Apparently I’m supposed to be grateful that they are pirating my stuff. Because that means people in Brazil, Timbuktu or the North Pole know who I am.
Uh…sorry, guys. I don’t write because I want to be a household name. To be completely honest, I’d probably be happier if I could live in my little hole, never poke my nose out and people just buy my stuff and me never have to worry about anything else.
Being a household name comes with a lot of stress, I’d imagine, a lot of pressure. and a lot of stress. I could do without the added pressure and I don’t need any more stress.
So while yeah, it might be neat in theory, I don’t live in a theory.
I live in the real world.
You know…the world where there are things like…well, reality. Reality comes with costs. Kids. Bills. Promotional needs. Responsibilities.
And while it might be neat to think that people in Brazil, Timbuktu or the North Pole know who I am…guess what…them knowing who I am doesn’t help me meet my responsibilities.
If I can’t meet my responsibilities by writing…ie: taking care of my family, paying my bills, buying groceries, little necessities like electricity, water and gas for the car, taking care of promotional needs, then I have to push writing to the side and meet the responsibilities through my other trade, nursing. And of course if that happens, I write far less. Nursing is a stressful job, and often a heartbreaking one. Heartbreak doesn’t always do much for the creative beast, if you get my meaning. So heartbreak, stress…that adds up to less writing.
Basically, I can either write professionally full time, or I can nurse full time and only write what I absolutely have to. And I’m done doing both jobs full time. I did that already and it’s more stress than I want to deal with.
Taking care of my kids comes first. My responsibilities as a mother come first. They come before anything else. Everything else. If something happened and I had to either give up writing or sacrifice the well-being of my kids, I’d put away my computer and never once look back. I’d sacrifice anything for my kids, including my writing career and I’d do it without regrets.
If I can’t pay my bills, I’m going to have a hard time keeping up things like electricity and internet access (two things crucial to most writers).
So no…I don’t write for a living because I want people in Brazil, Timbuktu, the North Pole, Antarctica, Japan, Bangledesh, wherever to know who I am. I write because it’s something I’m good at, and it’s something I love…and it’s also something that I can do for a living…something that helps me meet all my obligations.
And guess what… piracy doesn’t help me meet those obligations.
So no…I’m not grateful to the people who pirate my work. It doesn’t matter to me that you’ve translated it and made it available to people in other languages. Because those translations are illegal. I get nothing for them. They do not do a single thing to help me meet my obligations.
You pirate my work, no matter what your excuse, you’re infringing on my copyright and my ability to make a living as a writer.
That means, there is no reason for me to grateful.
And I bet those out there who are losing something because of your piracy aren’t too grateful, either.
I’ve already shelved one series because of pirates.
Because of pirates, I’ve also recently made the decision that I will no longer write any Hunters books unless they are for my print publisher in New York. Since I’m only doing one Hunter a year for Berkley (or less), those who love that series are also missing out. After my upcoming ebook, Hunters: Belonging releases from EC, I’m only writing Hunters for Berkley.
That means one Hunter a book a year, at the most. One…when I used to do two-three, or more. I’m now down to one. I imagine even some pirates aren’t too grateful over that one.
Until you’ve been where I am, until you’ve had to make the decisions I’ve had to make, and until you’ve been affected by piracy, you have no business telling me what I should be grateful over.