I keep seeing people post about how you should write for the writing and not for the money.
This is awesome advice.
Hard to accept when you are not financially stable.
I watched a biography special on JK Rowling. The woman wrote because she had nothing left. It was her last hope, her way of coping when there was really no where else for her to go because financially there was nothing left.
I really connected with her position. Sometimes it isn’t even about the writing itself. Sometimes diving head first into a fantasy is the only way to keep your sanity when the world around you is falling apart. When the house is in foreclosure and the kids need new shoes.
Sometimes, we writers can find the golden sunshine spots in our lives when we create mayhem for our characters. We can think “Well at least I don’t have Zeus trying to kill me…” when the baby is running around naked and he left his stinky diaper on the floor.
Or we can discover passions we did not realize we had when writing that hot sex scene between two characters that make you want to light up after. Finding those passions keep our connection to reality. Not the other way around.
I am not ashamed to say I am going to write for the money. Everyone always says to do what you are passionate about, find a job you love, do what makes you happy. Well, my happy is writing, I hope to make money doing it. I know it will be like any other job where you start out as an entry level assistant who does all the hard parts and gets a meager paycheck in return. I am not stupid. However, I see the road ahead and it is paved in paperbacks. (Or EBooks)
One day, I will be able to say I make enough money to pay my bills and get my kids through school. For now I am going to write for the love of writing. To gain the skill I need to become a professional writer.
Write for the love of writing. Write to make yourself happy. Don’t worry about anything else. Those things can be chewed on and spit out later. When you write, let everything else fall away. Become the world you’re writing about.
This includes letting go of dreams of big paychecks and movie deals. Those are things outside of the writing. Yes, be business minded about your work, know your worth (be honest here). Business minded also means knowing when to let go of things you have no control over.
The best writing comes when you can drop out of the world you live in, no matter how difficult things are going, and ‘zone out’ into the world you are creating.
You can find the balance between writing for love of words and writing to make money. Professional writers have found that. They put in the time, paid the dues, earned the paycheck. For the love of writing they climbed their way to the top and earned the right to sit and do nothing but write all day.
It is work. Never for a minute think that it is not. You will WORK and work hard as a writer. Probably harder than you would at a ‘traditional’ job.
So when a writer says don’t do it for the money, in part they are saying don’t let that be your only motivation or you will never make enough for the amount of work that goes into being a professional writer.
Stay positive and don’t give up.