How Green is My Writing?

Getting rich writing is no more a reasonable expectation for most people than for a 9-year planning on making it big in the NBA. The odds are against you. In order to be a success you’ll definitely have to stand out.  There’s a lot of hard work to get traction in the business, and there’s a certain amount of luck. Success isn’t based solely on the quality of your writing, it’s also about how good you are at self-promotion and networking.

I’ve found few  jobs in my 15+ year career where writers set their fees. In the beginning, you’ll need to hustle to find jobs. My advice is keep your day job if you need a steady income. Write because you love it, not because you want to make money. The quality of your writing and your life will be enhanced if your motivation is personal rewards not money.  Your journey as a writer will then be valuable even if it doesn’t translate into cash. If your effort is financially rewarding consider yourself doubly lucky.

This cautionary applies particularly to people who want to write books. Expect to invest money. If, as they say, time is money, a writer invests heavily of their time into producing a book. There are emotional and physical costs too. On top of these there ARE going to be financial outlays. Initially, these might be travel expenses for research purposes,  equipment costs, and printing and postage costs if an agent or traditional publishing house is sought.

More contemporary avenues like self-publishing, Web publishing, even digital formats such as Kindle involve financial outlays.  These outlays include editorial reviews, graphic services for layout, formatting and cover art, legal advice for copyright and indemnity protection, and a gamut of other issues writers didn’t contemplate when they first decided to write their book.

Bottom line…an author will see a lot of red ink before they see their words published in black and white.

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Filed under book, cost, dreams, luck, publishing, success, talent, writing

3 responses to “How Green is My Writing?

  1. So right about that “certain amount of luck”. Can we say it’s like poker? You can be very good at bluffing and calculating odds, but if the cards are against you, it’s no use. Also, I would like, and I take my chances here and say that so do other writers, to learn more from your experience with publishing your book.

    • Pam

      I’ll be sure to start addressing them. It seems everyday there is a new issue. Those people who have agents should take their agent to lunch. They don’t know how lucky they are. We all benefit from having people to promote our work, who provide support and encouragement, and ultimately give us more time to write.

  2. Writing is the purest form of “labor of love.” What keeps me going is the email from a stranger who says she read my piece or blog and it made a difference in her life. Powerful!

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