A question for my fellow writers and bloggers: Does your writing have value? And what criteria do you use to determine this?
Most of us have been conditioned to understand value only in terms of monetary worth. How many books have you sold? How much ad revenue does your website bring in? What is the going rate for your skills?
To be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to make money from your writing. Many people do it and cultivate extremely satisfying creative lives while supporting themselves at the same time.
However, just because your writing does not procure an income does not mean it does not have value. Yet when most people—and by most people I mean non-writers—hear you talk about being a writer, their first question almost always involves money.
They may not ask this directly, of course, as most people tend to be more subtle than that. But if you state that you are a writer, and the first question you get is where are you published? you can be assured that the person asking only sees value in writing if other people are willing to pay to read it.
If you go to a friend’s house for dinner, and for dessert she shares an absolutely wonderful batch of homemade cookies from her own recipe, what would be an appropriate response? These are delicious. You are a very talented baker. Thank you so much for sharing this with me.
Notice I did not suggest something like: What bakery are these sold at? How much do you charge per dozen? How can you possibly just share these and let people eat them for free?
I have personally written books that have made money; however, most of the writing I have shared over the years has not. Does the writing that I promote for free have less value? Is it not as important to the person reading it?
Do you value your own writing?