Receiving royalty cheques --as I did today--is a humbling experience. And in case the microscope isn't readily available, there's always the annual reminder in the tax returns. It doesn't matter whether the payment is for an article or two or book sales or even advance royalty payments, it's always very very small. "Don't quit your day job," says my supportive wife as we deposit these tiny cheques in the bank.
So why do I keep agreeing to write articles and books? Why am I thrilled when acquisitions editors send inquiries about possible publications? Because there really is nothing like the frisson of working hard at saying exactly what you want to say and then seeing it in print. It is its own reward! And if anyone also likes it and writes positive reviews, that's all icing on the cake.