the faint-hearted or anyone who isn't very self-motivated.  And some days when I'm doing some blog hopping or checking out what my friends are up to on facebook, I wonder if I'm working hard enough.  As the publishing industry scrambles, stumbles, runs and trips over itself to keep up with the changes brought on by technology, opportunities abound for those ready to leap on the speeding missile of progress.  Am I running fast enough to make the leap or will I fall behind?  Success is out there somewhere, if only I can work hard enough and fast enough to grab the opportunities I'm told are available.

Do you feel like you're keeping up?  Or are the changes too fast for you? And guesses on the future?


  1. Because of where I live now, I prefer to concentrate not on making money, but making do with less and saving more.

    On that front, we've done well, but it is way harder to do than before.

    As a tiny example, years ago, the butcher would GIVE you soup bones (most with plenty of meat still on them). Now they sell them for two bucks a pound.

    That example is a microcosm of what's happening everywhere else.

    This is why I prefer to provide for myself than take a job and pay someone else to provide for me.

    Your observations have given me a lot to think about. Thank you.

  2. I love this quote, it's a great reminder that we can't please everybody and shouldn't feel bad if we don't :)

    Universal Gibberish

  3. If I go any faster or harder I'll hit warp speed and vanish!

  4. I'm trying to do as much with as little time as I have. If I could win the lottery, I'd feel more secure about it all!

  5. I'm keeping up with industry changes but social media changes are sometimes too much.

  6. I can't keep up so I do the best I can everyday and then go to bed. And that is in my relationship, my full time job, and everything else in my life.

    Love Churchill's quote!

  7. L. Diane, I feel like I can't keep up with media changes either. They sometimes frustrate me.
    Alex, if anyone can handle warp speed, it's you.
    Christine, if you hit that lottery, remember your friends.

  8. Ha, I'm with Alex. The old quote "I'm dancing as fast as I can" comes to mind. Not sure what's left to try, and I'm really discouraged by illegal downloaders, and now Smashwords/Paypal deciding what should and should not be published. It seems like more obstacles are thrown up against us every day. But the best we can do is keep on writing. Can't stop anyway!

  9. Every one seems to be in agreement - if you can move fast enough right now, you can really benefit to this transition in the publishing world with self-publishing. But the writing still has to be GOOD, really GOOD, to get a following, and I'm just not there yet... which makes me sad I can't jump on the fast train! But good point about working hard - I'm probably not putting in time I could be, to advance faster.

  10. My full-time job is homemaker. But, I do bake and sell things and do different online things for extra money. It is getting harder to get that "extra" money. I have to charge more for my baking and so I sell less. Companies online are paying less so I get less there too.
    I fear the dream is turning into a nightmare.

  11. Everything does seem to be whizzing past me, but I figure I don't need to worry too much as I haven't actually written anything I deem publishable yet :-)

  12. The only thing we can do is keep improving our craft, keep writing, and keep doing the best we can.