Knowing my background, people asked me, “Why do you write?”
Writing is not like the other jobs I had before. My background is accounting. I went to college to be an accountant and became a CPA before my 21st birthday. Although I wanted to take journalism in college, my father needed an accountant in the family and so I was told to study accounting. I had no choice. I worked as an accountant for 32 years, becoming a Controller at the end. When I retired at 55, I was bored for a while and so I decided to get a real estate license and sell houses. That lasted for 11 years until we moved to Charleston.
My retirement in Charleston gave me plenty of time to catch up on my reading and writing. Before retirement, I had no time to read or do anything for myself. I was too busy with my job, working 70-hour week. I could’ve gone back to real estate but I didn’t want to deal with those demanding customers anymore. Money was great being an accountant or selling real estate but I wanted to move on. Besides I didn’t want to be a driver anymore, showing houses at all kinds of hours and days. I wanted my weekend off. Besides I have gotten more satisfaction writing than dealing with homebuyers who could not make up their minds. I rather deal with my protagonists and see what my story leads me. I enjoy writing, be it a novel or gardening articles.
I dug up an old manuscript I wrote years ago and started rewriting it. I read books about writing, subscribe to Writers’ Digest and read it cover to cover. I pay attention to the details of books I read. I look at the internet and read articles on writing. I want to know how books become bestsellers. I discovered that unless you’re a celebrity, it’s a long road to becoming a bestseller. But that does not discourage me one bit. I know there are obstacles along the way and the stigma attached to self-publishing. Yes, I sent my manuscript to 4 agents and got 2 rejection letters and 2 non-replies. I decided to self-publish after that. I don’t have time to wait to get traditionally published. I have so much to write. If I was younger, maybe I would.
I have experienced a lot of things in my life which I can write about. I have lived on places with different cultures, have met people from both sides of the railroad tracks so to say, have seen first-hand how people live in a third world countries and the upper class of New York. There are so many things to write about, people to create, their personality, their challenges and triumphs. Eventually readers will discover that I have some great stories to tell.
Writing can be the easier part of being a writer. Publishing your book is another matter. You have to consider writing as a business. However, as a former accountant, I have a grasp of how business works. Writing is not just a creative endeavor. Your book is a product and if writing is a business, you have to sell your product. You have to market it and market yourself constantly. That is the hard part. But money should not be your main objective. Having fun writing should be and money will eventually follow. For me, I write to educate, inspire and stimulate the minds of my readers. Money is a welcome bonus.