Ah, the subject of money. No! Wait! Come back!
This is serious and it’s something that needs to be talked about.
Can you write for money if you’re also writing for love?
The short answer is yes.
Today’s video started life as one of my Monday emails. You can find the full email, amended a little for the blog, below.
Get these Monday emails before the blog by signing up here.
One for the money (see!), two for the show…
As a business owner, I’m part of a few business groups on Facebook. I don’t know if you know the kind. Some people are very helpful, some people ask interesting questions and some people just need some reassurance (who doesn’t).
But some people post the most incredible long-winded piles of bullcr*p, probably thinking that it makes them look big, professional and thoughtful.
What got to me the most recently is post after post about ‘how entrepreneurs aren’t in it for the money’.
Really? And there was me thinking that entrepreneurs had bills to pay and food to buy too.
What these people actually mean is that business owners should be in it for the love.
Just like writers are supposed to do it for the love.
Of course we write for the love! But more than that, we write because we have to. Because if we don’t, something feels wrong with the world and our brains. Because if we don’t write, it hurts.
Does that mean that writers shouldn’t get paid for what they do?
Money’s a tricky thing.
One great business woman that I follow goes on and on about being paid your worth. About not giving away too much for free. And then she got published on Huffington Post. That big content engine that everyone wants to be a part of but that doesn’t pay its writers despite being worth millions.
For me (and many others), that’s a matter of principle. Huff Post isn’t some small time e-zine that’s struggling to build an audience. It can afford to pay its writers, but doesn’t. From what I’ve heard, they don’t market their writers either.
There’s value in stories
Now, if you’re happy to write and not get paid for it, that’s fine. Really.
But people need stories. Seriously, stories are the best way for humans to learn and grow. There have been studies and everything. Humans crave stories. And as storytellers, we are fulfilling that need.
You wouldn’t get a plumber round to fulfil your need of working taps/pipes/plugging leaks and expect them to not want pay, would you?
As a writer, you might not be in the writing business.
Some aren’t, and that’s okay.
But you’re allowed to do what you love and get paid for it. And if you do that, it isn’t all about the money.
Personally, I want my businesses to be financially successful so that I can buy my dream home – a detached house near trees that’s away from my horrible neighbours and not overlooked by every Tom, Dick and Harry (and Sally – gold star if you get that reference).
See, for most business owners, they are in it for the money but not so that they can swim through their vault of gold Scrooge McDuck style. They’re in it for the money because of the lifestyle that money will give them.
And that is the point
It’s not all about the money. It’s about what the money can get you. Whether that’s a sense of achievement of a job well done when you see your short story published, the joy of a stranger being interested enough to buy your novel, or an ocean adjacent mansion for your family.
Sure, writing might not make you millions, but most people don’t need millions.
Take pride in what you do, in your art and passion, and don’t be scared to want monetary appreciation for it. (TWEET)