How Important Is This: Making Money.. Or Expression Of Craft?

This is something that you can argue, is it making money or is it an expression of craft, yourself, or something else?  I had this conversation with a writing friend of mine, the one where you discuss what is more important in your writing life.

Now, before I write about this, let me make one or two things clear: I am neutral in my views, I believe that writing is an art form and a way to make money and it is a balance between the two, in my mind at least.  They, on the other hand,view writing as an art form, and that writer usually make money after they die.  (a bit of an exaggeration, but close none the less)

The question was asked how important is this? making money, or writing as an expression?

I feel that it is both, you do need to make money writing, which is why there is often a goal of being published, but also, there is an expression of the craft of writing, why we write what we write and when.  It is an emotional connection, we have after all, written this manuscript or whatever we have written, and we are justifiably proud of it, and part of that pride is knowing that people value our work so much that they will pay you for your writing.

Of course, this s not something that most people feel, which was one of the many reasons my friend pointed out, they write for the joy of writing for showing what they can do,.  For improvement and for joy.  It is not about all the “extras (in this case: fame, making money, celebrity) rather it is the expression of craft of writing and enjoying your writing and sharing it with a select few.

Are both views valid?  Since there was not another party to this conversation, I wonder if there are people to whom writing is all about money.  Writers who have had long term fame are the ones whom we point out as “writing for the money”  but is it true?  Are they writing for the money?  I believe that in some cases the answer can be a resounding yes, they are writing for the money, or rather for more fame.  Still, the question should be asked:  What is important to you?  Making money or the art of writing?