According to a recent YouGov poll, more people want to be an author than any other profession.
Don't they know how hard it is?
Don't they know they'd be letting themselves in for a lifetime of anxious waiting for someone to pass judgment on them?
(If they're unpublished, this will be an agent.
If they've got that far, this will be a commissioning editor at a publishing house.
If the editor likes their work, this will be the marketing and sales depts.
If they achieve the elusive deal and their book is published, this will be reviewers.
And so it goes on ...)
And don't they know that if they do get the deal, they themselves will be expected to be part of the package? (See here for Danuta Keane's take on branding.)
And don't they know that authors who make a living from their writing are nearly as rare as honest politicians?
Don't get me wrong.
I love being a writer.
I love the euphoric high when the words spill out in an unstoppable torrent.
And even more do I love the mixture of triumph, relief and delight you get when you finish a book.
But I don't think I could say I ever chose this way of life.
I didn't wake up one day and say, 'I know. I'll be an author ...'
Writing is as much a part of me as the blood, sweat and tears it so frequently produces.
It's not a choice.
It's a compulsion.
Would anyone really choose that?