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.


15 thoughts on “The Perks of Being a Writer

  1. At last! I always wondered what the perks to being a writer were! I did once mention to the waitress in my favourite restaurant that I was a writer and now we always get a great table and excellent service. Then again, we get fussed over so much I always leave a big tip . .

  2. It’s honestly better to do something you love rather than something you hate, even if you’re not earning much. I have a friend in graphic design and she absolutely HATES her job because the place she works for doesn’t give her much creative freedom, so she kinda envies that I can do what I want with my stories and not have to worry about it.

  3. The thing I like the most? We go into corners of ourselves to flesh out our characters. We take our life experiences and situations and forge them into a story to tell. I think in a lot or ways he helps me know me a lot better.

    Which I reckon should really scare me to death, but then I’ve never been afraid of the truth.

  4. I would love to be a writer too, holding my first published book would be like holding my born baby hahaha (I have no babies but I think so). Especially love the part of “You can be as eccentric as you want. People expect writers to be a bit crazy” >> total win.

  5. One of my favorite things about being a writer is giving yourself a corner where you can say anything and there’s a possibility that someone somewhere will be able to connect to what you say! For me, that’s the best part of being a writer. That and you’re basically just entertaining yourself in the process!

  6. I’ve just published my first book, a family mystery-history at 83. Novelist Mickey Spillane felt age and experience made hm better. “If you’re a singer you lose your voice. A baseball player loses his arm. A writer gets more knowledge, and if he’s good, the older he gets, the better he writes.

  7. Paula, I have to agree a hundred percent with you there. I think part of it there is you also work up the courage to tell it like it is.
    In The Lawman, my central character is a good Christian man. The problem is he’s also a detective and comes face to face with the ugly side of the human race. Part of his daily battle is to treat people, even those who have done horrible things, as people. In short, he doesn’t want to be the judge of the human race but he still needs to enforce the law. That’s something that can easily cause a person to be cynical, judgmental, or too weak. It’s a daily struggle for him to find that ground where he does his job, but retains his humanity.
    Without having faced and fought that battle myself, there’s no way I could write a character that faced that challenge.
    So, yes, Mickey hit it right on the head!

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