Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wants Versus Needs

by D.R. Shoultz

It’s been nearly a month since my novel, Corrupt Connection, was published and advertised for sale on So far, it’s sold less than 100 copies. After launching my website and blog, having a press release printed in my hometown newspaper, advertising in some of the electronic media outlets (LinkedIn, Craigslist, etc.), and offering to participate in local book signings, I’ve managed to sell less than 100 books. And all this after spending nearly a year writing, editing, re-re-editing, and publishing my first novel. So, how would I rate the experience? I’d give it an A+.

Why so high?  Well, I think it has to do with “wants and needs”.  I clearly can’t speak for everyone, but I know I spent a bulk of my adult life chasing needs.  Sure, I wanted to get married, I wanted to have kids, I wanted to have a home in the suburbs, but from that point on, the needs took over.  I needed to get a job, and not just any job, a well-paying job.  I needed to prepare to send my kids to good schools.  I needed to pay my monthly bills associated with that big house I wanted.  My wife and I needed to prepare for our future.  Every day another need seemed to pop up – braces, vet bills, furnaces failing – always something.

I retired nearly five years ago at 55, after working 31 years for the same company.  Some would argue I retired pre-maturely, too early for today’s volatile economy, but it has been a decision I’ve never regretted or had second thoughts about.  The day I retired I started doing more of what I wanted to do, not what I needed to do.  Am I selfish?  I don’t think so.   I worked long, hard days and weeks for over 30 years to get to this point, and I was, and remain, willing to balance my needs within the framework of my retirement.

Now, I fill my days with what I deem as meaningful activities. I write because I want to write. The 12 months writing and editing my first novel seemed to fly by, with each creative, peaceful morning pushing any stress aside. So, after all the time and effort I’ve put into it, am I disappointed with selling less than 100 books in the first month?  Nope, not one bit.  I don’t need to do this -- I want to.

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