The Road to Publication #13: Do this because you love it. Don’t write for the money.

I have a second job now.  I am a professional writer.  Yes, I will be paid.

Everyone I have asked says “Do it for the love of writing, because you have to write…don’t do it for the money.”

Yes, I do it because I love it.  But it is nice to know I will get a little something for my efforts now.

However, this is one thing I didn’t consider.  I signed my contract in April.  I will be working on this for seven months on a strict schedule that they have provided to me.  A few weeks before release date, the marketing will start, and continue for a few months after that.

I will not see anything in the form of compensation for all this work until May of next year.  That’s an entire year after signing the contract.

Between you and me…I haven’t told my husband that yet.  He knows that the checks won’t be huge unless the anthology is a runaway bestseller.  Thank goodness he is happy because I am happy.  If his sights were just on payday, it will be a long and possibly disappointing wait.

Now that I think it over, and look at everything that needs to be done to publish a quality anthology— all that time makes sense.  In the end, you will get out of it what you put into it, both in the writing and in the marketing.  I now understand how authors can get 1-2 novels out in a year…it’s because they have to.  There is a ton of work involved, but for those of you who are lucky enough to only write for a living, you need to keep pumping out that material, because the fruits of you labor, once you get that contract, are about a year away.

Do I find this discouraging?

The paychecks are secondary.  I am lucky enough to have a day job… as well as three new novels outlined.  Once I finish this edit and submit my MS to the editorial staff, I will flip a coin to decide which, and delve into something new.

Do it for the love of writing and storytelling.  Anything you get in retrospect will just be a bonus.


30 responses to “The Road to Publication #13: Do this because you love it. Don’t write for the money.

  1. Congrats on your writing gig!

    I LOVE love love TO WRITE, but damn it, I’ve been doin’ it for free for much too long.


  2. “Do it for the love of writing and storytelling. Anything you get in retrospect will just be a bonus.” Perfect! As a writer myself, I know I’m sticking with the ups and downs because I love the craft and getting the words right. When I get a publication credit, it is that much sweeter because I am being rewarded and validated simply for doing what I love.

    Congrats on the publication! And thanks for sharing your journey 🙂 Also, thanks for following my blog…I hope you like what you see in the future!

  3. … I have the whole “day job” thing to worry about the moment I step out of education. Eck! Congratulations on your success! I just realized I now have bragging rights to say I knew a published author BEFORE she got published. (I’m veeeeery late, I know :D)

  4. You’re on your way to the big time. Don’t forget us little people while you’re shining in the spotlight. I’ll be there cheering you on with a box of dark Godiva chocolates.

  5. I have the same philosophy Jenn. The money is a bonus, but not what makes me do it. I want to be famous. I’m not asking much. hehehe 😉

  6. Ain’t that the truth! You’ve got to love what you do because writing for the money will not always put food on the table. 🙂

  7. You have a good, positive attiftude. Be prepared for the people who will ask you in January the amount of your paycheck for writing this.

    • I hope not! I’ve asked a few people traditionally and self published in different genres how many ” copies ” were sold but I’d. Never ask a cash figure. That’s rude.

  8. Great post. Pursuing a career in writing “for the money” is just nutty. It is, and always should be, a labor of love.

    And for good reason: If I ever sat down and calculated the number of hours I worked on my book and divided it by the amount I was paid for it, I just might contemplate the comparatively lucrative career of picking tomatoes.

  9. Bingo! Money = validation?

  10. Yes. There are much easier ways to make money anyway. Writing is certainly not one of them. If you want some side income, deliver pizzas. Great post Jennifer!

  11. Amen. Very, very well said, Jennifer.