Dustin Johnson walked up, marked his ball on the green and looked up at the tree and Phil's ball. Phil stepped onto the green and shrugged. For him, it was all in a day's work. For Dustin, it was, "How the heck did you make the shot?" Phil held court for a few minutes teaching the other golfers how he made the shot. This may have been a practice round, but these four guys were playing for money. More important, they were playing for fun.
What this has to do with writing is simple: some writers write for the love of the craft, others write in hopes or anticipation of large payoffs. We all want people to read our books. We also are happy when readers buy our books.
I don't know what it would be like to be a best selling author. I'd like to think it would spur me on to write better, to put out another book, to continue to study the craft. I'd hope to be more like Phil Mickelson, who is beyond the peak of his game, who still plays and who gives the crowds what they want: him. We love a golfer who is gracious and shows he's having a ripping good time at what he's doing.
I love a writer who puts out another book, a better book, after one bombs. Those 1-star reviews are spirit-crushers, but writers I respect learn from them. The next book is often better.
I wonder if golfers would quit the game and writers would quit the craft if they thought they couldn't make another penny for their efforts.
What do you think? Would you quit if your books didn't sell? Or would you go back to basics and revisit the craft?