Sunday, March 04, 2007
Is it worth it?
Someone, on a forum I frequent, asked whether this writing thing was worth the effort: why bother to write when, as a new writer, all you get is knock backs from the industry?
In the main, the advice given was along the lines of needing to have high quality product and lots of perseverance. Too many people approach the writer's market place with work that is, quite frankly, not up to standard in the English department. Editors will correct many mistakes, but they don't exist to give writers lessons in basic grammar and punctuation. They certainly don't exist to correct a work punctuated with spelling mistakes. And that assumes that, in the first place, the writer has the basic ability to write with clarity and engage the reader.
But even when you have a good product, it still needs marketing correctly - to the right people in the right format. This is a subject in its own right and can involve the writer in as much work and perseverance as writing the book or article in the first place. Often, good work fails through poor marketing. No wonder people ask whether it is all worth it!
Is it worth it? Well, I believe the answer to that question comes down to motivation. If you are writing because you want to get published, earn an income and, perhaps, get famous then the answer is probably 'no it may not not worth it'. There are many easier ways to earn a living than by writing and fame is a transitory thing, only achieved by the few. But, if you write for the sheer joy of writing, for the pleasure of creating and crafting something of beauty, then it's certainly worth it. If you happen to get published, and make some money as well, then that's the icing on the writer's cake.
So, it's your call; is writing worth it for you?