While writing the review of On Writing by Stephen King I wrote this:
Then Stephen King asks, do you write for money or for the sheer pleasure of writing? He provides a very clichéd answer. He says that no good writer writes for money. I don’t think this is true. Although you should love your craft and you should work on it for the love of it, eventually earning money matters. Many famous authors like JK Rowling, and even Stephen Hawking, desperately needed money when they started working on their books and making money was a big reason why they were writing.
You can read the remaining portion in the above-linked blog post, but I just had a rethink on the entire issue and I find myself inclined towards thinking that yes, you shouldn’t write for money, and there is a solid reason behind that.
Writing can be a grueling exercise. You may have to write for years before people begin to notice you and then some publisher agrees to publish your novel or book. You may have to write multiple books without a single one getting published. The same goes for short stories. You may keep on sending stories and they may keep on coming back to you with rejection slips. In such cases, what is a writer supposed to do?
What about fame and recognition? The same argument can be applied here also. The moment you begin to crave for something in lieu of your writing you put yourself in a vulnerable position. Rejection is more devastating if your life depends on it. Write for the sheer sake of writing. Keep on submitting manuscripts when you feel they are completed and when they get published, it’s a bonus. If they don’t, well, at least you get to do something that you love.
If you don’t want to write without money or recognition, then maybe it’s not writing you seek, it’s money and fame and this you can get many ways. You should then try something else. When you write without any compulsion, without seeking any compensation, only then you will be able to be true to yourself. I get the point now.