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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Writing for Love or for Money?

I was recently emailing with a prospective client, and after I had told him about my editing process and what my terms are, he said, before I give the go-ahead, I'd like you to tell me frankly whether I'm going to make any money on this book. Well, I said, first of all, you should know that very few of all the published authors actually make much money on their books. So why does any one keep writing? Probably somewhere in his mind is the fantasy that his next novel will catapult him to stardom, as did The DaVinci Code with previously little-known Dan Brown. But I have a strong feeling that any real writer is writing because of love of the craft--because inside him there's a story he has to tell, an idea he has to develop, a period of history he has to research and write about, etc. So all of you writers out there: think about why you're writing. Is it for love or is it for money?


  1. Actually I had forgotten, though I edited an excellent biography of Dr. Johnson. For others who may not remember, he said: "No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money." Which directly contradicts my post about writing for love or for money. But despite the estimable Dr. Johnson's views, I think I'll stick to my point.

  2. I think Dr. Johnson enjoyed shocking people with his remarks--especially Boswell, who idolized him.