Oh I’m giddy with delight right now.
I was up at 6:15am, over an hour ago, and my child has yet to surface.
I’ve written my morning pages. I’ve written an email to the 489 lovely subscribers on my book list. I’ve downloaded the software to review the Kindle and ePub versions of Forty Days of Yoga, which have just been completed.
And now I get to write!
I love writing. Love it, love it, love it, love it.
Hence the website and the book right? Seems pretty obvious. But this new life I’m living, with no childcare and full-time mothering doesn’t leave a lot of time or space for writing.
See, mostly, writing is something I like to do in the wee small hours of the morning when the psychic airwaves are quiet and my mind is still. I feel fresher, clearer and more available to life.
For years, when working fulltime and teaching part-time, I would get up at 6am to write before my day began. It worked a treat. But as parents of small children know, the arrival of a baby in the house turns sleep into a precious, precious commodity, savoured at all times and craved at most.
Even now my child is three, I still crave sleep. But lately… I’ve been finding motivation to arise early to practice yoga, and to write. But only when I know I’m well-rested.
This morning was one of this mornings. And here I am, all rested and excited and delighted at playing with words.
Pause. Now. What to say?
Yesterday I was excited to hear back from a National Book Distributor.
I wasn’t sure, flicking off an email through the website, if they’d respond to a small-fry publisher like me. But they did. Within the day. Ex-cit-ed. Until I read the terms of how they operate.
For their services – which include attempting to get my book into all major book retailers, both brick and mortor and online – they take 35% of net receipts on all books sold though them.
Sounds fair enough right? They have to handle all the sales process, cultivate the relationships with Whitcoulls and the like, plus stock and frieght the books out to fufil orders. Plus keep track of it all and invoice appropriately. 35% sounds fair.
Until you realise that those book retailers they’re selling to take 40 – 50% of the RRP – so net receipts are 50%. The distributor in essence takes about 17% off RRP. That leaves the publisher somewhere about 30% of the RRP. Out of that 30%, the publisher has to print the book, ship the book, cover their costs and pay the author.
As I’m both publisher and author, it’s a simpler process. Except that my first print run cost about 25% of RRP.
With those figures, I’ll have 5% left over to pay all other costs, including my time and $1 per book to the Yoga Educations in Prison’s Trust.
Yes, I’ll almost be paying to put my books in shops.
Oh – child awake.
Break to make breakfast, hang out at breakfast.
Now I’m typing with a cuddly three year old sitting on my lap flying some kind of spaceship that keeps saying:
Approaching drop zone.
Where was I?
Oh yeah, trying to figure out how to get my book into book stores and maybe retain 5% of the RRP. That’s $2.
An email flashes:
Notification of Payment received.
I just sold another book directly through my website, likely as a result of the email I sent out to my subscribers.
My writing flow has gone though. I don’t know where I am anymore. Samuel wants me to play lego.
Approaching drop zone.
For this morning, my writing time is gone. I surrender to it. With almost gritted-teeth.
There will be a way.
There will be a time.
I am a writer, through and through.
I will write, and I will earn a living from it.
It’s all just proces.
It’s all just presence.
It’s all about grabbing the opportunities when they arise.
It’s about keeping the faith. And letting go. All the time.
All. The. God-Damned. Time.
Later. Child in bed. Great day. Grab the opportunity to write. Flow gone though. Where am I again? It’s raining, pouring. The fire is on.
I have found the way to live in the presence of the lord.
Or so sings Krishna Das.
That’s what writing feels like to me. And dancing. And yoga. I want to write more and more and more. I also want to earn a living from writing. But I can wait. I can bide my time. I can do my time.
Child-rearing first. Writing second. Years will pass. I will still be here. I will still be writing.
This is where yoga takes me – that constant practice on the mat of working with what is, my hamstrings, tight, tight, tight. Even after 12 years of practice, still so tight. When will it ever change? But it is changing, with every practice, incrementally.
As is my writing. As is the income I derive from writing.
We are always changing. Can our minds keep up? Our identities? Who we think we are? Can we learn to let go in every moment? Allow emotions to rise like a torrent of flood water, gone in a flash? Moving through us, not of us, just an expression of energy.
I have friends who can.
They hearten me.
I am not alone.
Not in this dance.
Not in this life.
Not in this writing.
Does it matter if my book doesn’t make money? People are reading it. People are touched. People are shifting and changing and learning to be and accept just as they are.
I won’t starve.
I’ll keep writing.
I’ll keep living, and feeling, and dreaming, and believing, and acting, and creating, and most of all –
I’ll keep daring.
Dare with me?