For the Money

So many writers have the same dream: To get published. To get on the shelves. To get paid for what you love to do.

I’ll be honest, this was my dream until a reality check last year. I thought maybe … just maybe I would defy all odds and make it to the best-sellers list on my first or second novel. There’s nothing wrong with having that dream. But, I realized there’s something wrong with banking on it.

There are many paths to success. You may have seen this image before:

success

I realized there are other ways to live as a writer. You may sell to a smaller, independent publisher and receive royalty checks that add a few extra dollars to your account. You may make it big-time and sell to a big-six publisher, and still only make a few extra dollars. You may self-publish and flop, or you may become the next sweeping sensation (Amanda Hocking, E.L. James.) But the thing is, none of that may happen, and you have to go back to the beginning. Why am I writing? Why do I do this?

There’s something I learned about my writing. I am already getting paid. My heart is happy, and my soul is fulfilled when I create stories, lyrical sentences, voices so different than my own. I take a vacation into every story world I create, and I don’t even have to board a plane or check my bags. I connect to new perspectives, and I learn about cultural differences. I am educated about the world around me, so that I might create my own new world.

I am paid.

Contentment is something money can’t buy. We might have all the fine things in the world, but the free things are the rarest. Accepting your life, exactly where and when it is, is priceless. I would love to keep dreaming; I would love to see my book on a bookshelf. But that isn’t the point at which I will call myself successful.

Every time I pick up a pen, or open my laptop, I have already won.

– Dani Nicole

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