Friday, November 17, 2017

Do You Write For Profit, Fame, Fun, Or Something Else?

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

I was interviewed this week over at The Insecure Writers Support Group, so if you want to know what makes me tick, hop on over for a quick read. As you might guess, the topic had to do with writer insecurity, and in keeping with that topic, this post is focused on what keeps me motivated as a writer.

I suspect most of us write because we need a creative outlet for all those crazy ideas floating around inside our heads. At least I do. But that doesn’t explain why we spend so much time polishing our work and fighting to get our words published.

Some writers write for the money. Nothing wrong with that, but that’s not what motivates me. Not that making money from writing wouldn’t be great, but unless I write a blockbuster that pretty much sells itself, I’d have to do a ton of marketing to make any real money and I’m not interested in doing that.

Some writers crave the fame that comes from being a successful writer. Hey, I wouldn’t mind legions of fans knowing my name, but I don’t think I’d be happy with too much fame. Sounds as if that can be more hassle than it’s worth. Just ask J.K. Rowling. But I wouldn’t mind if, while attending a convention, someone I’ve never met before walked up to me and said something nice about one of my books. Heck, who am I kidding? It would be pretty damn awesome.

But probably not for the reason you think.

You see, my motivation to write the best book I possibly can has little to do with money or fame. For me, it’s all about maximizing the number of people who read (and enjoy) my stories. Why? Because the more people who read about my characters, the more real my characters feel to me. That simple fact is what drives me to write everyday.

I’m not saying my characters don’t feel real to me now, but they’ll feel infinitely more real when I know other people are experiencing their stories too. I can’t explain why I feel this way; I just do. I guess it’s kind of like the tree falling in the forest. If no one reads a book, are the characters real? 

So that’s write I keep writing and learning the craft. To maximize the number of people who fall in love with my characters. Because my characters deserve to be real.

Do any of you feel the same way?



  1. Tried to comment but it disappeared. Hmm, so let's try again. I enjoyed your IWSG interview, so I headed on over this way. I like your perspective of fame and fortune: to know that a reader connected with your characters in the way you intended, to know they got angry with them or fell in love with them, or were sad to finish the book and say goodbye . . . that beats fame any day of the week.

  2. I totally agree with you. Taking the time to get those characters to jump off the page is the best way to create stories people want to read. I'll have to check out your interview!

  3. I love it when people connect with my stories and love my characters, but I really write for two reasons:

    1. For me. Because I have to. I've always told stories and it's part of my DNA. I might implode without an outlet.

    2. For my readers. Every single one of my stories are aimed to build compassion and the ability to look beyond ones own needs/desires. It's my core theme and part of what drives me to tell stories.

    I'll have to check out the interview--when I finally get done visiting everyone. Who am I kidding? I'm so far behind there will be no "done." Guess that means I just have to make time, eh? ;)

  4. You know, I don't think character realness has ever been a consideration of mine. But I totally get your motivations. I spend so much time with my characters, I just want other people to experience and enjoy them as much as I do. And I also want to write the best darn possible book I can write.

  5. I love "story" so much, it's just something I feel I must contribute to. Like being obsessed with the piano and wanting to know how to play it, too. I don't expect to be a famous concert pianist, but I want to know how to do what those cool people are doing. So, that's my analogy for why I write, basically.

    I need to make a living at the same time, so I want to sell books, too, but if that need were not necessary, it would become about wanting to know how to create characters, worlds and stories that are as awesome as the ones I've come across, if that's even possible.

  6. I write better when it's for fun. Yeah, I'd like to make money off my writing, but I'm glad I don't have to because then I can focus on the story and making it memorable for readers.