Ellen Million (ellenmillion) wrote,
Ellen Million

Writing For Money

A person on my friendslist today asked her audience what markets they were currently writing to, what deadlines they had, etc.

And it sort of drew me up short, because a LOT of people on my friendslist are professional or semi-pro writers, or actively pursuing non-traditional methods of publication, and... I haven't tried to sell anything I've written since high school*. I haven't even tried to put out a tip jar, or donate button.

This is not because I agree with Miss Manners that it's begging. It's not because I can't write, or can't write to spec, don't have time to write, or can't follow submission directions.

I'm not even sure it has to do with a failing of confidence - I know I'm not an awful writer (Any more. I certainly was. That's another story). And 'not awful' is an awful lot better than plenty of the stuff out there that people pay good money for. I get nice comments from my forgiving audiences.

I tallied it up, out of curiosity - trying to figure out how much I've written, and what I've done with it.

Discounting the 8+ years of blogging I've done, I have written nearly 100 short stories and 35 non-fiction articles while not being a writer. With one exception*, I have been paid nothing for this work. I posted them in my Elfwood library, at various fanfiction site (YES, I have an account at fanfiction.net. I'm not proud.), here at livejournal, at my own site, at deviantart, in Woodworks (RIP), EMG-Zine, Epitome... Even if you cut fanfiction out of that total, I've freely shared 75 odd pieces of fiction and non-fiction.

That's not amazing when compared to some people on my friendslist (*looks significantly at certain members of the padded room society*...), but I've got some staying power. I'm not an awful writer. I like to write. I'm already doing the writing. I am even a self-avowed 'shameless capitalist' who has been selling her artwork since she had to have a parent counter-sign a business license.

So, why am I not trying to sell my writing? More, why am I not asking anything for what I'm already doing? Why do I find such a chasm between art and writing in my own head? Why does even thinking about this make me feel stupid and stubborn at the same time?

I don't have any answers yet, only the questions. I might have a really good reason for this somewhere in the weird mental swirl that is my own brain.

I also find it odd is that after I started drafting this entry up, I got a notice in my email about a gaming site looking for more (potentially paid) bloggers. I have no idea how they got my email, but I suspect it wasn't a personal note. Still, within a few moments, I had an idea for a gaming-type column that I could easily write a post a week on.

Universe, you have a weird sense of humor.

*I have sold one piece of non-fiction in this time, mostly by accident, because the market I was writing for changed to a paying market, paid me, and as far as I can tell, ONLY me (because nothing else was published in the interim), before going back to a non-paying market.

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