09 September 2013

How much is your happiness worth?

Believe me, I understand. A blog post devoted to, shall we say, "advertising" is not the most attractive place to spend a few minutes while wasting some time at work or school. (Neither is writing such a blog.) However, it needed to be done. The book is out, available within some time zones and under the more favorable stars. I simply wish for my wonderful friends, followers, and [dare I say] fans to know of its existence. That's enough.

I love to write. [Let me start again:] I love to write what I choose to write. I don't mean professional documents (as I occasionally do now) nor academic essays and research papers (as I did not too long ago), or any other obligations of the literary sort. No, I mean fiction writing. The world of make-believe. I suppose that love comes from a long-standing disappointment with the status quo. Of course, it's not all utopia and unicorns in what I write, either, but at least the chaos, the misery, the betrayal and backstabbing are of my choosing.

And so I wile away my days (this past summer was a great pile of such days!--ooo, did I make a rhyme?) at the keyboard of life, type type typing the days into the molds I have created for them. And they (the days made of words which are symbols that represent the meanings of life) go on to form the walls and roofs and patios of Lego-like worlds in primary colors. That's how it is done. Waxing poetic on a Monday morning is winning, isn't it?

Long story short--if you've read this far--I love to write stories about people in odd situations and I love seeing how they get out of those situations. I'm the kind of writer who does not outline, does not plan ahead (not in any more detailed sense than a general story arc), and so as I write the story unfolds to me just as it will unfold to the reader. I like being surprised as much as readers are (I guess). Often I don't like what my characters have planned, what they try to do or get away with, and just as often they don't find my plans for them to be very appealing. Such is the conflicts between the real and the fictional.

Long story even shorter: I love to create these stories and more than anything else (anything but writing them) is my delight at readers experiencing these stories and enjoying them. That's my greatest thrill: to have a readers say (or post, comment, etc.) what they took from the story about, say, the human condition, or what he/she liked about these stories. I'll even take a "didn't like" comment with a half-grin. We can't get it all right all the time, eh?

So the bottom line is that I let people know when and where something is available so they may get as much enjoyment reading (indeed "experiencing"!) what I have created as I have gotten in creating it. I expect us both to be pleased.

And then there is the matter of money. Some people write to make money. I have not yet found a list of those people. Instead, I think most writers write for love of writing, as I do. But there is the need for food, printer ink, books for research, etc. that requires us to beg for some kind of compensation just to keep up the brain cells for the next round of creation. Starving artists do not actually create very good art; their minds are starved.

And as for paperback books, even set at the lowest possible price that, say, Amazon.com will allow, my take is only about one or two dollars per book, hardly a king's ransom. The ebooks for Kindle actually provide a slightly better percentage to the author. However, many readers prefer the touch, the feel, of woodchips in their hands. I do; call me old fashioned. Either way, it all begins with the quirky spark of gray matter inside an artist's brain, something which is truly priceless. How can one put a price sticker on an idea, even a fictional story about people who do not exist and therefore serve no purpose in life, contribute nothing to society, and ultimately are forgotten? Difficult to calculate. Even so....

I'd do it anyway (write), as I stated above, because I love to create new worlds and odd situations and see how it all plays out. If I share that entertainment with someone, isn't it fair I get something back in exchange? A "thank you" is a good start. An obsessive urge to possess the next creation of mine is also good. A meal ticket for the school cafeteria of your choice is often an acceptable donation. It's up to you. What is your happiness worth?

Mine is worth $1.29--give or take a few pennies.

And if you do not mind any little pluggettes, please allow me to mention some entertainments are available for you....


(Book I in paperback, or ebook
Book II as ebook , paperback coming soon; 
Book III coming soon as ebook then paperback)

(C) Copyright 2010-2013 by Stephen M. Swartz. All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog, whether text or image, may be used without me giving you written permission, except for brief excerpts that are accompanied by a link to this entire blog. Violators shall be written into novels as characters who are killed off. Serious violators shall be identified and dealt with according to the laws of the United States of America.


  1. I think we all are have to write what we love because the financial rewards are few and far between. I love the idea of building worlds out of Legolike words. :)

    1. Writing is a construction, brick by brick. And we keep adding on new wings. Then we move to another lot and start over again.

  2. Writing daily builds confidence in you ability to write, but selling books you have written builds confidence in your ability to eat!

    1. Ability to eat rocks! That's the reason I have a day job.

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