Don’t Stop Writing Because You’re Not Getting Paid

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ou’ve been writing for a while. Where’s the money? It looks like it’s happening to everybody else.

Bob from marketing is making a whopping 15k a month for the epic sci-fi opera series he’s been self-publishing for two years. He finally left his job while you’re still trapped in your cubicle.

The Starbucks barista you frequently talk to just had her Amish romances picked up by a traditional publisher. Meanwhile, your neighbor’s college-aged daughter is making $250,000+ a year from her makeup, fashion, and travel blogs.

And here you are, writing yourself to the ground, and nothing’s happening. You may get a few Facebook likes, but they don’t pay your rent.

How much more do you have to go through to see your writing magic finally work? At this moment, you’re about to give up on your writing dreams.

For the love of all things holy, don’t stop writing because you’re not getting paid. It’s a trap!

You may not be getting paid for what you love to do right now, but the dream will never come true if you don’t write at all.

What’s the Point of Writing?

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Love and persistence are the foundations of writing before anything else works. Cheesy, I know, but it’s true.

You write because you love it. When you were little, you probably only wanted to write about warrior princesses with fire-breathing unicorns because it excited you. Your six-year-old self didn’t care about money then.

I don’t get paid for writing fanfiction. I only take my time out of the day to do it because it’s freaking fun. Besides, it’s a nice break when I’m consistently writing non-fiction work.

Fiction writing is great for getting into the writing flow. It’s my high. I love it when everything I imagine effortlessly pours onto the page.

Before money flies your way, you must turn writing into a habit. You must surrender yourself to the practice of daily writing.

“It doesn’t really matter what you write, but you must keep up practice. Writing is like a sport, you only get better if you practice. If you don’t keep at it, the writing muscles atrophy.” -Rick Riordan

Get used to the cycle of writing and publishing. It may be a while until some real money comes along.

Money is like a cat. You don’t chase after it; you let it come to you. This works, especially if you have something the cat wants. Keep writing, and money will come to you when at least expect it.

How to Start a Writing Habit

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Where on earth can you get started with your daily writing? Try these sites for starters:

  • 750 Words: Go here to write 750 words every day. It may be rough if you’ve never done it before, but you’ll sharpen up in the long run.
  • NaNoWriMo: Want to give yourself the ultimate challenge? Try NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Every November, you have 30 days to write 50,000 words. Some writers wrote and published their first book from this challenge.
  • Reedsy Weekly Writing Prompts: Folks over at Reedsy will e-mail you five writing prompts. Create a short story after the prompt of your choosing, and you may win $50. Writing a short story every week is great practice.
  • Write or Die: This writing game will get you into the habit of speed writing. Write or Die destroys everything you have typed if you slow down or stop altogether. Scary? Yeah, I know.

Writing as a little as 100 words a day is enough to start your writing routine. Writing something is better than nothing.

People only see the illusion of writers making millions from their first book. In reality, it’s probably their hundredth book sitting on top of a mountain pile of rejected stories.

What you need to do is to keep writing, embrace the process, and the money will soon arrive. Remember, let the cat come to you.

Photo by MIKHAIL VASILYEV on Unsplash

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