Monday, February 16, 2015

It Ain't About the Money

Last Monday I posted a blog:

Everything's Changing, or Should I Self-Publish?

In it, I talked a little about the changing landscape of the self-publishing industry and a few of the things that have affected sales negatively over the last year or so.

From this, I hope the message was clear: self-publishing is not the fast track to endless wealth.

In fact, we're having this same discussion right now in one of my Freelance Writing classes. A student was kind enough to remind a fellow classmate that writing isn't something that you do to find wealth and fame. A debate ensued. . . .

But he's right.

Can you become rich and famous as an author?


But money can't be the motivation behind the production. The writers who show up to the computer every day are the ones who feel they have something to share with the world. It's soul work. It's because writing is the missing piece. It's what completes us.

The joy isn't in the final product (which has the potential bring in extra money), but in the creating of it--the process.

The joy isn't in the creation, but in the creating. (tweet that)

Yes, most authors I know are thrilled when they reach The End. They happen to be two of my very favorite words. But "the end" doesn't mean it's over--there are still other stories to tell. More books to write.

A true writer who reaches The End is already thinking about the next Beginning. (tweet that, too)  

It's not about the money or fame or infinite wealth.

There has to be something else.

And that something else is that we're not the same when we're not writing. It's why we're willing to sit down for weeks and months and years pounding out words, revising and deleting and starting over--thinking we just may have lost our minds--until one day it all comes together.

And the story makes sense.

And why we do what we do makes sense.

I know there are some frustrated writers out there. Publication (self or otherwise) isn't what you expected. There were some highs and then some lows and things happened that were just not part of your plan. . . .

I know. I get it. Sometimes things happen (lagging sales, books being remaindered, houses merging, imprints folding) that are beyond our control.

But we do it anyway, because stories need to be told.

From the beginning of time, we have always needed stories. To hear them, and tell them.

It's important work, what we do.

And the ones who are most passionate will stay in the marathon. They will keep doing it, they will keep showing up, even if those paychecks never come.

 Be Brilliant (and Keep Writing)! ;)