Trying to make a liveable income from writing is a serious, gut-wrenching, everyday battle. A writer I knew but try not to anymore, once criticised me for writing for contests, saying it lessened my integrity as a writer. I suppose writing to earn money does the same in her eyes. There is this odd kind of thinking among writers that this work we do, must be done for the work only, the creative process and if we get paid in the end that's fine but it is not mandatory. If we write for pay, by default the work is less. Perhaps they have the luxury of that thinking, I don't. Writing is my job.
I've written for the process. I have two very long, unpublished novels as proof of the fact. I've sent them out to publishers and agents and I've got the pre-requisite rejections enough to paper walls if I was so inclined. I don't see myself as an accomplished writer having gone through that process. I don't think because those novels were written with no market in mind, just from the sheer force of my creativity needing to be expressed they are better for it. I look at those novels as failures. Nothing more than that.
Now I write efficiently. Why write novels that will sit in desk drawers? What is the point of that? Why write short stories to submit to literary magazines that don't pay? When a contest comes around why look at the guidelines and then go through your piles of work written for the process and find that nothing fits? I just don't get that anymore.
I'll admit, right now as I wait for a cheque that is not coming and think about jobs that will only begin in two months and wonder how I will get from here to there, yes, having to think about money when you write can kill your creativity at times. But investing so much of your time and thought on books that will never find a publisher also crushes creativity just as efficiently.
My goal is to make a living from my writing. Is that wrong?