Why We Write
All parts of being an author, published and unpublished, are hard. The writer is the minnow in a sea of barracuda in all aspects of the financial business of publishing. Almost everyone wants to either ignore you, belittle you, or take what little you have. Few writers get to the point where they have much power over their own books or careers.
From your fellow writers and publishing professionals, you face sneers and contempt. If you are e-published, if you write for Leisure rather than Pocket, or paperback rather than hardcover, if you write romance or mystery or science fiction or cross-genre or any sort of fiction, you are looked down upon by someone, and that person has no trouble telling you so.
From the real world of family, friends, readers, and strangers, people will sneer at you for all the above reasons as well as a few more. Most people think Michael Jordan worked hard for his craft and has a natural born skill, but writers just put words on paper and anyone can do it. Athletes make obscene amounts of money, but the average professional writer makes less money than anyone in the publishing food chain including the janitor who cleans the publishing house's restrooms and the minimal wage worker who stacks the books at the local library.
Over half the people who learn you are a writer tell you that they are going to write a book someday, and they think it will be published instantly. People believe that most celebrities actually write their own books, and therefore, if that idiot can write a book, anyone can.
Ah, yes, the life of the average professional writer is a wonderful life, right up there with dropping a cinderblock on your foot over and over again.
Why do we do it? While the cinderblock is hitting our foot, we are dreaming of our brighter future or our characters so the pain doesn't hurt so bad most of the time.
And, occasionally, someone will tell us how much they loved our book, or how that book got them through some terrible hours during a personal crisis such as a dying loved one, or how our books made them understand something about themselves or someone else and how that changed their life for the better.
At times like that, we don't mind being minnows.