I know you’re writing because you love books. That’s what the speakers told you to do at your last writer’s conference, right? Yeah, well that’s a load of horse manure. If you’re going to sit at your computer today, do it for the money.
Seems greedy? It’s not. Not if you like eating. Or a roof over your head. Money is an awesome reason to write. And frankly, If you’re serious, that’s why you’re doing it.
More experienced writers than us do it. When Harold Robbins realized that he was running out of money, he would lock himself in a hotel room, hide the clocks and work for a month straight. Mayhill Fowler blogged this morning about leaving HuffPo because they refused to pay her for reporting work.
So articles about how the publishing industry is penalizing writers in the age of eBooks, make me cringe. Because a writing career is becoming a thing of the past.
But it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t treat yourself like a professional and expect that there should be a paycheck at the end of all your hard work. It’s going to make you pay better attention to what you’re doing, write faster, and work harder. If you’re not doing it for the money, keep a journal. Because writing just to see your name on the cover of something is super simple. My daughter’s name is on the cover of every notebook she owns. But continuing to write because you know you’re good and you expect to sell makes you something different: a professional.
As Samuel Johnson said, “no man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for the money.”