The perks of being a writer

When I tell people I’m a writer they usually ask me how much I earn. I usually smile and say “enough.” I’ve been giving this answer even before I started earning money, when my stories were available for free on Wattpad.

The thing is that being a writer, or any other kind of artist, also means that most probably you’ll never earn a lot of money. Million dollar advances are extremely rare. Besides, I’m quite sure that most artists aren’t in this for money.

But what exactly do you earn if not money? Is there something else to being a writer?

Well, let’s make a list of the perks of being a writer.

  • You can be as eccentric as you want. People expect writers to be a bit crazy.
  • You get to do what you love.
  • You can act lazy, sleep on the couch all day, and blame writer’s block.
  • You can be an alcoholic (if you’re into that sort of thing) and people will forgive you for it.
  • You get to tell people you’re a writer. Some will find you interesting.
  • People will think you know more about books than the rest of the world. ‘Cause you write the damn things.
  • You’re your own boss. Especially if you self-publish. Yeah, the thing is that you still have to show up at the desk and work for as long as you feel like it. But that’s the point. As long as you like. If you don’t feel like it, you can take a break. Go on a holiday. Do other stuff.

Any I missed?

Okay, now on a more serious note. The perk I like most is that once in a while someone tells you they love your story. Whether a five star review on Amazon, an e-mail, a blog comment, it doesn’t matter as long as someone genuinely loves your writing. Money can’t buy this mixture of admiration and envy that people feel when they read something really, really good. A paragraph or just a few short sentences that describe exactly how they feel in the world.

Two strangers, the writer and the reader, locked in this strange dance… there’s nothing that can compare to it. And you, as a writer, realize that you’re not as alone as you thought. Someone else feels the same way as you do.

As Tennessee Williams once said, you’re not lonely alone.

***

I’d like to thank Jake, Kim, Stephanie, and all the others who have helped me out so far. The situation is still critical, but I choose to be optimistic.

If you wish to help me keep this blog alive (and, well, survive and stuff) you can contribute any amount you see fit here. Also, there are a lot of advertising options available here.

Thank you,

Cristian

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40 comments on “The perks of being a writer

  1. At what point did you consider yourself a “real” writer – how do you define that? I’m still trying to figure it out.

    • If you write, you are a writer. If you talk about writing, think about writing, dream about writing, say you are going to write someday, you are a time waster. But if you actually write, turning blood into ink, day after day, whether you are ever published, you are a writer.

      • Completely agree with this! Just finished a Creative Writing degree and they told us from the start that we didn’t need a degree to be a writer and as soon as we put words to a page we were a writer.

  2. True Words. I think I’ll just print this and tape it over my desk :-)

  3. Jean-Jacques says:

    Excellent… we all do… go thru this charade, if only to maintain our sanity, if for that matter they who choose to live their lives as writers, are indeed sane to begin. In any event, the rewards go far and well beyond the almighty dollar, in spite of the fact that eating does have its positive side in the long run. Jean-Jacques Fournier

  4. driftersonline says:

    I just got wattpad, and couldn’t post my story. Too dirty I guess.

  5. akhlis says:

    Yeah, you missed one! You can sit all day long at a coffee shop, crying , lamenting over your protagonist. LOL
    And to me, I want to be a writer because that way I don’t have to meet many people to make money. Just like J. D. Salinger or Haruki Murakami.

  6. One more, writers get to relate with other writers. Thanks!

  7. madisonrolls says:

    Love this post! It really inspires me to keep doing what I’m doing as I’m just starting out. Thank you!

  8. araneus1 says:

    I’m getting to the point where I think that humans NEED to be creative. It is in all of us….. we cannot help ourselves, we have to create. We writers are just lucky that we have found our preferred way of achieving an imperative.
    Great post, thank you.
    Terry

  9. Cristian, Thanks for being a writer who is impeccable with the written word while also being SO uplifting, encouraging and inspiring each time. I understand exactly where you are coming from. Keep writing, Kalisha

  10. thirteen1999 says:

    Great post as usual, and great perks to point out. Though, one may wonder what exactly makes some writers alcoholics.

  11. uberfabulosa says:

    This post is great, when I tell people I am a writer they usually have that look like that explains everything!!! Hahha

  12. I get to tell people it’s the libra in me Wegener they ask why I chose this. But also it’s been a life long hobby, never perfected but then what’s perfect? As a stay st home mom, I work crazy hours, for even smaller posy but the rewards are just about equal. Writing a fairy take like poem for my kids, coming up with silly stories, teaching them not all jobs are created equal. Bring a writer isn’t just about freedom of expression but freedom to grow, learn, change, edit- and then re edit everything you’ve done. It’s the only place in life you actually get a do over!

  13. rumadak says:

    Great post!! I am just a blog writer but still echo your sentiments in this post! Hopefully I’ll have something published one day !

  14. jarthurgray says:

    Great post and very true. For me being a (casual) writer means even if you can’t live the dream in reality at least you can create one. Kind Regards :)

  15. tarafatale says:

    Awesome post Christian. Keep doing what you do 😘

  16. kimconran says:

    Very nice post and so true. :) Keep up the good work!

  17. Great post christian. “Youre not lonely when youre alone” . I love your attitude of being a writer..

    Have a greay day and stay optimistic.

    Regards

    EAT ALL FRESH :)

  18. Italo says:

    I feel blessed when someone comes up to me after I’ve read something that I wrote on stage and says that they’ve been touched by what I wrote. Best feeling ever.

  19. Being a writer, for many of us, is not a choice. It’s more an addiction. There is something creative and powerful inside us that must be expressed, experienced, lived. To deny it would be to deny ourselves oxygen to breathe.

  20. Gerri says:

    Writing is just a great and creative, form of release for me. I would love to write a book, but alas, too overwhelming. I’ll just stick with the small stuff, that way I can blab on about everything and not have to focus. I’ve had a quick look at your blog, and I can’t wait to read more. Thanks so much for the follow!

  21. sannakapoor says:

    Yes! This is very true. I think when you tell people that you write, they kind of automatically dignify you as a genuinely smart person. Not about books but about most things:) and yeah the joy u get when someone appreciates your work is inexpressible

  22. Carrie says:

    Very comforting to read, thank you.

  23. The Shapeless Truth says:

    This is so encouraging, can’t thank you enough..

  24. kelvinoralph says:

    Yeah, there are certain various perks to being a writer. But as you singled out, I love when someone who hasn’t even heard about me reads any form of my writing and shows some love. There is no feeling like that ever.

  25. kelvinoralph says:

    One perk of being a writer that I love is when someone who has never heard of you reads your work and shows some love.

    I got this email once from a reader who simply took her time to flatter me n my work. She ended with “never stop writing because there are people out there who love your work”

    Since then I write even without thinking of publishing. I write.

  26. A perk I love about being a writer is the one where you can stay in your jammies if you want to and work or not!

  27. Epsita says:

    Indeed a very great post Cristian!! I guess every writers or aspiring writers feels this way. “When you think you have the ability to understand and explain any mind and heart, without even knowing them, you are kind of earning a huge perk- earning people’s need and their appreciation.” What else a writer would require to survive?

  28. Bre Faucheux says:

    My own perk that I want to use but haven’t yet: You get to do things that you wouldn’t in corporate America. Like crazy hair or tattoos. I avoided doing these things (and still need to do one or the other for the sake of it) for forever because I assumed I would need to keep things professional for when I got a job “in the real world.” ;-)

  29. This is well said and do true. The greatest pay of being a writer comes from knowing you made an impact in someone’s life.

  30. I go enjoy the occasional compliment now and again!

  31. I am a writer. I write often, seldom show my work to other, and I desire to read the things I will write in the future.

  32. Totally agree. I am a blogger therefore, I am a writer. I haven’t really thought about it as I just do it on a weekly basis. Unfailingly. It’s true. You can write whatever you like and it’s a fabulous feeling when you know that people you have never even met, like the things that you write too. Its powerful.

  33. So true and interesting. It is so much about the feel good factor. but as much as I love writing and feel good about it am reluctant to share my work with people I know. I feel more at ease and enjoy sharing my thoughts and writings with strangers for reasons am trying to figure out. But yes, any genuine heartfelt compliment either from friends or strangers and knowing that the reader enjoys reading my stuff is a big driving force to go on do the thing I love. Thank u Christian.

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