Love can be the motive –
but the profits of writing are diverse
A few weeks ago I began a series of posts on the theme of ‘Writing for Love or Money’. I wanted to explore what motivates writers – including myself – to write, how money can be made from writing even without a traditional publishing contract – and to discover if money is ever the main motive. As part of the series I invited several authors to contribute a guest post on what motivates them.
I hope you enjoyed discovering more about all of these talented writers and I want to say a huge thank you to all four of them – Helen Mackinven, Sara Sheridan, Dan Holloway and Andy Harrod for their time – and for sharing their personal and fascinating insights on the topic.
I think it came across very clearly that writing for me and my four guests is something that is vital to all of us. We are all very different types of writers and at different stages in our writing lives. We all write for different reasons – but we have a love of writing in common. Sara earns a living by writing and has a very successful, professional writing career and is published in the traditional way. Helen has studied writing as an academic discipline and is now writing her first novel. Dan and Andy are both unconventional and experimental in their writing. For them, publication is not at all about money, but is about communicating with themselves and with their readers.
For me, its an obsession and an addiction. It’s something I’ve always done as a way of hanging on – just – to my sanity. For me, it’s fun, challenging and therapeutic.
However, it’s only in recent years that I’ve come to think of publishing what I write. Having completed a novel as part of a midlife, now-or-never realisation, I realised I wanted it to be read. It hasn’t made me much money, but it has given me a huge amount of pleasure to have a (small) readership and to see my book in bookshops and online. I still have a day job, but if I’m honest I’d give up my long teaching career tomorrow if I could earn enough money from my writing.
And so to all writers reading this post, and its accompanying ones, I wish you well whatever your motivation. Remember, keep on keeping on, and profit in whatever way suits you from your love of the written word.