There is a Facebook group for everything now. Of course I belong to several writing groups, which I usually end up un-following because people complain so much or I don’t feel I am getting anything from the group. Today I stumbled across a post on a group I just joined and I was shocked by what I saw. The topic of discussion was basically how to get rich quick off writing novels…
I’m sorry, what?
Unless your last name is King or Rowling, you, my currently unpublished friend, have a long road ahead of you. Also, you’re most likely never going to be on easy street.
True, writers CAN make a lot of money, but it’s unusual. I thought about why I write….no it’s not for the money. Anyway, here are a few reasons:
- I HAVE to write. I had an interest in writing at a young age, and I think about it daily. When I was running the bakery, I hated not having time to write. It ate at me daily and I felt incomplete. I had stories in my head needing out, and no time to write them down.
- I have a story to tell. My own story is not yet book-worthy (hence this blog) but I imagine characters and the stories they would tell if they could. I like the approach of “not everything has a happy ending.” I think too many books out there end with “happily ever after” so I like writing about reality. Prince Charming doesn’t always win the girl.
- My characters drive me nuts! Sometimes I forget the characters I develop in my head are not real. No, I don’t need to discuss this with my therapist (though I’m sure she would get a kick out of it!) but these people I invent are important to me. They have a story to be told, and I want to do them justice and see it through. Because my fiction usually deals with injustice (such as sex slavery/trafficking) I feel I need to tell their story to raise awareness of the issues I find bothersome.
- It’s a form of therapy. For many people, writing is therapeutic. I deal with depression and anxiety on a daily basis. Most days I do well, but there are some days I need to do something to get through the rough patches. Burying myself in writing helps get my mind off the depression. While some people may need to write letters to people they may never send (which is actually a GREAT therapy) I just need to work on one of my writing projects.
- I want my kids to know they can do anything they set their minds to do. Writing a novel is something a lot of people talk about. It’s a “one day” type of activity…. “One day, I’ll write a novel.” For me, I’ve written a novel and am working on publishing it. I want my children to see they can do whatever they want and to be proactive about completing the project. Publishing is something I’ve wanted to do since I can remember.
- If I didn’t write, I would face even more depression. I think a lot of the stress felt while I ran my own business was because I had no time for me and the things I like to do. It started to eat at me after awhile and affected other parts of my life. Sure, I’m sad to have closed the bakery because when I wasn’t stressed, I enjoyed being creative in the kitchen….but I’m much happier being creative on paper!
- It’s who I am! Unlike many people who identify with their job (i.e. an accountant who became an accountant because it pays the bills) a writer is who I am. I can’t separate it from the rest of me. Just like Bill (hubby) is a Marine, and will be for life, even though he is no longer active duty, he is always a Marine!
No where on this list do I list fame and fortune as part of why I write. Yes, I have made good money copywriting, yes I would like to see some return on my time for writing my novel, but it’s not WHY I have to do it.
What is your passion? Is it writing? Soap making? Hunting? Why do you do it? I really feel as though doing something for the money, fame, and fortune puts you on the wrong track! Tell us what you think in the comments.