Getting Schooled

I will admit that when I started this writing/publishing journey I was very arrogant about how quickly I could be successful at it. I heard things like it takes 10-15 years of writing before you really see success and I thought, “Well, that’s just because those people don’t work as hard as I do and I’ve been successful elsewhere so I can be successful here and in a helluva lot less than 10-15 years.”

Hubris. It gets you through a lot of the rough spots.

Well, here I am, seven years from that first arrogant thought and almost five years (on the 29th) from hitting publish on my first self-published title.



If I look at this from the perspective of someone who needed an education, then I’m actually right on track. Because if I chalk up the first four years of self-publishing as equivalent to getting my undergraduate degree and look at this last, the fifth, year as equivalent to my first year of full-time employment then I’m actually doing about the same as I did in my first career.

Granted, self-publishing comes with expenses that working for a company does not. And it doesn’t come with benefits and bonuses the way that first job of mine did. But if I just look at annual salary of that first job versus gross revenue for this past year of self-publishing they’re neck-and-neck. Self-publishing actually comes out a little bit above that first year’s salary.

Which means I’m past the initial schooling phase and now on to the earn a living phase. It’s the “live in an apartment with five other people and drive a run-down car” living phase (something I’m not actually doing which is why I need to re-read my own budgeting book and apply my own advice), but it’s still the make a living phase.

And if things follow the same path as my first career then the next three years should see exponential growth in that number.

Here’s hoping.

I never want to stop learning, but it would be nice to be past the phase where I’m getting schooled on a regular basis. (And, yes, I’m using that term in the slang meaning that involves some humiliation and embarrassment.)

Also, you’ll probably be seeing a lot less of me in the next few months here and elsewhere. One, because I’m diving back into fiction writing. Two, because I need to disconnect from the baseless drama and misinformation that’s out there. I just can’t right now. If I’m going to make that exponential leap I need to be focused, not spending time each day thinking to myself, “Seriously? No. No, no, no.”

Author: M.L. Humphrey

M.L. Humphrey is an author who has been published under a variety of pen names and across a variety of subjects and genres. You can contact M.L. at mlhumphreywriter [at]

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