Writing Is Better Than Money

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?

No.

And if I never make any money from my writing, will I hang up my pen and pad for good?

Hell. No.

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.

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Post-Script:

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!

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7 Responses to Writing Is Better Than Money

  1. Pingback: Goats Are The Best Things There Are | Mindless Productivity

  2. You cannot serve both God and that weird goat.

  3. Cameron says:

    You said money is worthless. But while it’s not backed by gold or silver, it is backed by the promises our politicians make to the American people. Okay, it’s worthless.

  4. Great post….love your enthusiam when it comes to you writing.. i feel the same when I write.I agree money doesn’t buy you happiness and that you should not expect your writing to make money for you….BUT I would like to point out what money does buy you….mainly Freedom in certain aspects of your life…First: TIME – If I was a professional writer not tied down to any other job but writing I would virtually have from the time I get up to the time I choose to go to bed to write if that is all did all time…NOW if your poor and actually need to work for a living and you work a 40-60hr work week that leaves you with a much tighter window of time to actually do some concrete writing and still be able to get to sleep so your not dozing off at work or feeling like a zombie. With Freedom also Comes TRAVEL – with money to travel to far flung reaches of the world to see the sites, tastes new food, meet other cultures, you actually only dream about or see on television…and guess what now you can write about and get inpsired about those new locals because you have ACTUALLy been there. Writing supports my psyche and releases the pressures of humdrum day but it’s NOT more important than money to me right NOW because I know money can lead to that FREEDOM. I want to write for my enjoyment first and foremeost, then the readers second. I want an audience for my stuff plan and simple. Bigger the better..hey I’m vain that way I admit it aren’t we all. With a bigger audience comes potential for actually making money from something I love to do. So you see for me Money is a motivator only…it is not THEE object of my desire but it is a component to wanting something more in life and a benchmark of me getting there…I think there is nothing wrong with that. I play the lottery also ..do I expect to win? Not really..But I play anyway. With wriiting it’s the same to a degree..but I feel I’m more in involved in that destiny than simply plunking down a dollar for a ticket….

    • True…but we can also live much more affordably…I’m working 30 hours a week at minimum wage, yet I’m paying off my rent, utilities, internet, food, gas, and $20,000 worth of student debt, and I still have money left over that I could put toward travel, if I chose to. And there’s more I could cut out…I could stop going to movies, stop buying video games, books, DVDs, and music, stop eating out, buy cheaper (and maybe even healthier) food.

      Perhaps travel can also be made more affordable by finding some sort of short-term work in the place you travel to. Travel can then be more than a vacation…it’s a more honest immersion in the native culture.

      I’m not arguing that Money cannot buy Freedom. However, we so often choose to use Money to buy things that limit that Freedom. Houses, furniture, entertainment centers, high-speed internet, Netflix, Playstations, cable TV, swimming pools…these are the gilded anchors of our lives.

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