Life Lessons for Writers – IX

Alright you lot it’s me, Jacintha Farquar, here again to shine a magnalight of common sense into the weird and wacky dark spaces you writer types choose to inhabit, and brush away some of the cobwebs of illusion you seem to have draped all over your craft.
You still reading?
Good, then perhaps you might even learn something today – but I for one am not holding my breath.

Life Lessons for Writers – Nine: Why Do It?

I mean, why?
Seriously. There are over a million new books a year appearing on Amazon and most of them are written by someone exactly like you – a wannabe JK Rowling.
What amazes me is that you seriously believe that if you hit publish on whatever you just wrote somehow, magically, you are going to become a world famous author and have everyone praising your book to the skies.
Could it happen?
Yes. You could win the lottery too – in fact you probably have more chance of winning the lottery.

So, back in the real world.
Why do you do it?
If the answer is for the money, stop now. Go away and look at the top earning jobs and careers. Then cross off all those that require or bestow celebrity status and what are you left with?
Pick the one you like best and do that. Do not bother being a writer.

If the answer is for the fame, then you would do better to think about vlogging or just walk naked through the capital city of your nation with your body painted in tessellated shapes in primary colours. That would make you more famous than most of those who have a book for sale on Amazon will ever be.

You still here?
So it’s not for the money or the fame?
Then why do you do it?

This is a question you need to ask yourself very seriously in front of the mirror so you can see if you are lying when you answer, because I still think half-of you believe that you are somehow the special exception to the rule who will one day get fame and fortune, movie deals and TV mini-series.

The rest of you, hello.
I’m seeing two sorts here.

The first lot of you know exactly why you write and your ambitions are set at where you know you can pitch. You likely passed up doing that creative writing course for one in business and marketing because you figured early on that if you want to make a living as a writer that is what matters more than the content. Or you’ve learned the hard way and are now focused 90% on the marketing and 10% on the writing. And well done to you. I doubt you’ll ever be JK but you stand a good chance of being a self-supporting writer.

The second lot, well you know why you write too and it has very little to do with fame or fortune. It comes down to having stories to tell and knowing there are a few folk out there who will read and enjoy them. For you, it is plenty reward enough that someone somewhere has had a few hours of escapist entertainment because you wrote that book. Well done to you too – I loved your last one!

If you still don’t know why you write, you need to figure it out and fast, because if it is more about ego or money than telling stories, you are looking in the wrong place and wasting everyone’s time, mine included.
Now bugger off I’ve got important work to do catching up with the old crowd down the virtual Dog and Duck.

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