When I chose write at first it was for publication. Then as I listened to my heart and not my head I began to think about who I was and not what I could make, I learned about myself.
This learning took a few years and it also changed my writing and my way of thinking about my life outside writing. Did I really want my writing motivated by money?
I thought about that for a while, maybe a couple of weeks, in the end I decided that the best path for my writing was my heart and not my pocketbook.
Neil Gaiman, in his speech at University of the Arts in Philadelphia said that any time he wrote something motivated by money it failed miserably. You can listen to his speech here, I listen to it once a month to remind myself to do good art.
I learned my lesson before listening to Mr. Gaiman’s speech, but it’s still a reminder to me that I should do what my heart wants, not what my wallet desires.
Since I changed my stance on what I want out of writing, just to write for myself and not for the money, my writing has taken on a new life, one that admittedly, if I’d done this years ago I would be on my fifth book or so and would not be focusing on such things anymore.
In writing for myself and not what I could get out of it, monetarily, I discovered this whole other person. He’s been lying in wait, and has been patiently waiting for me to come out and say, “I’m doing this writing stuff for the wrong reasons. I need to write stories for me, and not for the money I could get from them.”
Writing no longer feels like work, as it used to. It feels as if I’m writing something that I would like to read, and not one that I would share with others, though I would like to share them, they’re wonderful.
Along the way to my discovery I’ve had choices come up of what I want to write and not write, I no longer look at those choices as, “what would sell?”, I view them as how would I feel if I saw someone reading it.
That change, along with the others I mentioned have changed my thoughts and motivations about genre, story, characters and whether I feel like myself when I finish writing for the night.
If I’m happy with what I’ve written and I don’t feel like I’ve sold myself, than I’ve written something worthwhile, otherwise I write down in my journal where I stopped and what needs fixing. It takes longer writing like this, but I feel more authentic to myself.
- Doctor Who News: The Cybermen Are Back, And So Is Neil Gaiman! (geek-news.mtv.com)
- “Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it” (gointothestory.blcklst.com)