I notice the Daily Minutes this week dealt in one way or another with money. I have a number of artist friends for whom money is a constant worry, a perceived barrier, in fact, between themselves and a worry-free life. Artists, of course, are not alone. I read once that money is often the number one cause of conflict in a marriage. And yet, when couples argue about money, just as when artists worry about money, it is not money we are arguing or worrying about, it is security. In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, security is only one step less important than sleep, food, sex, and other bodily functions.
I am not going to pretend that it’s any fun to be wondering how you’re going to make rent this month, but I do know this: if you do not believe you can make money as a writer, you will probably not make money as a writer. Steven King sold stories to his classmates when he was in school. Yes, Steven King is a good writer and I’m sure he would have sold books eventually and so on, but at a very early age he established in his mind that people would pay money for what he wrote.
If it is your sincere desire to make money from what you have written, disavow yourself of the notion that it is difficult to make money from what you have written. It will not help. Plenty of people make money off their writing; that someone could be you.
This may seem like so much affirmative, pop-psyche pabulum to some, but there are extremely practical ramifications to shifting how you think about something like money. Opportunities present themselves to you constantly. You are standing at this moment in a never-ending stream of possibilities. One boat sails by, another is soon to follow. You cannot miss the boat, because there is not one boat, there are endless boats. However, do you recognize a boat when you see one?
If you do not believe you can make money from writing, then when an opportunity to do so presents itself, it is entirely possible you will ignore it. And then ignore the next opportunity, and the next, and the next, and then turn to your friend over coffee and say, “You see? It’s impossible to make any money at this!” You do indeed get what you ask for. Make sure you ask for what you actually want.