Like any craft, writing requires tons of dedication. Sure you have the odd talent pool of people that are somehow born with skill but even they had to hone their craft to some degree. If you’re interested in writing as a profession, especially novels, then you may be wondering if all that effort and time you put in was or will be worth it. Let’s look at a few points, and some hard truths.
My name is Christopher Sergi. I’m a novelist and a blogger going through the same journey you are: being a writer! Feel free to comment your thoughts below on the topics that come up in this tutorial, for not only do I want you to be a better writer, but I do too! We can learn and have fun together. Want to know more about me? Click here to read my bio, or follow me on Instagram to join me on my adventures. 😉
It’s a passion.
In one of my recent posts I spoke about ‘the why’ behind being a writer. Why do you want to be a writer? Well, for most of us it’s a passion we just can’t shake. We like to write because it’s an expression of our feelings, emotions and opinions, all whist still being an opportunity to convey messages in a digestible, recognisable and entertaining package. If anything, we are artists.
In regards to writing being worth the time and effort, you must ask yourself: “Does it matter if it’s not worth it?” If not, then great. Let’s say it took up all your time and you made no return of investment on your efforts. The fact writing is your passion should negate the impact of there being no return of investment. In simpler terms, you write because you love to, and that’s good enough reason!
Over time your passion will eventually spill over to the point where others have no option but to notice. And when people notice your commitments and your happiness in doing something you love, they too will catch on, and eventually your time and efforts will count for something.
But it may pay you nothing.
Let’s just nip this in the bud now. You may not make any money! It’s a hard fact of life but there is still light at the end of the tunnel.
Commercial writers have a habit of knowing what the market is after. Not only that but they know how create a cohesive package that is not only artistic and passionate but also marketable. Professional writers have mentors and teams who are able to steer them into a direction that will satisfy all stakeholders in the production of the product that is their novel. Does this sound soulless? Well, when money is involved, soullessness and business management have a habit of poking their heads up.
Now I’m not saying you should write for nothing. I for one will admit I have an issue when I see how little I have made on my novels after all the work I put into them, but it’s important to remember that just like you and every other writer, we are always perfecting our craft, and it may be that you’re still finding your feet. But I understand we have to eat too! We live in a capitalist society, and if you want to make money from your writing, nobody will blame you for that.
Determine what IS worth your time and money.
Sometimes the simplest questions and answers evade us. But seriously, what do you define as being worth your time and money. Are you looking to make a return of investment on the money you put into production costs? Are you looking to grow a fan base to grow your position in the market? Or are you looking to free up more time for yourself by replacing your day job?
If like me you have a definitive idea about what you want from your writing, then you may be able to clearly identify what it is you want back from your efforts. Quite honestly, I for one want to replace my day job, be paid a comfortable wage and have enough time to blog and write books, and maybe have enough time and money left over for gym membership and the odd holiday, you know, the average stuff the average person may get from an average job.
So ask yourself: “what do I define as being worth my time and money?” After you have determined what it is you want from your writing, your goals will be that much clearer and you’ll be far more determined to justify all the efforts you put into your writing career.
Everyone is on a different path.
You have to realise that whatever effort you put in will be different to how much effort someone else has to put in. We talk about equality often but let’s be realistic. Many of us are not equal when it comes to our current situations. On a physical level some of us have more privilege than others. Some parents are able to support their children and their dreams, others have commitments and debts and two full time jobs! understand that your goals may be further afield than that of another person, and you may have to work harder for what you want.
But bare in mind this is mostly related to those who want to make a career out of their writing. If you love writing but wish to do it for love of it, then YES, writing is worth it because you have defined what is valuable to you. If like me you see writing as a both a passion and a personal skill above any others you have, and you also wish to make a living out of doing it, then once again, YES, writing is still worth it.
Sometimes it’s best though to just accept the position you’re in. Some of you may find the idea of writing too much of a pipe dream because of your current mental and physical situation, and therefor writing may not seem worth it to you. But as I said, if you’re passionate, you love the craft and you’re smitten with the idea of a writing career, then yes, it’s worth it.
You must bare in mind that unrealistic expectations must be reconsidered. You may not sell millions of copies, you may not become a celebrity author, you may not see a book shop window with your collection on centre stage, you may not get a movie deal with loads of merchandise and you may not end up on national television doing interviews. But you you may satisfy a passionate urge to do what you love.
But there is hope! Believe me, it’s not all doom and gloom. If there’s anything you should definitely consider as valuable and worth your time and money when writing a book, is the credibility, validation and authority that comes from committing to something not everybody can do. And if you just happen to satisfy your interests and make a bit of dosh on the side, then awesome. Just keep going, just keep writing and just keep having faith that whatever you consider worthwhile will one day happen for you. 😉
I really hope this has helped you to think about your choices in a writing career. I know it’s tough when you put in a lot of work only to see the tiniest amount of validation, but just like a lottery, you have to be in it to win it. Those who keep playing the game and never give up are those who eventually get the prize! But if you’re still unsure about a few things, hit me up by messaging me if you need some more advice, or comment below to start a discussion, or better yet, sign up to my monthly newsletter to hear the latest.