It’s Irresponsible To Talk About Where The Money Comes From.
It’s become a trend now (least it feels like one) for authors to be transparent and tell everyone how money flows to them. I’m asking you, as a wannabe writer, I beg you; STOP.
Stop talking about the money.
You’re being selfish and arrogant and it’s a cruel thing to do.
Writing, like all art, comes at a price. Anyone who considers themselves an artist knows there’s no real money in art. Sure, we hope there’ll be, we wish there’ll be, but deep down, we know there is NONE. But that doesn’t matter because none of us truly care about the money anyway. That money is an afterthought, a wish, a hope that should the time come, we can support ourselves doing what we love to do. That money (and all money that follows because of the art) is our way of gauging if others love it as much as we do.
But it’s not about the money. It’s about a dream. It’s about an ambition. And it’s about our struggle to make it. And by airing your dirty laundry, you’re not just rubbing your unwashed knickers in our faces, you’re reminding us that two dollar thongs are truly for losers only. And anyone trying to be a writer, isn’t going to get too far.
If people know the true price of artistic success, they might not seek it out. I’m sure musicians face this, actors face this, and although we might see the members of One Direction turning tricks on the streets of Las Vegas in ten years time, broke and forgotten, people still chase after it. Never mind that once you reach it’ll be a bitter treasure.
When writers remind us that you need money to be successful, as one author did by mentioning her rich husband who takes care of her and supports her wholeheartedly, that stings. It hurts and discourages us other wannabe authors who don’t have that. It’s saying to us that the only way we can make it is with money we don’t have, being propped up by supportive spouses who don’t exist.
Another author wrote in a different vein, being real and truthful about having ‘made’ it, yet still scrounging to get by. By far, that was an even worse story because it’s like saying you’re trying so hard to make it, but there IS no success to be had.
Listen, we know it’s hard. We know we won’t be bathing in JK’s money, making it rain like MC Hammer, and more importantly, all that knowledge in the world won’t make us turn back.
In both articles, the authors repeated that there was a need to be transparent, to show the money. My question is…why? Why show it? Yes, we’re walking this yellow brick road, heading toward Oz because we swear it’s got all our dreams and more. So what if when we arrive all we’ll find is a seedy old guy behind a curtain with his hands in his pockets? So what if we’ll encounter evil trolls and their flying monkeys along the way? So what if we probably can’t even afford the admission to enter that Emerald City. What does it matter? We’re not getting off this road any time soon. We’re going to keep moving forward regardless.
So before another article goes out about JUST how difficult it is to pimp books, let us down in the trenches send you a message in return. It reads, “No shit.” Followed by a P.S. “It doesn’t matter what success looks like when we get there because it’s all about the journey, anyway.”
Keep your ass quiet about the money. Leave us with our dreams.