I love writing and even hope to make a little money out of it. And I would be lying if I told you I did not wish to make a sustainable living from it some day. That is the goal for most writers. But most writers do not write for money, and most continue to write even once they have proven to themselves they cannot make a living from it.
I was driving into Sydney last week to do some part-time consulting. I would be billing the client for half a day’s work. During the trip, I calculated how many books I needed to sell to earn as much as I would doing a half-day consulting and the number shocked me; I would need to sell about 350 EBooks or 75 – 100 hardcover copy books (or some combination of the two)! Wow, that was distressing! My dream of writing for money took a real shot between the eyes!
I have spent 1.5 years writing and publishing Wine Sense and making it a high quality product. And so far, made about as much money as I would have by spending a couple of days consulting. So why do I write? Yes, I write for money, but I also write because I love to write. I have a need to express myself and share ideas; ideas that are valued and appreciated by others. I get excited every time I sell a book even if it only means a couple of dollars for me because it validates what I do.
Writing also establishes credibility. It is like a super-duper business card. I have been introduced as that ‘guy who wrote the book!’ This helps secure speaking engagements and sell more consulting (even though my consulting is in a different area than my writing) and enhances my profile overall.
I write for validation and respect. It feels great to be accepted and acknowledged and it hurts like hell if I get negative feedback or less than a 5-star review. I love the process of writing and publishing; I enjoy every minute of it; and I spend 70 hours a week on it. And it is starting to make a little money now that I have two books out there and working on a third, plus have Wine Sense available worldwide, in hardcover copy and paperback, plus on numerous Ebook platforms. And another book should be done by the end of the year.
This is what I want to do, love to do, and need to do. But write for money, to make money from my writing? Nah, it’s too crazy an idea!
Steve Shipley, author of Wine Sense, available now!
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