“How much money have you made?”

I keep getting this question from friends… constantly. I’ll admit that it’s annoying. I’m not obligated to divulge that information with anyone, but when I’m asked, I feel like I need to answer. I feel like I’d be the rude one if I chose to simply say, “I’ll keep that to myself.” Actually, I’m probably more scared that they’d think I’m purposefully avoiding the question because I’m embarrassed to answer it truthfully. Truth is: I’m not. And that is why I answer it.

There is a motto I live by, and it’s actually a quote I’ve used in the rough draft of Erafeen #2 (YAY FOR CODE NAMES!).

In order to live it, you must love it.

It’s self-explanatory. Before you make gains, you must sacrifice. I haven’t made a penny from this book. (Well, I’ve made revenue, but there is absolutely no profit—quite the opposite). Thousands of dollars have been spilled into it to make it a polished, near-perfect product for potential readers. Hours—no, YEARS of my time have gone to this story, and happily so. I enjoy creating it.

But I think what also gets lost in this equation is the five years of brainstorming put into this story, world, and characters before I even began writing the first book. The entire series was mapped out from beginning to end before I put pen to paper (or fingers to keys). A world was crafted, characters and their motives were fleshed out, plot-lines and relationships formed from those characters, and then everything else would fit its way in the more I thought about it.

Five years. FIVE WHOLE YEARS OF JUST BRAINSTORMING. And I’m not talking about a brainstorming session once every week or so. I mean I thought about this story every single day—sometimes, in large chunks of hours while I mindlessly drifted around Walgreens (my workplace). What did this do for me? The benefits it provided were insurmountable. That, however, will have to be explained on a different day because it’s off-topic.

The point I’m trying to make is: desired results don’t just happen. In order to make them happen, you must dedicate yourself to the process. In order to dedicate yourself to the process, you must love what you’re doing. Because that love is what will propel you through any setbacks or sinkholes.

I love this story. I love the world. I love the characters. And as a result, I’ve loved writing. I’m approaching 80,000 words for Erafeen #2 (Oct 2016), and I’m enjoying it SO MUCH. I won’t stop until the story is finished.

So yes, it’s a grind—an expensive one. But you must sacrifice before you gain. Time, money and, sometimes, your mental health. Lol.

Had to get that off my chest.