It’s all about the hustle, folks. Get yours, or sit in the corner out of the way.
Is that harsh? I was reading a blog post where the author stated her dissatisfaction with people who had ‘too many twitter followers’. I wrote about this as well, from a slightly different viewpoint and the conclusion I made is also similar but different the one made by the blog’s author.
We agree that people should come first. One of the emerging principles of the new writing dynamic is community-centered support systems; kind of gatekeeper-ish, kind of self-help, kind of online group counseling. Basically, writers helping writers to get ahead.
Now, it is critical to define why exactly you write (beyond of course the innate passion you obviously need, the driving desire to communicate the thoughts and dreams, the whims and fancies, that bounce in your head-or creep and slither).
Hobby and pleasure and fellowship; worthy reasons to write and I can’t find fault with any of them. Go to it and write casually, bring pleasure and joy to yourself and to others.
The moment you put anything you write up for sale (or place ads on your website even), then it isn’t all about hobby and pleasure and fellowship. You have added an element of commerce that changes the equation.
You are trying to make money.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you loose pleasure or that you have to sacrifice fellowship. I do believe that it isn’t merely hobby, however. It is work that you enjoy, though it may only be part time work, it is still work. That means making business decisions, that means that you are mindful of brand, of networks, of intent. That means that even if you do have thousands of twitter followers, you can still have mutually beneficial relationships that are meaningful. You can find as much fellowship as you could ever want.
No sacrifices needed, folks. If you write for money, don’t be ashamed or embarrassed. It is perfectly fine to make a living or have the desire to make a living. Making money does not make you a bad person, it doesn’t make you evil. Embrace your inner business person, but understand that you can be a positive business person who helps your competition instead of trying to crush them.
I find it annoying when I read a blog or a comment from a person who is selling a book or putting ads on their website, who then decries the practice of making money. We all have the right to make money, we simply have a responsibility to make money conscious of the impact has on others. Ruthless and cutthroat or mindful and mutually supportive?
So, make your money, be proud, or stop passively selling and then complaining that others are doing better because doing better isn’t all about being underhanded, not for everyone, not anymore.