I’ve sometimes been asked why I write. The answer depends on how I’m feeling and who is asking. There is nothing wrong in wanting to make money from writing, but I believe if money is your goal, you’re in the wrong business. It’s easier to make money in almost any other way. The payment per hour of hard slog is negligible and the lottery (or housing market at this particular time) probably offers better odds.
I’ve never been under any illusions about becoming rich through writing. If I’m ever able to make enough money to pay the bills, I will be thrilled, but money is a secondary goal. Much higher up the list are improving my skills, becoming a better writer and entertaining people.
Maya Angelou said, ‘You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.’
If you don’t love writing (or anything), purely for the thing itself, if you don’t have a passion for it, you won’t be able to put in the work that makes you excel. Pursue your passions and it shouldn’t seem like work—well, not all the time!
Over the past year work and life took a much bigger chunk of my time and around June or July I realised I wasn’t going to get anywhere close to my goal of writing and publishing one book and completing the first draft of a second. The occasions it hasn’t been possible to write has made me understand how important writing is to me, and how good it makes me feel. While it took me longer than I planned to write, edit and publish Writing the Stars, I’m happy I’ve finally reached this point and I’m thrilled with the book.
Follow your passions and even if you don’t make your own deadline, finishing still feels great!