By Amanda Jakle
Do you ever have the feeling that you absolutely MUST create something?
If you’re anything like I am, the urge to create- to write- is a need. It’s a need to share a message with the world, a message that only you have within you, that only you can write and tell. It may be that that message is a story you tell about the characters who live in your imagination. It may be a memoir, a story about your life experience, the lessons that you’ve learned over time, the message that you must tell or you’ll go crazy from keeping it bottled up inside you.
This need, this burning desire to write, to create, to bring light and knowledge to the world, is why we write.
And occasionally, if you’re good enough at it and you market it right, you can actually make a decent living off it.
That being said, authors like J. K. Rowling, Stephen King, and other big-name millionaire authors are relatively few and far between. Why? Why is it that there aren’t more millionaire or billionaire authors out there? Why is it that most authors, whether independently-published or traditionally-published, can struggle their entire lives to make a living off their work, and some of us never even see more than $100 from our publishing efforts?
Is it because you don’t have an audience for your writing? Not likely, unless you’re writing a book about how to train a kookaburra to sing and walk a tightrope while balancing a dish on its head at the same time.
Is it because the market is flooded with new books? Yes, there are hundreds of thousands of books being published every year, but most of them won’t see any real earnings.
Is it because your work is crap? Entirely possible. But then, whose work isn’t crap to someone else? One man’s crap is another man’s treasure, as they say.
So, if it’s so hard to make a living at it, why write?
That is ultimately a question that only you know the answer to, and if you want to make any kind of living as an author, it’s one you need to answer as soon as possible.
Let’s face it: writing is a long, sometimes-boring, lonely slog, and if you don’t know your burning why of why you’re writing, then chances are, you’re going to give up as soon as you hit the saggy middle, or as soon as you get your first critique.
Who are you writing for, and why do you write?
Write for you, and write because you must.
Write for you, because you are the one who must give birth and life to this glorious, God-given creation that’s floating around in your heart and soul and mind. There will always be critics and naysayers. There will always be doubters and people who say “You can’t” or “You shouldn’t” just because they don’t have the creativity or drive to do what you’re doing now. Write for you, because you’re the first person to envision your thought-baby, and because you must bring it forth to live and breathe.
Write because you must, not because you’re trying to pay the bills or because you have someone holding a gun to your head saying, “IN MOTHER RUSSIA, WRITE OR WE KYILL YOU”, but because you have a tale and a message that is ready to burst out into the world and fill the universe with the light of creativity.
Or. You know. Just because you have a damn good story that you wanna tell and hang all the keyboard trolls who say “YAH THAT SUX.”
So there’s why I write.
Why do you write?
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About the Author:
Amanda Jakle wears many hats, but she is mostly a writer, blogger, and entrepreneur. She loves traveling, seeing new sights, finding new nooks and crannies of the world, and meeting interesting people along the way, most of whom make it into her stories in some form or another. She currently lives in Missoula, Montana. She plans to be in Scotland by November 1st, 2022 for a genealogical research project.