Amazon.com lists more than 300,000 authors in their archives going back to the early 1950's. There are even more than that stretching back to the beginnings of the 19 th Century and beyond if you look at Socrates, The Cesar's and religious historians all the way back to the authors of the Old Testament and earlier. With competition like that, today's author's find themselves wondering if they'd keep writing despite the stiff and relentless barrage of material available.
One of our favorite mantras as writers is the saying:
"I'd keep writing even if I never made a dime, because I love it."
A brave and noble proclamation, Maybe, but also the excuse we use to drive us forward into the fray when the successes can be few and far between. The question we should be asking ourselves isn't "Would I keep writing if I never made a dime?" The question we should ask ourselves is: "Would I keep writing if I had all the money I could dream of?"
Look at J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter series.
J.K. Rowling Net Worth of $1 billion came from the royalties she is receiving from her books and from the Harry Potter franchise. Harry Potter brand is
said to be worth $15 billion. The film Harry Potter was the highest-grossing film series of all-time that recorded world box office sales of $7.7 billion.Dec
JK Rowling Net Worth: Harry Potter Author & World's Richest ...
Rowling doesn't need to keep writing...but she does. Her net worth is solid, she won't need to make another dime, but she keeps going. Because she loves to write? Because she's afraid she'll run out of money? Because she's famous and must keep up her public face?
Only Rowling knows the answers to those questions. She is a writer though and so she writes. "I'm just saying I'm going to be enjoying writing without having to publish or
having to think about that. And it's-- that's a privilege, you know? … I'm immensely privileged." J.K. Rowling in interview with NBC Dateline, 2007
Rowling has released an adult series as well as a mystery since her Harry Potter series. She hasn't found the same success with her other books, but she's J.K. Rowling, she automatically succeeds on her name alone. She is one of many authors who can say they'd keep writing even if they never made another dime, because they don't do it for the money.
There are days, weeks and even months in my life where I wonder if I had all the money I needed...would I keep writing?
The desire to create, build stories, characters and plots must come from a deeper place than the money. It must be a part of the writer that transcends the cash, the fame or the status which can come. It must be a love of the work and a passion for the dream of people who live only in our hearts and minds.
So...keep writing. Even if you never make a dime. Not because you hope some day you won't have to worry about money, but because it's what you do. It's who you are!