On Saturday, my husband and I were walking in town when we saw a sign advertising the current Dutch lotto, which had a jackpot of more than 18 million euros. I sighed when I saw the sign and mumbled something about never having to work again. My husband looked at me with surprise (or was that anger?) and responded: “I’d be really pissed off if you quit writing just because we won the lottery.” (Or something to that effect.) He equated my writing with working. I, however, was thinking more along the lines of all the other stuff that comes with being an indie author: the author platform, the marketing, social media, etc. etc. I told the hubby I wouldn’t quit writing, but I’d definitely hire a PR firm. “And you can quit reading all those review books as well.” I kept my mouth shut as I’d still be reading other authors books for review even if I were a multi-millionaire. (Full disclosure: I would probably DNF a lot more books, though.)
This conversation got me to thinking. Would you quit writing if you had a million euros? I think most writers I know wouldn’t. They write because they love it. It’s their passion. To my utter surprise, I’ve come across several writers who don’t even market their work. Sure, they publish their work, but that’s it. They don’t make ads, do sales, and they certainly don’t spend half their lives on social media trying to build up a readership.
I admit that the first time a writer told me she did no marketing whatsoever I was shocked. I’d read her novel as part of a goodreads writer group, and it was good. It was a fantasy novel, and I’d never liked fantasy before. I went into the read without a lot of prejudiced ideas about fantasy stories and came out a convert. So, when she told me she didn’t market, I had no response except to sit with my mouth hanging open in my best imitation of a fish.
This was several years ago when I’d just started reading other indie authors’ novels. Now, when a writer tells me they don’t market or they just write for the love of writing, I don’t gape like a fish. I nod in understanding. In fact, I find it kind of brave, even altruistic. I may even wish I could be like them, because however much I continue to deny it, I do want people to read my novels – hopefully after they’ve purchased a legal copy of one!
So, heck yes, I’d continue to write if we were millionaires, although I assume my writing would slow down with all that traveling the world and exploring cultures and stuff going on. How about you? Would you still write if you never had to work another day? Even more to the point – would you continue to publish and market your work?