Ordinary, Overlooked & Financially Mediocre

Do you ever feel as if you’re going through the motions? Like you could be doing more with your life? You’re not alone. Sometimes I struggle with my writing and its impact. I hope to be rich and famous, for my creative passion. But another part of me feels quite ordinary, overlooked, and financially mediocre.

I’m not so special

Faced with a reality that I’m not so special, I glare at my circumstantial evidence for relevancy, and my insecurities mock me as a social media parasite–nothing special to Tweet home about. I’m not Elon Musk or Nikola Tesla. I pale against grandmasters of the pen such as Stephen King or N.K. Jemisin.

I became so busy with life making lemonade, I had no time or financing to build lasers. Unlike Albert Einstein or best-selling novelist Nathan Hill, I’ve experienced few life-shattering epiphanies. Thus, the heaviness of existentialism weighs down the bogs in my mind. Could I do better?

It’s who you know, not how well you write…

It occurs to me we all want to be heard, or in my case, read. For example, I’ve received multiple stellar reviews for Red Bird and X Point. While most of these glowing words are not family, friends, or people I’ve paid, I hope to do better. And if one thousand readers love my books, will one million? I’ve also learned it depends on who you know in publishing and not how well (or not) you write.

Publishers & Delusions of Grandeur

Publishers are loathe to take on new, untested writers. Additionally, an overabundance of writers think their work is the next Moby Dick, Carrie, or War and Peace. Publishers have little time to cater to such delusions of grandeur. But my problem wasn’t a lack of traditional publishing contracts. My problem was a piddly advance payable in three installments and .08 cents per unit royalty, which went against my advance.

Moreover, if I am fortunate enough to sell a million books, the publisher makes $8 million. I earn $44k net, after taxes (and paying my literary agent). I figure I can sell five-thousand books on my own and do equally well. But it isn’t easy. Likewise, most people don’t care and will never care about my books. I try not to take it personally. Art is subjective. Writing too. I hear my rejected publisher’s “muahahahahaha…” from here.

Imposter Syndrome

Inevitably, while feeling “imposter syndrome”, I stumble upon inspiration and humor–the writing warriors who make me cry, laugh, or smile. It is then I remember that compassion, joy, and success, also float through our existence, my curiosity and imagination renewed. I pick up my pen, scribble, dabble, crumple…and begin again. Somewhere beneath this imposter is a grandmaster, a novelist, a best-selling author.

By B.A. Crisp

The Quanta Chronicles

The Quanta Chronicles explores–with sharp insight and fierce humor–the resilience of the human spirit through chaos. To learn more about B.A. Crisp and her covert world of unacknowledged special access projects, please visit:


Ordinary, Overlooked & Financially Mediocre by B.A. Crisp

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