Somewhere down the line, after a writer gets asked, “Where do you get your ideas?” we get the question, “What makes you do this?”
I sometimes ask myself the same question. “Why, oh why?” I could be dusting, keeping up with the dishes, sweeping the front sidewalk. Oh wait, maybe that’s why—to get out of all that stuff.
Seriously, though, the writers I know are almost all doing it for the same reason. The writers I know are mystery writers, mid-list (which means we’re not famous world-wide and we don’t make enough money to hire a staff); good, competent writers, some with agents, some self-publishing; all with some fans and avid readers waiting for the next book. We’ll never get rich doing this, and most of us will never make enough money to live on without a job or retirement income.
I recently read a comment that prompted me to think about this. The person, a fairly new mystery writer, said she was going to have to change her goals. She would give up thinking she could make money doing this and would have to come up with other reasons.
She already has them, I’ll contend. She just has to dig down and discover them.
People write because they are compelled to. It’s in our makeup. We can’t not do it. And, most of the time, we love doing it. The main reward is to have written, to have gotten something published, and to know that someone read it.
When someone can learn something, or expand their thinking through my fiction, that’s a huge bonus.
Beyond that, there are tremendous rewards. The best is when someone reads our work and likes it. And says to. Either in a review or in a direct communication with the author. For me, this is all worthwhile because of those times when someone says one of my books got them through a tough time. Or got a relative through a tough time. And those times when I get a rave review. And those times when I get an email or direct message asking me when the next book in a series is coming out. Nothing could be better for a writer than all those things. Except being on the NY Times Bestseller List, of course. But we take what we can get, and an occasional bit of coin for our troubles.
Images from Pixabay