Sometimes on my Facebook feed, I’ll see “articles” that talk about things like, “ways to save money” or something like “make $700 a month from home doing these things.” A few have been from the site thepennyhoarder.com which used to be a legit place to find money saving ideas as well as other sites but now feel more like click bait than anything useful. Often, they are just the same old repeated ideas from other sites and older posts. But then awhile back I clicked on one and what it said just kind of…irked me. It irked me for a while.
This “article” which was about creating reoccurring income included the suggestion of, “writing and publishing a book.”
Now almost any writer or author and their spouse (if there is one) will tell you that being an author whether it’s now or 30 years ago, seldom means you are rolling in dough. Most writers love to make money but that isn’t why we became authors. It isn’t why we spend the precious little time that some of us can get putting our ideas on paper or the screen. It isn’t why we spend hours trying to master, often flighty, marketing techniques so people find our books and even consider buying them. The idea that you should or can be a writer purely for the sake of creating “reoccurring income” is a slap in the face to anyone who has started a business, written a book, tried writing a book or done anything to escape the suffocating world of corporate America and become something other than another ant marching in line.
Yes, being a writer now is a business. We are small business owners. We are artists trying to do what other artists have done for a millennium, which is put food in our mouths, pay our bills, find a little bit of recognition and appreciation for what we do all while doing something that genuinely makes us happy. But, it is NOT easy. It is an everyday battle with our hearts, our thoughts, our creative limitations, the internet, with money, with our families and total strangers not to mention the idea of what being a responsible adult is which has been hammered into our heads for our whole lives.
Whether you are a good writer or a piss poor one doesn’t really matter here. Being a writer and being an author is about passion, hopes, and dreams. The struggle is real folks and it’s a struggle where we often put more time into it than we do making anything monetarily from it for a long time and sometimes we never do. So, let me tell you now that writing a book is NOT a good course of “reoccurring income.” Unless you think the possibility of literally only making a few dollars a month (which is what many authors make in royalties for awhile or forever) is worth your time when compared to the hundreds of hours a month many writers like myself spend working on this whole thing.
Writing a book isn’t easy, marketing a book isn’t either.
So, suggesting that writing and publishing a book is some sort of short cut in life, like a coupon to fiscal health is an insult to anyone, like me, who is putting as much into this as they can or any other business they love. This is probably why Amazon is flooded with cheap How-To books.