10 Common Misconceptions of the Wannabe Novelist, #5


See Part 1Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4

#5: If a publisher accepts my novel for publication, I’ll be rich.

Ha! Don’t quit your day job just yet.

This is one of the most ridiculous myths of all, and it’s fueled by those glossy back covers of New York Times-best-selling authors in their expensive clothes and watches, hair perfectly coifed, wrinkles air-brushed away.

For whatever reason, this image propagates in the general public, including newbies who don’t know better, the notion that anyone who publishes a novel must get paid a lot of money.

The fact is, most published novelists aren’t rich—not even close. Once in a while, we hear about a struggling author like J. K. Rowling suddenly making it big. But those stories are definitely not the norm.

The Reality

Most published novelists I’ve gotten to know online (because I know few up here in the woods) continue the rat race of working full-time jobs, struggling to pay the bills like the rest of us, and balancing family and church—and then somehow finding time to write. And among those, very few have made enough money to quit their day jobs and focus on their writing as a career.

Yes, I’ve published a novel, but as I discovered, that was only the beginning. I’m very grateful to Kregel for accepting my first novel and taking a chance, but when I think of how little money I’ve made on the book, I have to laugh. Nobody but best-selling authors could possibly be doing this for the money. Frankly, I didn’t care about the money when I signed my first contract; getting my novel published was payment enough (though a little pocket change is always nice).

The Reason

So if most us aren’t publishing novels for the money, why are we doing it? Something deeper must drive us. I call it a serious calling from God to use our abilities and make a difference in this world. That’s why the suspense I write is intended to be meaningful so perhaps it can do some heavenly good.

Besides, God has given me the desire to write stories; I can’t turn it off. Even if I never sold another story, I’d still be writing one.

What about you? Certainly God has given you a drive—a passion—to do something. What is it? For some people, it’s running. For others its playing video games or painting pictures or climbing Everest or fixing old cars. I believe God places each of us in a strategic location so we can make the most difference.

Take a hard look at your interests. Can God use them to somehow make a difference in someone’s life? After all, why else are we on this planet?

4 thoughts on “10 Common Misconceptions of the Wannabe Novelist, #5

  1. Kristen

    It took a lot of years, but I finally learned that I’m actually better at polishing other people’s prose than I am at writing my own. Admitting that my True Calling is editing, and that writing is secondary, was part of a journey of humility the Lord has me on.

  2. Adam Blumer

    Thanks for sharing. I guess I’m in the same boat because I support my family through my editing yet my heart is still in writing. I love writing fiction, but it definitely won’t pay the bills . . . at least not yet. But God’s in control of all that, and supporting my family has to take priority.

  3. Pingback: 10 Common Misconceptions of the Wannabe Novelist, #7 | Adam Blumer I Meaningful Suspense

  4. Pingback: 10 Common Misconceptions of the Wannabe Novelist, #9 | Adam Blumer I Meaningful Suspense

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