Writing to get RICH

rich

Well, that was a bait and switch, sort of. It all depends on how one defines rich.

I wonder how many of us start this writing journey with secret dreams of bestsellers, movie deals, roly-poly royalty checks, and hiring efficient staff with clipboards to manage our fan mail.

I write fantasy after all. A little dreaming is in order. Yet, I always knew that dream was a stretch (a gigantic one).

My husband, on the other hand, had high hopes that he’d married Ms. Moneybags who’d drag her sacks of gold from her thousands of books sales down the red carpet to the bank.

Ha ha ha. That would be nice! It didn’t take long for him to become disillusioned, the poor man.

Because that’s not how this author thing works (just in case you’re a dreamer and think it is). Oh yes, some few among us have outstanding good luck and write a book that rocks the charts, but for most of us, that trip to glittering literary super stardom is and will always be a literal dream.

So here’s the truth (from my perspective, anyway)…

Writing is hard, hard, hard work. It’s also one of the top fun things I’ve ever done in my life. What a luxury to spend hours with one’s imagination, to create whole new stories from ink and air. Writers live multiple lives and get to share those worlds of adventure, romance, mystery, history, truth and fiction. We move people, change them, distract, heal, excite, ease, and educate.

And our gifts cross continents, forging connections. Our stories cost almost nothing for hours of enjoyment, and if we’re lucky, our pages land in libraries where they’re free to the curious borrower. If we blog, we do this within a community of writers and readers who are generous with their time and talent, and we cheer each other on.

Even now, once I invest – or to be honest, once my husband invests because I’m broke and super nice to him – in all the stuff that supports my writing addiction like covers and ink and paper and software and giveaways and festival fees, etc, etc, there isn’t much left. Does it matter?

The answer is no. I’d write anyway. To those of you with this addiction, do it because you love it and it makes you happy, because that, my dear writers, is what makes us rich.

 

222 thoughts on “Writing to get RICH

  1. Even if nothing comes of all my stories, I know I have created something of worth to me. (Not that I wouldn’t mind the riches)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] via Writing to get RICH — Myths of the Mirror […]

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anonymous says:

    “Writing is hard, hard, hard work.” Yes to that! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. vadermom says:

    Dream big or go home, right? I love writing, and will always be amazed by the power of the written word. With that being said though, I know when I finally manage to get something published, I will pleased with any sales I can get, yet always hope for more.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. robinleeann says:

    I agree with you. Writing is difficult and there’s no guaranteed money. But I’ll still write every day. It’s something inside of me than cannot be stopped or encouraged by a paycheck.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the sentiment here, you’ve said it perfectly. People shouldn’t go into writing because they think they will make buckets of money or anything like that. That’s just silly. Sort of like the teaching profession here in the U.S. Definitely don’t go into it thinking you’ll make lots of money. But there are so many rewards to the profession, both of them. There are more kinds of rich than money. And as a writer, I’d rather be rich in knowledge, creative passion, and enriching people’s lives as well as my own through words as opposed to having money. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post, Diana! Indeed — writing is its own reward. Richard Walter, the screenwriting chair at UCLA, puts it best: “We get to traffic in our own daydreams. We get paid to do what others get scolded for doing.” I’ve never heard it stated better than that.

    If one is willing to adjust how he measures success, he needn’t be a New York Times Best Seller (with movie deals, to boot) in order to live a gratifying artistic life. Yes, making a living in the arts is difficult, without question, but the satisfaction of trafficking in one’s own daydreams, and being part of a literary and blogging community, can make for the most rewarding kind of life I can imagine — and I imagine things for a living myself!

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Walter quote is great, Sean. I love that, and I agree that it’s exactly what writers/artists get to do… without the scolding. My life in business came with good money, and it was intellectually challenging, but it was also creatively and spiritually stunted. It just wasn’t how I wanted to spend my life, and I only have one to spend (as far as I know). I want to go out rich in joy and friendship, things that matter, and being creative gets me there. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. stevetanham says:

    Perfectly expressed, Diana. Warm realism – can’t beat it!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Helen Jones says:

    Oh, I agree with everything you’ve written here! And my hubby still believes I’m going to write a bestseller, the dear man 😀 I’m just grateful every day that I can write stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love this post and the story of how you came to write full time. What a wonderfully supportive husband you have! When I saw that you had 195 comments on this post my first thought was that you are indeed rich! #SeniorSalon

    Liked by 1 person

  11. […] If your answer is to get rich, you might want to rethink that answer or get another profession. D. Wallace Peach, author of The Rose Shield Tetralogy, explains why in her post Write to Get Rich. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Rich from writing? Gosh, is that possible if your name is’s Nora Roberts or John Grisham or Dan Brown or Jo Rowling? I also write fantasy so, as you said, I can dream about getting a call from Oprah or Viola Davis? But so far, it hasn’t happened. I don’t care, really I don’t, even if I could use a spare $10000000000 to pay this week’s bills. Living inside one’s imagination is priceless even if it does sound like a credit card advertisement.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha. Yep, you sound like a fantasy writer, Malcolm. 🙂 I could use a bucket of cash too and could have stayed in the corporate world to get it, but no thank you. It was soul slaying. Making ends meet and living a dream beats that any day (in my book!).

      Like

  13. I’ve never really thought I’d become financially wealthy. And it’s far more likely my retirement will come from my weird but productive desire to find the most unloved, dilapidated (but salvageable) home I can and fix it up to be a rental. (Go figure. I actually love doing this. I even sanded the ceiling of my first project so I could see the beautiful wood beams that they painted over. I’m gearing up for a third time. I’d have done it more often, but buying homes, even beat-up ones, is expensive.)

    I don’t know what I expect from my writing. I’ve never yet tried to sell a book (my only one out is free). In the sense that I get to live in worlds of my own creation, it’s very successful (and actually something like fixing up houses).

    But I want people to read my words and like them, at least those who get into the sort of thing I write. In that sense, I suppose the money’s a handy counter of success.

    But it’s not the only one. There are plenty of books that sold well that I’m glad I didn’t write. I think my real measure of success would be if I ever wrote a book that meant as much to someone as LOTR did to me.

    Even if they got it for free. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can relate to everything you shared, Cathleen. Readership brings me great joy and is really the validation of my hard work that’s most meaningful. And yes, LOTR was the book that hooked me on reading, so I would be delighted if my books would someday do the same for someone. Happy Sanding! Sounds like you have a big project ahead. Take care 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Yes!! Exactly. Well said.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Love this! You said it perfectly! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  16. swalia says:

    Writing for the pure joy of it…That’s what keeps most of the writers going.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Reblogged this on Stevie Turner, Indie Author. and commented:
    A different take on getting rich as a writer…

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Ah, yes. That. The writer’s wealth. It’s true. I bleed ink. If I were to stop writing, I would stop living. And I am rich in that way. Beautifully said, my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Cloud Walker says:

    Great insight into what you love to do!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I’m absolutely loaded. Haven’t a penny, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Jay says:

    Well said.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Erika Beebe says:

    Great post Diana. I am not sure why most people think writers are millionaires. I am right there with you. It’s the most personal form of work I have ever done and I will always write no matter what. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Amazing inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sort of like cooking to get rich or taking photos to get rich, Lynn. We need to do the things that make us rich in our hearts and spirits. The rest will follow or it won’t, but either way, we won’t have wasted our time. I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day enjoying the richness of family 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  24. staceywilk says:

    Diana, your words are so spot on. Writers write because they can’t stop. That’s a real writer. A real writer will sit in the chair day after day no matter how much money they make at it. That’s been me for thirteen years. I wrote three novels that will never see the light of day. Three, 400 page novels. When I print them out, they make nice booster seats. They were also my practice novels.

    Because I have an overactive imagination, I’m going to continue to hope that some day I can the light bill with my royalties. Until then…back to work!

    Liked by 2 people

    • The vast majority of us are on the same page, Stacey. We do it for the love of it (addiction to creativity). That’s what sustains us for the journey – as well as this amazing writing community. Keep living it up! Happy Writing.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. I admit that I had dreams of that runaway bestseller. If fame is a writer’s primary goal, however, he/she should would have far more luck getting a trashy reality show.

    Liked by 2 people

    • There are a whole lot of ways to make money that are a lot easier than writing. I was in the corporate world for 18 years, put the kid through college, and quit the day she graduated! Haven’t looked back once, Mike. Happy Writing!

      Liked by 2 people

  26. bpsenapati says:

    Great though, nice penned about an author’s dream and expectation, We write because we love to write, we write because we love to live life of many characters. It’s really hard to spend many hours to create a story, but we do because want to do.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Couldn’t agree more with you, Diana. For me, writing is a passion and I fuel that passion by writing. I never want it to end.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. reocochran says:

    Your post resonates with me! I admired my Dad and his writing. I was blessed with his full trust in my editing skills at age 15 to type his only book. Vantage Press is a self publishing company. He never had more than a few hundred books purchased.
    I used to tell my professor brother, “Please hurry up and get your books into a publisher’s hands!” ( 🙂 ) I mean when he ran for Congress, he used my original line on his flyers, with a stack of books and an eagle perched on top, “Believe in Oldrieve.” Then, liberally stealing Ladies Home Journal’s byline, “Never Underestimate the Power of a Teacher” on his posters.
    Well, people invited him across the ocean, he spoke to many national teachers’ conferences but his research (Cornell and UNC) and knowledge on how to teach math (2nd book, reading) to children with learning disabilities never sold more than a few copies of typed pages. The books never got selected by editors. Oh well! I thought his foot in the door might get my illustrations on the radar. . . Unlike you and Rich, my children’s books were not time-consuming and I was able to use as 4H and church Sunday school pamphlets. I don’t really know the true writing bug nor the change the world parts you have lived! I’m proud to be you and my family’s cheerleader, Diana. much love xo
    Happy Mother’s Day! 💐

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are so creative, Robin, and that’s the point, I guess – to honor that part of you and just enjoy it for it’s own sake. You’re whole family was and is creative and you encourage that in your grandchildren. What a wonderful legacy that you are passing on to them. So I cheer YOU on. Happy Mother’s Day ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  29. arlene says:

    You’re doing what you love and that’s a blessing.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Annika Perry says:

    Your passion, dedication and most of all joy in writing shine like a bright beacon through everything you write Diana; blog posts & comments, short fiction and of course, your books. You are right, the richness and reward are in that! For many there just isn’t an option of not writing – its compulsive and an absolute necessity for oneself, one’s soul. But still nice dreaming though…😀

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for the sweet comment, Annika, and writing seems to be a necessity for most of us who’ve been bitten by the bug. Oh, and I’m all for dreaming. 😀 But I never dream myself into disappointment and frustration. Maybe that’s the dividing line. Happy Mothers’ Day!

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Excellent advice indeed, Diana. Gosh, and I had my red carpet outfit picked out years ago, ha ha. It is very true, there are a good many extraordinary writers out there that no one really hears about. I started writing when I was in jr. High and have written intermittently through the years with large gaps due to life’s interference. I’m not even sure why I write, maybe it is just to leave something behind. So nice to have a supportive spouse 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • I totally get that desire to leave something behind, Lana. There are two times in my life when I felt immortal. One was having a grandchild and the other was publishing a book. Those two things will outlive me 🙂 How lovely to think of your beautiful words as a gift to the future ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  32. I like to dream about getting rich anyway, sometimes. It’s just nice to do. 🙂 But art is its own reward.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. smilecalm says:

    may you be rewarded
    with all of those
    riches of the heart 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  34. Reblogged this on Art by Rob Goldstein and commented:
    from Myths of the Mirror

    Liked by 2 people

  35. I’ve wanted to write since childhood. I was especially drawn to poetry. All I’ve ever really wanted to do was learn enough about language to write a genuinely good poem. Odd, isn’t it?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t think it’s odd at all, Robert. Its the urge to create – whether it’s art, a delicious dish, a colorful garden, the list is endless. And how wonderful that we are called to do it in different ways. I believe I’ve read a genuinely good poem on your blog. Keep creating, my friend. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  36. ankandas says:

    Yeah r8, writing just for the sake of writing….👍👍👌

    Like

  37. Steph McCoy says:

    I like reading about those of you who are dedicated to the craft of writing and in this post, it’s so abundantly clear that you’re rich because you are doing what you love. Sure, I’d imagine becoming rich and famous wouldn’t be a turnoff but I bet even if you could predict the future without fame and fortune it wouldn’t stop you from writing because you live to write.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. dgkaye says:

    No truer words my friend. So glad I began my journey because I was driven to, with no false illusions of fame and fortune. But the journey along the way and the wonderful friendships I’ve made and connecting with readers who do enjoy my work is worth the price of admission. Whatever else comes with it will be a gift. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  39. C.E.Robinson says:

    Diana, AMEN! Working on the first book, and I just love to write. Want to finish it with no get rich thought in mind. Christine

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Adele Marie says:

    I totally agree. I would be nice to be super successful, or would it? I write because it’s my calling and the idea of someone out there reading my work and coming away from it smiling and lost in the worlds I create is my mission. xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think you’re right here with the rest of us, Adele. This certainly isn’t a get rich quick scheme, so it has to be about the love. I agree that readers are what makes me grin from ear to ear. ❤

      Like

    • Clever twist, Diana. There are so many wonderful comments about writing for the sake of creativity, I’m not sure what I could add that hasn’t been said, save this: the name of your blog and the title of this post are the PERFECT pairing. 🙂
      xx,
      mgh
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
      ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
      “It takes a village to educate a world!”

      Like

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