I'm kind of addicted to the shows Deadliest Catch and Storage Wars. My family makes fun of me constantly for watching them but I've noticed that whenever I turn on an episode they plop down and watch it right along with me. At least I'm honest about my addiction.
I feel like aside from the chain smoking, poor nutrition habits, incessant swearing, and high risk of death/injury while on the job... I can really relate to those crab captains. While I would not personally want to be on a boat chucked around by 40 foot waves, I can understand why they do what they do. Same goes for Storage Wars. I would not have the patience to sift through piles of worthless c*ap every day. But I still get it.
It's that feeling of uncertainty when gambling what it is that will make you rich. I think indie authors have to have that streak in them to some extent to push them to keep writing. It's really not the same thing as casino gambling. That kind of stuff really doesn't have an attraction for me. I get bored pretty quickly playing poker (not nearly enough mana cards in that game) and I just feel like I'm throwing money in a trash can with fancy lights when I play slots. Horse races are fun but only because you get to scream at the horses.
No, the book sales thing is a different kind of gambling. You're not up against "the house." There's a personal challenge element to the whole thing. Much like with the crab fishermen and storage bidders, a lot of your success boils down to experience.
It's also kind of fun not knowing what your sales will be like for the day. That's the grab that keeps making you want to publish more. When you work for an hourly rate, you pretty much know exactly what you will make over year. But you can only work so many hours in a day. Book sales are much more dynamic and, in a sense, limitless. There's always that off chance that today will be the day one of them catches on and sells thousands of copies....