This has been a good week for writer me.
I finished Chapter 7 of my novel on Tuesday, just a few days after passing the 10,000 word mark. (Incidentally, Tuesday was also the day my blog received its 8,000th view. Good job, blog…no need to be shy!)
And not only that! Tuesday was also my 21st day of 100 Words Daily. And as anyone with a passing acquaintance with Science can tell you, three weeks is the average length of time it takes for a regular behavior to become habitual!
I am now a writing addict, overdosing on syntax and vocabulary.
And as a result, I have discovered a wonderful thing. Writing is far, far better than money.
Because what is money worth, anyway? Intrinsically…nothing. It’s just paper. In fact, it’s worse than normal paper, because it’s too cluttered with pictures and symbols to write on.
Money’s only value is extrinsic–it’s only as valuable as what we can buy with it. But can it buy happiness?
Survey says…no. The rich and famous don’t appear to be enjoying their lifestyles more than me and my lower-middle-class friends. (Admittedly, we are American lower-middle-class–still a couple steps above royalty by many countries’ standards–but for my environment, I live a fairly humble financial existence.)
Of course, you need to meet your needs. Someone who eats three times a day is going to be happier than someone who eats three times a week. But after basic needs are met, and a small modicum is spent on enjoying life, I don’t think money can do much to make you happier.
So money is not overly valuable. I’m going to arbitrarily declare the value of money to be equal to this strange-looking goat, who I have decided to name Mammon.
Money = Weird Goat
How does writing measure up? I will tell you.
WRITING IS &$#*!@% AWESOME.
The sensation of a world being formed by your direction.
The inhalation of the imagination before breathing life into settings.
Putting EXACTLY THE RIGHT WORD in EXACTLY THE RIGHT PLACE with surgical precision.
Uncovering a secret connection between characters you never could have anticipated.
These things…money can’t even comprehend. Writing makes money go home and think long and hard about what an empty pit of meaninglessness its life has become.
If money is a weird-looking goat, then writing is
A HUMPBACK WHALE DOING A BACKFLIP
Writing = MIND BLOWN
Which is why I’m now going to tell you NOT to expect to make a living off of writing.
Because if you do, you will be sobbing salty tears of sadness when you realize that more people win the lottery than become successful authors.
Don’t look at writing as a way to earn more money. Look at money as a means to do more writing.
Do I want to support myself financially through writing? Absofrigginlutely.
Do I expect to?
And if I never make any money from my writing, will I hang up my pen and pad for good?
If you’re writing because you want to strike it rich, you’re wasting your time looking all over the place for a doofy-looking goat
while an incredible humpback whale is doing acrobatics right behind you.
The more observant among you may have noticed the 100 Words Daily widget. It’s on the upper-right hand corner of the blog, right below the “Subscribe” button. <cough, hint, cough> In this widget, I’m keeping track of my stats: how long I’ve been on my current 100WD streak, highest daily wordcount, and total wordcount.
And when he’s not purpling every blue link on Reddit, Jason of P13RCE.net provides me with competition, so we’re also tracking highest daily wordcount (currently his) and longest streak (currently mine).
So share encouragement! Hurl insults! Place bets! Sabotage progress! Let the games begin!