Friday, July 26, 2019

Writing Tips: Forget the Money

Fiction writing can be a thankless job.  The competition is fierce.  Even acceptance by a publisher is no guarantee of success or publicity.  Self-publishing can be tough as the responsibilities of editing, cover art, and marketing fall squarely on the writer's shoulders.  It can  become a test of personal resources, resourcefulness, and stamina.  For most of us, the financial benefits of writing a meager.  The average writer earns less than $1000 a year from their writing.   In this challenging marketplace, this leads to an obvious question.

How do you stay motivated to write?



One way to stay motivated is to forget about the money.  It's a tough thing to write.  I need money just as bad as anyone writing today.  But, there are easier ways to earn a dollar.  Instead of spending your time haunting Twitter or social media to get 35 cents of profit from selling one copy of a book, just entertain yourself and your tribe by activating your imagination and writing new stories.  Write flash fiction, blog, write short stories, or write that book you may never even publish.  As long as you have fun writing, that's what matters.
 
People who entertain themselves with model railroads, role playing games, or video games don't worry about "earning" money from their hobby.  Don't pressure yourself to write the bestseller and earn the big bucks.  Write for fun.  The reader who enjoys your book is just like the guest that you allow to drive your model railroad or join your gaming group.  If you are lucky, your joy will be contagious.  If you aren't, you saved the $50 it costs to go to a movie.  Writing is cheaper than building a model railroad or flying a remote control plane.  Just write and thank God that you don't own a boat.


This doesn't mean you don't submit work to paying markets.  It just means that you power your work through your passion.  If you want to keep writing, you have to think that you are just having fun. Any paycheck from writing is just gravy.  If you need money, flipping items on ebay or etsy, donating plasma, getting a part-time job, or driving for a rideshare service might yield money faster.  If you want to use writing skills, knock out some short articles for a content provider.

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