I belong to a writer’s organization with many journalist members. When blogs and other internet content (remember ‘zines?) began surging in popularity, many of these people lost their newspaper jobs. Freelance magazine assignments dried up. Are these folks bitter? Yes. And for me, as a blogger, it’s a bit awkward during meetings when talk turns to a writer’s worth.
Many of my journalist friends believe that writing for free is wrong. They believe it damages the integrity of being paid for hard work. When I joined the group, I earned $100 a month as a book reviewer. In the good old days, 500 words meant $500. So to my journalist friends, I was selling myself cheap.
Many of my fellow writers feel that this should matter to me more than it does. But the thing is, I love to write. I love it so much I do it for free. That I have the freedom to do it at all is payment enough for me. My blog is 11 years old now. Except for the covers of my novels, it is ad-free. I like it that way, clean and uncluttered.
I self-published my first two books and made a little money. It wasn’t about the money. It was about holding my book in my hands. It was about sharing my stories with other people. I have a publisher now, and while I’m much happier having them, I’m still not rich. The truth is, most creative writers have “day jobs.”
I teach for the paycheck, but I write for my own satisfaction. For me, writing has an intrinsic value that is much higher than a dollar a word.
Cynthia Harrison has published five books, all available on Amazon here. She blogs at “A Writer’s Diary” [www.cynthiaharrison.com]. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @CynthiaHarriso1. Cynthia’s latest novel, Blue Heaven, is the first in a series. It’s now on Kindle exclusively, and will be available in print and at other online retailers later this year.