Writing isn’t All About the Money

Originally posted 12-19-18. Updated 6-10-23.

Some months ago I discovered a post entitled “What It Takes To Go Full-Time As An Indie Author”. The writer claims to be making four figures per month by following this must-do list:

  • Study your market.
  • Get top quality, genre-appropriate covers.
  • Learn how to write a really hooky blurb.
  • Write books that people want to read. Yes you can write for yourself, but that’s going to make going full-time, far, far, more difficult.
  • Learn how to market.
  • Target your readers and only your readers.
  • Publish regularly. Four books a year is the ideal minimum.

Number four is the clincher, but I want to write what appeals to me, not simply what will sell. Cranking out garbage because people will buy it gives all Indie authors a bad name. On the other hand, churning out book after book with no personal appeal seems like a soul-sucking waste of time.

Much of my joy and satisfaction as an author comes from writing about what speaks to me, interests me, or what stirs my passion. All of that is very personal and cannot be reduced to “write what people want to read”.

While I’m not opposed to making money, there are more important aspects to be considered. I have things to say and stories to tell, and if my stuff eventually brings monetary rewards, I will gladly reap the benefits of my hard work (and keep my self-respect in the process).






3 responses to “Writing isn’t All About the Money”

  1. H.R.R. Gorman Avatar

    I’d summarize this advice as ‘how to turn your passion into a job.’

    1. Alexander Elliott Avatar
      Alexander Elliott

      Yes, and that’s perfectly fine if you have the time and resources to make it happen. For me, it serves as a reminder that my desire to make a living from my writing is only a dream.

      1. H.R.R. Gorman Avatar

        I agree – it takes a lot of resources and willingness to take a pretty big risk. I’m not quitting my day job, that’s for sure.

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