In addition to writing novels and novellas, each month I also write ten to twenty non-fiction articles on various topics. This month, for example, I’m writing about heirloom diamond rings, how a new mattress can help fight allergy symptoms, and which wrist watches best complement summer fashions. Such articles keep me busy, supplement my income, and keep me up-to-date on fashion trends and home furnishing improvements. Plus they test my willpower when it comes to fine chocolates. But do such articles help me add detail to my fiction writing or does writing them use up valuable time that I want to devote to my storytelling tasks?
Actually, it does both. But like many writers, I know that fiction writing rarely pays the mortgage, so I need the income those articles bring me. While ebook technology has allowed many writers to earn more money than they ever dreamed of earning through the traditional route of publishing through a New York house, most writers still need another source of income in order to pay those monthly bills.
But for many writers, money isn’t the main goal anyway. Putting our words together in stories that intrigue our own imaginations is the primary reason that most of us write. We need to write our stories. We love it when other people read those stories—and pay good money for them—but most of us would write even if we never made a penny off our hard work. It’s fun. It’s necessary. Writing is like water to a thirsty person—only writers are pouring it out instead of taking it in.
So please remember when you read our words that most of us create our stories out of love. And if you find our stories worthy of your love, please spread the word about. Maybe someday more of us can give up our day jobs—and those non-fiction articles—and spend more time writing the fiction that completes us.