I recently took stock of all my writing projects, which would be the novels I've finished, published, started, been thinking of starting, and of course the work in progress, and let's not forget the short stories. I've been writing fiction for what seems like forever and I have a stockpile to show for it.
Completed novels: 5
Published novels: 3 (one is a novella)
Started novels: 4 (about 100 pages into each, but I plan to finish only 2)
Novel concepts waiting to start: 4
Works in progress: 1
Short Stories: 5
You'd think with all the pages I've wracked up that I'd be making a living at this by now. Ha! I've earned about $1500 total, which comes to around 63 cents a page. That's enough to mail a 2 ounce letter first class! Cool! But that doesn't take into account all my expenses, which would include scads of writers conferences and organization dues, so that puts me in the hole a few thousand bucks. Eh, so what. That's not the point.
Non-writers would think it crazy to want to continue this career quest, saying it isn't worth it. But I can't think of anything more worthwhile. I may not have made much income, but the rewards have been phenomenal. I've made amazing friends, learned about a fascinating business, and stretched my creativity and imagination farther than I'd ever dreamed possible. Through my stories I've visited enchanted islands and vast deserts, I've battled a serial killer and traveled to the astral plane, I've talked to mummies, turned into a gargoyle, suffered a dozen scorpion stings and jelly fish stings, I've killed people, made love to people, and given birth to people. How many non-writers can say that about their jobs?
So have you taken stock of your writing inventory? What have you experienced through the stories you've told?