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Wednesday, 18 January 2012

What is Your Writing Worth?

Lately it seems like I have been reading an awful lot of comments about writers having an unworthy job. Some people think that just because some writers spend the majority of time at their home writing, indulging in far too much coffee, they are not worthy of having a rich income. Some people see writers as selfish beings who live in a world of fantasy, thinking they're going to become rich and famous because everyone will want to read their books.

Some writers may think like this but I am sure they are in the minority. A lot of writers write despite having a full time job - they write simply because they cannot not write. For some it is just a hobby but I think the majority of writers would love to earn a living from their passion but unfortunately many do not.

But what about those who have writing as a full time career? Do some people honestly think that they do not deserve success just because they don't build houses, save lives or are on a mission to cure AIDS? Even though people in the medical world do a wonderful job of saving lives every day, they don't get paid as much as footballers, who in comparison, have a pretty worthless job of kicking a football around a field. But that's another subject for another day.

Writers are hard working people. It takes a huge level of motivation to start a book and finish it. And I know too many writers who don't feel worthy enough just because they write. A lot of them are reluctant to call themselves writers if they don't have a huge backlist of books or earn a £1000/$1000 a month from their work. But I am typing this post today to tell you that writers are worth their weight in gold. You may not earn that sort of money yet but that doesn't mean you never will, as long as you keep writing. You have made your mark on the economy by going out to buy pens, paper and other writing equipment like computers. You have contributed to the system just by doing that alone. If you are traditionally published you will no doubt have an agent working with you. If you self publish you still help online stores stay in business as they will take a cut from your work. 

I think writers have a marvellous job because our career falls into the entertainment industry. If you are a comedian, you're hoping to make people laugh and improve their life quality. Everyone on this planet feels better after a good laugh. If you're a painter you hope to inspire people through your paintings. And if you're a writer you hope to change a life for the better. I tell you now there is no better feeling that exists when a total stranger emails you to say your book inspired them in such a way that they've made a conscious decision to change their attitude to life. To take on your attitude to life, and make the most of every second.

So writers may not perform outstanding medical procedures to save lives, but we may save lives in another sense. We may not stand in a classroom with thirty students teaching them how cook but our books may be seen as tools which provide essential life skills. Writers teach people about a different way of thinking. They open people's minds up to endless worlds of possibility. They provide another pair of eyes to view life from.

Writing may be the best job in the world.

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