I'd made money from my television writing, appreciating every penny and putting most of it away into retirement funds, but in my opinion books were different.
I always felt that writing a book was like an all encompassing psychology project. Now that I've written four I find that I grow and learn more from each one, and this experience has more value to me than money.
I'm well aware that not everybody feels this way. Take Elmore Leonard for example, who said the following:
"I always had that in mind: to write for money. You could make money, instead of trying to be literate about it."
While I appreciate his clear point of view, this was always the exact OPPOSITE of how I felt about writing. I WANTED to be literate. The advance for my first novel was merely icing on the cake of a heartfelt endeavor.
Still, a writer has to pay the bills, and wouldn't it be nice to be able to do so from the thing you love doing most in the world?
No answers. Just lots of questions.
Maybe I'll go work it out in a new novel.
Melissa Clark's television show, "Braceface" is now streaming on Amazon. Her two published novels are here and here. Her latest two are looking for a home.