Yesterday, one of my Facebook writer-friends lamented that a member of her online writing community asserted that, unless one’s goal is to earn a full-time living from writing, you “may as well go home.”
I had a rather complex reaction to this assertion but, overall I thought, “that’s sort of harsh.”
We write for many reasons, and while I think the majority of us would like to earn some sort of income through our craft, I think it’s also about the art – especially for fiction writers. I’m sure there must be a statistic out there, and I’d wager that it’s mighty tough to earn a full-time living through writing fiction.
Now, I do think that when we reach a certain level of mastery it’s perfectly okay to be paid for our work/art – but that’s not every writer’s chosen path. Does that mean they should just pack up and go home? Should we forget about being taken seriously if we aren’t earning a full-time living, or even aspiring to earn a full-time living? One writer may derive great satisfaction and be forever happy selling short stories to small pubs. Another may be content blogging and may never earn a dime. Both may be darn good writers. What does that say about them?
I like to think there’s room for all of us, but what do you think? Is it okay to write for the love of writing, or are only income-earners considered serious writers? What, exactly, is “good enough?”