Why Do I Write?
I got asked about a year ago how much money I had made from selling my books. At the time I had just started out on this long road as an indie author / publisher. I told him that I had made around $300.00.
He looked at me and said, "Do you feel satisfied with that amount of money?" It was obvious that he was not impressed by the sneer I detected in his voice.
"Yes," I said. I had done my research and I knew that the average indie author made only about $500.00 their first year. I was actually ahead of the game by being only a few months into it.
I had tried to get articles and short stories published before and were told that they just were not good enough. All I had to go on were opinions of overworked editors. The market could not judge for itself because I was stifled by a few individuals.
Now that I had published on my own, I was finally making money and getting feedback. Some negative, but for the most part it was very positive. People were willing to pay for books I had written.
That question kept echoing in my mind because I knew that there had to be a better answer than the one I gave. Why did I write anyway? There were always the down days where you get a bad review or go a couple of days without any sales that you wonder what else you could be doing to better utilize your time besides writing. Discouraging times when you want to quit altogether. Was money even the point?
It took a few days before I realized a couple of things. I was going to write anyway whether it paid to do so or not. I had written all my life. Mostly it was short stories about what my kids had done or funny things that happened to the family. So money was not the motivation behind it. It was more of a hobby.
The other thing I thought about is what the guy that asked me the question paid for his hobby. He collected guns. He has around fifty of them. That is about $25,000 worth of guns depending on the type. He could resell them and make more than his money back, but I don't think he would ever do that. Secondly, he went to all sorts of training. He took classes on shooting. He went to all sorts of competitions, each with a healthy entry fee. Not to mention the thousands of rounds of ammunition that he shot on a yearly basis.
The comeback I finally came up with three weeks later was, "How much does your hobby pay you?"