Tuesday, June 2, 2015

V Is For Value

Jennifer asks what makes your writing worth it...

What value do you put on your writing?

Is it a hobby, that you try to make time for, but one that gets superseded by work and the needs of friends and family?

Is it a job, whether your only or an additional one, that you budget time for?

Is it pleasure, something you do to take your mind off of real life?

All of these scenarios are valid because each writer is different. Some of us make a lot of money writing, and some of us don’t. I know writers who only think what they are doing is worth it if they see a lot of sales—their validity is provided by their readers. I know others who don’t care if people buy their work, they’re just happy to get it out there—their validity is more internal.

For me, it’s a combination of both. I write because I have to. There are conversations going on in my head and the only way to shut them up is to write them down. When I’m writing, my everyday stress disappears and I’m happy, regardless of my circumstances in the real world. Do I want to sell my books? Of course I do, but my decision to write is not dependent on my sales. My family has enough income coming in without my royalty statements, and that gives me the freedom to write what I choose. I do take it seriously and try to carve out time daily for doing it, because I think a schedule and a plan makes me a better writer (even if I’m a pantser).

I find value in producing the manuscript. What happens next is a bonus.


  1. I write because writing is part of who and what I am! At the same time, I write to be read - just as I did in my teens when I was writing stories for my friends to read. That's why I asked my publisher to keep the price of my books to a minimum. Like you, I don't need the royalties in order to live (I'd probably starve if I did!) but the low price does encourage more readers to download the books, and that's the important thing for me.

  2. My writing is definitely a hobby more than a job, but like, Paula said, it's part of who I am. I wouldn't feel complete if I wasn't doing it.

    For me, it's the completion, submission, and contracting of a story that gives me a thrill. Sales, definitely are an awesome bonus, but the value in my writing for me is much more intrinsic.

  3. I write because I want to. I'd love to sell a ton of books because if I did, I could quit all the things I do to pay bills.