Saturday I received a comment on my Redroom blog post–the same one as Friday’s post here at Write Nonfiction NOW! about writing for free. A reader said she thought we should worry less about getting paid and more about living “writers’ lives.” I queried back, “What is the ‘writer’s life’?”
I wonder about this. Yes, it is writing every day. However, its also promoting ourselves every day. And for me it is helping other writers write their books or articles and get published.
Where in the scheme of all this does getting my work published lie?
The person who commented on my post mentioned that Kurt Vonnegut once said we writers should worry more about improving our writing than getting published.
I’m a big believer in positive thinking–that our thoughts and words are creative, yet I hear myself saying over and over again that it has become harder and harder to get published these days. And I believe this is true; experts in the industry coraborate my story. Yet, it has become easier and easier to self-publish. You can have an e-book up on Kindle in no time–especially if you are not a perfectionist.
Yet, you still need to market, promote–unless you are lucky. But I don’t believe in luck.
If I live the writer’s life and write and publish, will I become a “real writer”? Will I be read?
Or will I just be able to say I am published?
If I am not read I remain unpaid.
I’m not sure just living the writer’s life is enough–or all it’s cracked up to be. I recall the idea of the “starving writer”…unless a writer’s life entails becoming a best-selling author or six-figure blogger, and even they are not all millionaires. The real money comes in speaking and ancillary products like coaching services. Most writers aren’t interested in speaking and coaching.
So, I ask again, what is the writer’s life…and is it worth living? Surely it’s not simply turning out copy that never gets read. As I’ve said before, yes, writers write. Deep down in our hearts, though, we write to be read. Getting read means getting published. Getting published means, on some level, getting paid–or so one would think.