spoke a lot in January about succeeding as a writer and what that might mean
to you. For many people, to succeed means to make money doing what we love. We
can try and fight it, but money is an important determiner of many aspects of
our welfare, from health to social interactions. There seems to be this ironic
notion that to make money with your book can somehow devalue your writing.
I’ve heard the reference made to the tabloids or “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy in
this respect. If something becomes popular, it simply means it found a way to
appeal to a large audience. I think, as writers, this is often at the core of why
we write; we want to reach out to people and share our ideas with them. A “hipster”
view that avant-garde writing is the only way to be a true artist is ignorant
and short-sighted. It is important to push the boundaries of what has been
done, be original, and stay true to yourself, but there is always a way to try
and appeal to a broader audience, and therefore make some money as a writer.
will admit to being as leftist and liberal as the next egalitarian, but not at
the cost of rationality (pardon the pun). The very simple truth is that money
drives our society forward. This doesn’t mean exploiting or falsifying your
vision, but it does mean being intelligent as a writer.
I mentioned in a post about
success that happiness is a huge contributor to feeling successful. I would
argue that money can definitely affect our emotional state, and thus our
success as a writer. You don’t have to be “rich” for this to be the case; you
need only make enough money to support yourself or a family (if you have one).
So if writing is all you want to do, it is important to think practically about
how to make sure living a life of writing can be lucrative for you.
some of us however, writing is an outlet and hobby rather than a way we support
ourselves. In that case, it ain’t about the money. We have other jobs that pay
the bills, allow us to remain comfortable, and afford what we need. In that
case we have a choice as to whether or not we consider financial implications
of our writing.
short, if you want to make money doing what you love (say…writing?) then
being open-minded and intelligent can help get you there. For the rest of the
month we will be talking about making money and publishing your book. But making
money as a writer can extend outside of a single book, and there are options
out there to make sure you remain happy doing what you love.