I write for money.
“You should write for the love of writing, not for money.” This is a saying amongst writers. To say you write for money seems to cast a dark cloud over you. This has always puzzled me. Why can’t we write for money? Why do we have to do it just for the love of it? If we spend hours at our keyboards why in return can’t we receive some cash or a handsome check?
Don’t get me wrong, with every profession there is passion for the work involved. Although, I’ll admit there are a few people in every field who have zero desire or passion for the work they do. They are going through the motions required to receive their paycheck.
Writers seldom, if ever, simply go through the motions. A writer doesn’t wake up and say “I really don’t feel like writing. I don’t want to write today.” Although a deadline may be looming and the writer’s blocks are up in full force, once you get going, you usually can’t stop. So, that’s part of doing it for the love of it, as well as for the money. Meeting a deadline equals a paycheck.
Most people chose their career based on a few factors, one of which is the salary attached to certain professions. For a writer, there is no set pay. Some live a modest life, while others are literally starving artists, and then there’s the few who break all the bearers and gain fame along with fortune.
So, why does it seem wrong for a writer to say “I write for money?” Didn’t the writer earn the money? Didn’t he or she spend time conducting research, writing and rewriting their article or book or blog post? Shouldn’t they receive and be entitled to receive some compensation?
I write for money. I write articles for a local newspaper and I get paid every time my article is published. I write books, which I publish and sell online and at book fairs or at speaking engagements. I write blog posts for my business, which leads to new clients, so it is a form of writing for money. I write for the love of writing, but also for the money.
All of this brings about the question should you ever write for free? For that discussion, check out the January 2018 issue of the Writer, there’s an article by K.L. Romo, “Should a Writer Ever Write for Free?” Romo conducted brief interviews with writers, editors, and teachers who give a narrative on the pros and cons of writing for free.
In the meantime, I’m going back to finish writing an article so I can collect a paycheck.