Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Writing for money?

One of the blogs I follow regularly raised the issue of writing for money or literary acclaim.  It has started me thinking about why I write.  

What makes me sit for hours plunking away at a computer or pouring over page after page of my manuscript to try to make it work?  I like the story.  I like stringing the words together and making it all come together.  The actual act of writing is fun for me.  Sometimes it even makes me giddy.  I wish I could do it all day without interruption.  

I long to be an author, and yet so far I have nothing published.  Can I still be an author if I have nothing published?  I've done plenty of writing.  Does that count?

Do I want literary acclaim, or would I be happy as a hack making an obscene amount of money?  I always used to think I would want literary acclaim, but the more I write, the more I just want to create a story that people will enjoy reading.  If I write a book that is entertaining, will that lead to a tidy sum of money or at least some money.  I sure hope so.   Does that mean I'm a sellout?  Or should I just say "Who cares?" and go with the flow?

What do y'all think? 


spinregina said...

I write because I have to, and then I figure I might as well make money off it. I do a lot of corporate communications and the odd one-off for ad agencies. Also creative stuff for the local paper. If I didn't get paid for that I would still write. It's always been my last resort; if I'm mad at someone I continuously compose either real or "in my head" letters to them. Let's put it this way; if I no longer got paid I wouldn't stop.

You are for sure an author. You've written something, haven't you?? You may be called a good author or a bad author, but you are still a bonefied Author.

beth said...

I say, just write what you want to write and what makes a good story. If it means you become filthy rich, who cares--today being a "sell out" has such negative connotation, but it's just what I want to be--so rich and famous that people are clamoring for the next thing I come up with!

lotusgirl said...

SR I do the composing of real or imaginary letters too. I also go through different conversation scenarios in my head.

I write because I can't stop myself.

Yea! I'm an author--unpublished and maybe bad or good, who knows, but an author none the less.

Christine M said...

Why is it that someone questions if a person is really an author if they are not published - but if an artist hasn't sold a painting they can still call themselves an artist.

You write. You're a writer. :)

lotusgirl said...

I know! Isn't that unfair! We are writers and yet so many people don't think it counts unless we get something published. I think this pushes some writers into self-publishing.

It's weird that I know this and feel this way, but I have a hard time calling myself an author when I haven't published. When people ask what I do I still say I'm a stay at home mom. Why is that? I'm a writer! And I spend a significant amount of my time doing that.