Another passion, and one that seems a bit incongruent with the love of writing, is money.
The advice I've read often is, write because you have to write, not for money.
Stephanie Meyers, after all, has said before that she hoped her first novel, Twilight, might help pay off her mini-van. I believe she's now made somewhere in the neighborhood of $50M? But most writers, of course, will never make a living off their work. Even most successful career novelists never, ahem, quit their day job.
So are we just supposed to write something we love, have no expectations, and be delighted if we make money off of all our hard work? That just goes against my whole sense of self, since I love to work hard and take much pride in the money I make for our little family. I don't want to be a writing hobbyist, I want to be a professional. I don't want to be just an artist with my writing; I want to be a savvy businesswoman. Why can't those last two things go hand-in-hand?
I'm not talking about selling out... I write quirky novels that are hard to place (what genre am I writing, again?). I'm not talking about expecting a ridiculous advance off a debut novel, either, or even (despite yesterday's day dreaming) a movie deal. I don't expect writing to accommodate the lifestyle I like, but then hey, that's why I got married (kidding. a little).
But I do think that if you want to be a serious writer, you should strive to be paid for your work. Maybe that's a few steps away, but the thing is, work should equate to pay. And this writing business isn't just a lot of daydreamy head-in-the-stars sort of stuff, at least not to me. There's a fair amount of bum-in-the-seat just-write-the-damn-thing moments for me, just as in my day job.
Now, I don't think I've been pursuing this "work for money" thing enough -- I've been grinding on with my novels, which is excellent, but I could also be pursuing other writing opportunities (in my copious free time, right?). So far in my writing career, I've made a grand total of $38 (my poems). So I'm introducing Submissions Sunday in to my life -- I'm going to try to either launch queries or, more regularly, submit my shorter pieces, at least one each Sunday. I'm not giving up if I don't see any return from my work, but I think it's important, for me at least, to strive for the recognition that comes from people paying for what you've written.
What do you think, dear readers? And.... do any brave souls want to join me in Submission Sundays?
Poetry: "Track Twenty Four" by Alicia Cook
25 minutes ago