Not a particularly significant time - unless you're one of the millions who must have been born at that very point, or will die at that same moment in time, some day hopefully far into the future. However, for my purposes, the 6.24am that happened to me - let me see, now...nine minutes ago - marked an interesting moment.
Somebody (either brave, foolish or simply naïve, it doesn't matter which) posted on an author group on Facebook with their sales and earnings figures for the last eighteen months. The guy is looking for information in order to quantify his own situation, and I sympathize with him. Being a writer - let me be specific: an undiscovered writer - can be lonely in a professional sense. There are frequently times when, dressed in my quilted smoking jacket and silk pyjamas, puffing my foot-long briar pipe while standing at the fireplace with one foot on the stuffed Springer Spaniel, I wonder just how badly I am doing, too. I tend to lean towards the 'very' end of the spectrum in response to my own question.
*Sometimes I reflect upon the fact that this woeful state of affairs is caused by so many of you (I can see how many hits the blog gets every day, and if hits translated into sales, well now...) NOT buying my currently-available-online-at-an-amazing-bargain-price-for-so-many-stories memoir, even though five hundred pages for less than $4 (e-book) has to be one of the best deals of the last few billion years. But I won't mention it here...and neither will I mention that all you have to do is Google my name to find and order it. I'm not that kind of guy. I think.*
This morning, 6.24am crept up behind me after a terrible night's sleep, and in the context of writing success/failure/whatever, began to massage my manly shoulders and whisper sweet, reassuring things into my rugby-battered ear. "Shhh" she said (I've decided 6.24am was a female time of the day, otherwise this would have felt a little weird). "It's alright; there, there." she said, running her thumbs up either side of my misused spinal column. "You see? This guy's doing worse than you!"
Now before you judge, I'll say this: sorry. I couldn't help it. I've had my book out for a smidgen more than a year now (the anniversary was last week, and guess what - I missed it), and every day I fret about not selling many copies and the irrefutable truth that promoting the book is more difficult for me than reaching my toenails at trimming time (trust me here: that's not easy).
Rather than gloat about my superior royalty figures (well, OK; I did have a teeny-tiny gloat - a sort of nano-gloat), I read the comments and was stunned to find that the overwhelming consensus is that his numbers are typical for independent, undiscovered writers.
My first honest reaction has been relief; relief that I am not - as I was beginning to suspect - the absolute worst, most failing author in history, and that there seems to be a community of REAL writers out there who do not post about their experiences for fear of ridicule or other negative responses. My second reaction - and this is still fermenting, so I may return to pester you with it another time - is this: are all the super-successful people who tell tales of their magnificence actually real? Hmmm...