I’ll just go ahead and address the elephant in the proverbial room of writing: greed. You know, all that top-secret money allotted by shadow governments for authors so they can be fabulously wealthy and enjoy lots of fancy garnished beverages (and if you believe this, I’ve got a solar-powered flying giraffe I’d like to sell you for a discounted price of ALL THE MONEY).
One line of thinking I will stand by until the day I die, at which point I will stand by it while doing the standard rattling-chains-and-slamming-doors haunting routine, is that everyone has a story to tell. Everyone. Why not tell it, right? The blogosphere, a word that will always sound like some horrible symptom to an equally horrible illness, has room for everyone, ever. Where things get a little dodgy is when a person decides to get into writing purely for the sake of making money. And thus I finally get to the actual topic. If this post finishes within a reasonable amount of time, there might even be confetti.
The attraction to the arts, whether the art in question is that of the writer, the musician, the stage or movie actor, or any other artistic calling in the vast mix of them all (Note: interpretive dancing, at the very least, calls for respect. Money? Not so much.) for the sake of earning money has, in all probability, always been a thing. The media are constantly vomiting images of the rich and famous, and it’s easy to think, “Hey, they do something I do, and they get loads of money for it. I need to get in on this.” Don’t get me wrong, now. It is very possible to make money off of creating art, especially in this digital age where content can be made instantly available at the click of a mouse (so says just another guy via just another blog, right?). If the creating can lead to a little money, cool. I tip my hat to you, both out of respect and in hopes you’ll drop a couple bills in it.
However, things do get rather problematic when a person goes to the arts with the dream of becoming fabulously wealthy, and so on, in a short period of time. Contact any famous person asking how you can get to be as well-off as them. Chances are they’ll point you to the FAQ on their web site, which in some degree or another will state how they got where they are after years of hard work, rejection, and contributions of their blood, sweat, tears, and many sleepless nights. Oh, and don’t get into any particular art for the money, because you’ll probably be disappointed when it’s not some get-rich-quick path in life.
Shocking, I know. Not being able to just write a novel, shake some hands, and roll up to book signings in your gold-plated limousine (which, of course, is carried on the back of a Hummer-Limousine that is also gold-plated). It’s all about accepting criticism, tweaking your writing, making it marketable, and still getting rejected because, honestly, it’s also about knowing the inner workings of business (at which point I just throw my hands up in the air and say “Well, [expletive deleted] this noise.”; I should probably work on that). Realistically, and this pill can be a bit hard to swallow for some, writing, just like any other art form (and, honestly, so much else in life), is all about being passionate, putting part of yourself out there, and loving it. If it turns into a source of income, that’s wonderful. If not, keep on enjoying it all the same.
And that concludes this post featuring my mighty grasp of the obvious.