Tell Me, Is It Really Worth It?

Got the statement for my quarterly royalties from one of my publishers.

It's enough to go our for a nice dinner. Oh my. Surely I could make more money doing something else that required fro less time. In fact, there is one job I do that take less time and I make far more money.

For years, I've been helping people write program designs for facilities for residential care homes for the mentally ill, developmentally disable adults, and the elderly. The problem is, the requests are sporadic. Of course it's better for someone to create their own design, but not everyone is capable of it.

Each regional center has it's own requirement about what ought to be in the design and how it's laid you. It's a tedious and exacting task. No matter how carefully you work, the regional center will send it back for changes. I should say, all but one regional center and it is usually happy with what I've done for them. They may ask more from the provider, but it will be something personal that I can't do for them.

So, why do I continue writing? Mainly because it's an addiction and I can't really help myself. I have fans who want to know what's going to happen to Deputy Tempe Crabtree and her pastor husband next, or what catastrophe will hit the Rocky Bluff P.D. and its officers and their family. And guess what, I want to know too.

So despite the fact I'm about a thousand light years away from being a best seller, I'm probably going to keep on writing until I can't anymore.



Patricia Gligor said…
An important message for new writers: you probably won't make a lot of money writing. That will definitely discourage some people - as it should. Because, if you write solely for money, you're in the wrong profession.
We write because we love to create, we have some things we need to share and because we have to.
Yes, Patricia, if big money is your goal, you better look for another line of work. Plus there is tons of competition out there, especially now that Amazon has made it so easy to get published.

I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't write.
J Q Rose said…
You wrote today on thoughts I try to keep in the back of my mind. A lot of work, so little cash. But I guess we can't measure the rewards with money value. So much more comes after publishing e.g. meeting great authors like you, sharing the stories we must write with readers, and oh, yes, an excuse to eat chocolate all the time!
Yes, J.Q. sometimes you can't help but wonder since it takes so much time to write and get a book published. If we figured what we got paid for each hour we'd be shocked. We need to focus on the pleasure we give our readers and that makes it all worthwhile.
WS Gager said…
Marilyn: Such a great post and so true. I often wonder if it is worth it for the time and energy it takes and then I hear from a reader who loved my book. That is so much better than money!
W.S. Gager on Writing
Wendy, it all boils down to wanting people to escape through what we write, doesn't it?
Marja said…
Oh, Marilyn, if you were to quit writing you'd break many hearts, and that's a good incentive to keep writing. And I agree with JQ about it giving us an excuse to eat chocolate.

LOL A royalty check big enough to go out to dinner? I could probably go to McDonald's on mine. :) If I were in this for the money, then I'd be doing something else. It's all about entertaining readers.
Anonymous said…
It is worth it - to your readers, anyway! We appreciate you, Marilyn!
Thank you, Anonymous, that someone wants me to keep writing definitely makes it worth it!

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