Friday, 3 October 2008

In a Minute

What does a minute mean to you? Is it sixty seconds worth of multi-tasking, is it a fragment of an hour spent silently reading, is it spent yelling at the kids to tidy their room, is it spent tootling round a supermarket, is it spent looking for a parking place, or do you pass it day-dreaming (creatively, of course)? When the fifty-ninth second ticks and the sixtieth arrives, do you leave behind you a minute's worth of distance run? Or have you just clocked up another wasted mini- instalment of your life?

What does a minute mean to J.K. Rowling? Well, according to Forbes magazine's review of authors' incomes, it means $571. Now we who have scarcely reached the foothills (in fact are scarcely on the approach road to the foothills) and gaze up at the dazzling snow-capped peaks of literary earning power she has scaled, might well be excused for feeling a tad bitter about this. But I'm cheered by two things: she has demonstrated that it is possible, albeit incredibly rare, for the fairy-tale to come true. She started with nothing and now has everything (apart from privacy and critical respect from some quarters?). And she's earning six times more than the James Patterson fiction factory, churning out eight books a year with his 'writing partners'. At least she writes her own books.

Now, what did she earn during the time it took me to write this ...?

Note to self: make better use of your minutes, woman!

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