Feb 8, 2012
by Nikki McBride Spencer
So you are a writer. You write for fun and because you like to tell stories. You have always written as far back as you can remember. But what if you want to actually make a living writing, and the maybe-I'll-make-it-big-one-day dream is fading fast? After all, the kids need shoes. What are your options if you decide not to pursue writing fiction novels for money?
Sure, we all would love to be the next Stephenie Meyers or the female equivalent to John Grisham, but how many of us really will do just that? Some might. Most of us...probably not, for various reasons.
Many of us write because we love it, and not for the potential paycheck it might bring--and that's just fine. There is no good reason NOT to write for fun, if that is what you love.
These are questions that plague me at night, and maybe they needle at you, too.
Do I follow my dream of writing a novel? Truly, fully commit for a year, give it my all and then submit on a hope and the strength of my dream? Can I even finish a novel with my other responsibilities looming? (Three half-done YA fantasies live quite comfortably on my hard drive. I think they are being lazy loafers.) So many rejections stare at me from the doorway of that future. Do I really want to go there?
Or, do I put novel writing on hold indefinitely and pursue other writing professions? Really give it my all and go for it? The financial odds staring back at me look decidedly better than a what-if. I do have some skills as a web designer and copywriter. I do own a small business with big potential marketing to dentists. And even though I wouldn't be writing fiction, I would be writing for pay--and that in itself is hugely satisfying to me.
But what of the book? What of the fantasy characters floating through my dreams? What do I do? What would you do?