Writing

Two Questions Writers Hate

There are always questions writers have to answer and usually it has to do with one of two things: writing and, making money.

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After having written a blog for seven years, and really only became serious with the business about two years ago the main question people ask is usually on the topic of writers earning income, which is code for how much money can I make writing a blog.  Some people are new writers themselves, and some are more of the cynical type, they’ve had their battles and don’t want to deal with the hardship, and the frustrations and the lack of income again. There are always a lot of questions people will ask about: blogging, publishing, writing. Of these questions there are two which over the years, I have heard, and answered and come to dislike. One of them is: “So do you make money as a writer, and do you make enough to be writing for a living?” (or some type of this line of question)

I don’t ‘hate’ this question if it is coming from a new writer, because it is a legitimate question which need to be answered for them to develop as writers.  My answer to them is yes, I do, and it took me years to do so, and I had to plan it out.  It is a business, and most people who have an idea want to have some monetary form of success

For others, and we’ve all faced them, they are the ones who want the money yesterday.  They want to know how soon, how fast and how many words will get them there.  They want to have this done, now!, and when I say years of work, they don’t like it.

My answer to them usually ends up with people turning it around and quoting J.K. Rowling or Stephen King as being overnight successes. I don’t even try to argue, and these are the ones who have a lot to learn.

Making money as a writer is one thing, and having it pay the bills is another.  For my own personal reference, writing for a living pays my bills whereas the term ‘make money as a writer’ means extras.

“Why does writing take so long? You’ve been working on a book for a long time. And do you think you’ll get a real job soon?”

There is no two ways about this question, either the person asking me this don’t know about writing, or they think they can do it better and faster and sooner than most.

My usual response to this sort of question is: “Do you really want to read something that is full of errors both grammatically and factually?” When they answer “No” and I’ve never had a person answer yes, my response to them is “that’s why it’s taking me longer than six months, because I am improving my writing.”

With the job part, it tends to irritate me a lot more.  My answer is simple “I have a real job, I write. And people read my work.” Normally, this question is asked by people who can’t and won’t see writing for what it is, a lot of effort and work.People who view writing as taking a long time, usually don’t see the background work to the process of writing.  Not only do I write books, and have them published, I also maintain two blogs, and have a team of people who do book and tech product reviews.  There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes on a blog, and as a writer.

I’m not saying that people shouldn’t have a job outside of blogging or writing, but the ones who blog or write full time, should have the respect and positive outlook that others can give them.  This is a job, and even if writing is taking a long time, there will be success.

These are two questions writers hate having to answer, and at some point having to hear them again and again.  However, success will come, as long as you set your goal and keep going.

7 Comments

  • Jeremy Crow

    You hit the nail on the head with this one. I make enough money to pay for most of my writing expenses, but not anything near what I would need to to survive. I tell people, do it because you want to, but there are always people who think the road is paved with gold, and others that think your opinions aren't worth anything because you aren't making a fortune. Rock on girl, I love your writing personally 🙂

  • Sammy Batra

    Really awesome answer, I am an article writer I write on topics, I am not that book or novel writer, they, I personally think, are great writers. Sir, my question to you is, will this article writing be able to pay my bills? If yes, then apart from this maintaining a blog what should I do?

  • Rebecca A Emrich

    Sammy- I would say you'd have to wait a really long time before you can earn money from blogging and article writing. I've been blogging for close to seven years, taken it as more than a hobby for two and I still have a day job.

  • Mfrederick

    Great article, Rebecca. As you know, I am a mere 4-6 months into this journey of taking the writing to a place where it's more than a hobby. I've already received questions similar to this from friends and family. I find it's best to smile and keep responses simple. Future actions will answer their questions in depth. Thanks for sharing.

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