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ProAm Tips #19

March 8, 2017

Everyone’s got a gimmick to sell you about how to write. What to do. Where to put your apostrophe. When to run ads. How to frame your keywords. All the things you need to know to get your writing out there. But not everyone is going to explain to you WHY to write. I’m gonna do it right now, and believe me, if this isn’t why you’re doing it, you’re gonna have to take a good long look at yourself and your work and assess your whole life.

There’s only one reason WHY to write.

Here’s the deal, kids. There’s only one real reason to write: because you love it.

If you’re writing for money, that’s fine.

If you’re writing for fame, that’s fine.

If you’re writing for art, that’s fine.

But as the man said, that’s not writing: that’s typing.

Here’s the plain fact of writing: if you’re not doing it for love, it’s dead on arrival. You might as well be lifting boxes, or checking advertising accounts, or teaching school, or a million other jobs that aren’t writing. If you’re punching out a wordcount and that’s why you’re writing, you’re just marking time. If your goal is to sell so many copies, and make so much money, and get so many names on your newsletter, that’s fine. But that’s love of something else. The work has to be your first, last, and only love.

You’ve got to love every single word. You’ve got to love every single character. You’ve got to love every single story. If you don’t love it, it’s a fucking job, and what’s the point?

You’re not gonna get rich, although some do.

You’re not gonna get famous, although some do.

You’re not gonna be adored by millions, although some are.

The odds are against you. Deal with it. Like sucks, get a fucking helmet. But success isn’t about the numbers or the money or the copies you push.

You’ve got to write because you love the process. you’ve got to write because you love the creation. You’ve got to write because you love everything about it. If you write for these reasons, you’re fine. You may never make any money, you may never sell a million copies, you may never sustain yourself with your words. But you’ll feel a sense of satisfaction because you love what you do. You’ll have brought into the world something unique. Something that didn’t exist before. Something al