Get rich or die writing?

4 07 2008

I saw this post on storytellersunplugged and it made me consider why I write. Do I write to get rich? Well, it would be nice, actually screw that, it would be frikking awesome but that’s probably not going to happen. I’ve read numerous times that if you’re writing to get rich then you’ve got better odds buying a lottery ticket (and yes I do buy a lotto ticket every week – for $11 where else do I buy the chance to change my life forever). So I guess writing for wealth is not why I do it. Actually I’d be perfectly happy if the writing simply covered itself or even if I only needed to work part time.

I’m happiest when I write. It makes me feel, and I’m going to go cliché here, complete.

But the reality is mortgages need to be paid. Kirsty writes as a storyliner and scriptwriter for Shortland Street and that’s a dream job, but I know what she really wants to do is write her own stuff. But the bills need to be paid, the cats need mice and I need some new games (I think I’m joking about that. I think). I work as a Children’s and Teens’ Librarian and while I get paid well, especially compared to other librarians, it’s not what I want to do. I want to write. As my job, not for an hour every morning before work, but all day. Sometimes I wish I’d followed the advertising path years ago but then I most probably wouldn’t have written my novel. It’s become the single most defining facet of my life. I can’t imagine what I would have been like without writing it.  I finished a chapter yesterday and it felt good. Really good. I like that feeling. Now if only I could do it all the time.

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2 responses

5 07 2008
mollycule

Hey there 🙂 I’m crashing your blog and saying hi, as it sounds like we’ve got a few things in common . . . well, the writing part anyway. Not so sure about the sports and being married and the cats. But the writing? Definitely.

I know what you’re saying about being the happiest when writing. It’s not cliché at all.

To be honest with you, I don’t know anyone who writes to make money. Hell, even Kafka worked as a public servant his whole life (which gives me hope in one sense, but a hell of a lot of dread in another). Personally, I’m never more happy than when I’m writing away, the rest of the world blocked out, music blaring, and suddenly discovering five hours have gone by because I’ve been so engrossed in what I’m doing and in the world I’m creating.

Regarding your earlier post with how hard it is to be published, I think you’re right in just keeping going at it and not letting it get to you. Yes, I write for the love of it but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t dream of seeing my name on the spine of a lovely rack of books on the shelves (and having people actually read and enjoy the damn things to boot). I’ve heard stories of people who’ve resent their novel in after every rejection and finally being picked up, and knowing how many of the big authors were initially knocked back is a comforting thing.

What really scares me is all the stories on how hard it is to be published as an Australian author (I’m guessing it’s the same thing for you guys over in NZ). As if where you come from matters – as long as the story is a worthy read, who cares where you’re from? But I guess we all just have to put that out of our minds and have faith in doing what we love.

Anyway, all the best, and apologies for the raving!

5 07 2008
Rob

hi Mollycule, (i’m guessing that’s not your real name 😉 ), thanks for your comment and feel free to rave anytime. I totally agree with your comments but I’m firm believer that if you’re good enough eventually someone will notice 🙂

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