20 Oct 2015: Art versus Cash … The Writer’s Heart

I think one of my more interesting observations over my weekend at the Florida Writers Association Conference here in Orlando was the difference between those who write for the love of it, for the artistry involved in bringing their stories to life … and those who write for money.  There’s this one guy I’ve seen around town before at meetings that at this conference I finally realized why I’ve never really liked him.  For him it’s all about the money.  He’d write anything for a buck and has no concern for how it’s crafted and molded to perfection.  Not surprisingly, he writes non-fiction, but he’d be willing to pump out anything for a buck.

Conceptual 3d abstract illustration.

He loves to tell you how he’s got 80 books out there for sale, but I’ve seen some of those books.  Large type and few pages, they are, his grab for the quick cash.

Me, I’m an artist with words.  I’d never put anything out there in the world that I didn’t believe would make this world or a person better for having read it.  No, I’m not Monet or Rembrandt yet, but I’m working on it.  🙂

lisasaint

As I heard several times over weekend of the conference, if you want to be rich …. don’t be a writer! 

Very few of us make it to the big time and live on the easy street where our name alone on the cover is enough to rake in the sales.  Write because you love words and the craft of molding them into characters and stories that you’d love to read yourself.  Don’t be like Mr. Cash mentioned above who says you should find out what’s trending now, write a short book in that genre, pump it out as fast as you can and cash in on the trend.  I actually saw him go up to one of the speakers before a session began and start talking about how he loved these girls who started writing books about dinosaur porn because they realized they could make a fortune selling them on Amazon.  The speaker was politely listening, but it was pretty easy to tell he was as offended by this guy as I was.  The speaker is an author who with a masters in creative writing was here to talk about selling and marketing books on Amazon, something he was doing very well.  I think it was sitting there and watching the look on his poor face as he listened to Mr. Cash rave on about how you could make money selling books on Dinosaur Porn that I realized that to some folks, the ‘creative’ part of creative writing is an elusive mystery of life they’ll probably never understand.

Really, I just find it kind of sad.  Believe it or not, Mr. Cash actually makes a living by helping writers publish their work.  I for one would rather slug it out on my own than have someone like that in my life.  I feel sad for him because he’s in an industry of passion and his passion is completely misplaced. He’ll never know the joy of a book launch where you hit publish on KDP and feel a tear in your eye because it’s like giving breath to your baby.  For him it’s about money only and there are no tears of joy there.

So, what are your thoughts on writing for the joy of it vs. writing purely for profit?

Should we be in it to be Monet, or for the Money?

-Jennifer

Jennifer Geoghan, author of The Purity of Blood novel series and If Love is a Lie: A Partly True Love Story.

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