B and I have been writing for a few years now. All right, many years. It’s been a rollercoaster ride throughout our careers. Both of us were run through the “traditional publishing” mill with multiple houses, basically experiencing the same disappointment and despair as we were used – much like low-pay labor in Third World countries – before being chewed up and spit out.
Indie publishing has been a new experience. The freedom that comes with it is much more suited to our personalities, and how we want to write and publish books. But it is a slow process, and that equates to pay coming in slower. Still, at least we get paid once a month now, which is much better than a twice a year check with a vague statement that revealed nothing but the mysterious accounting practices of traditional publishing houses.
So a big question for many writers is, should you write for love or money? Serious writing is a business and it’s a sound business goal to strive to make a profit. Brit Darby LLC is no different. Bottom line, we want to be able to write and make a living. In the meantime, we do what we must to pay the bills. Because we love to write. For us it’s about being able to do both, write and make a living from doing it.
For some folks, it may seem sacrilegious to say that we want to earn an income from our talent. It’s almost an obligatory mantra to claim, “I just write for the love of writing.” Really? If you can honestly say that as a writer, then you must have other means to live on. Like a trust fund. Or, maybe it’s more of a hobby than a serious career. Writing just for the love of it sounds romantic, even noble or pure in a classical sense. Yet, for many of us, it’s a two-sided coin. Yes, we want to write, and yes, we want to do it full time. But to do that, we must make money at it.
Writing is hard, methodical, difficult work. If we could spend our time weaving stories and jotting them down in one, perfect draft that was publishable “as-is,” it would be easy and glamorous. But good writing takes many revisions. Sometimes seemingly perfect scenes or lines must be taken out, never read by anyone. It’s part of the agonizing editing process.
Writing is a continuous learning experience, evolving with each sentence written. There’s always a new thought, always something that needs corrected, changed or fixed each and every time you sit down at the keyboard. Endless research and reading so what you write is accurate, your plotting makes sense, and your story has a logical flow. It’s endless. It’s painful. It’s wonderful.
That is the love of writing. And, if you do it long enough, work hard enough, and are diligent enough to produce great books that people want to read, the money will come.