Last week I wrote about overcoming self limiting thinking and self-doubt. I think that mountain is possibly more challenging than Everest. Mental mind traps are the greatest obstacles to success. It’s not lack of money, or shortage of time, or x, y, z that holds most of us back. It’s fear standing in the way of you realising your full potential, and your dreams.
I’m still climbing that mountain and here’s the depressing news: Unless you are fully enlightened (and not many are) that journey never ends. You either give up and give into the herd mentality and behaviour or you keep climbing, deflecting those toxic thoughts as soon as they come your way. It gets easier and easier to defeat them when your awareness of them grows.
On the bright side, and this is where you always want to return to when negativity starts clouding your mind, is that it’s an open road of possibility when you detour away from self-doubt. So, this brings me to today’s topic: Writing for a living, something I’ve done my whole professional life. It’s been a long journey so I will spare the full story of how I got from A to B. Suffice it to say, there’s been a whole heck of learning along the way.
While I have managed to make a living from writing, it’s never been a lucrative one, at least not so far. Does that mean you should abandon your dreams to become a writer? No. Because most of my writing has been in the field of journalism working for the media, there have been parameters around my income from writing. It paid enough to pay the bills but never really much more, which is fine if you want to stay on that treadmill.
I came to an important realisation recently while contemplating my relationship between money and writing. Outside of writing book reviews, and now blogging, I never used to write for the love of it. I wrote for my paycheque. Looking back this is where I went wrong. I know money is a huge motivator for many people, and even a passion for some i.e. Warren Buffett but even for Buffett (one of the wealthiest men in the world) his passion wasn’t money, it was investing which is far more interesting and exciting. Money was the byproduct of his passion and skilfulness at investing.
What I’m trying to say here is that if you want to write, don’t do it for the money. Do it for the love of it, or use the written word to convey what you are passionate about or perhaps knowledgeable about with a view to a) inspiring others b) helping others c) having fun or d) all of the aforementioned. When you are motivated in these ways, the money will find its way to you. If it doesn’t, then maybe your heart wasn’t really into it in the first place or maybe there’s just something you are more passionate about that needs your attention.
After reading through some of the comments on my site recently, I came across one that asked for tips about blogging. My apologies to that person, I only discovered your comment recently. As I am new to this blogging business, I don’t feel like I’m best placed to answer that question fully. However, a few weeks ago a book arrived in my letter box, written by someone who does. Serena Star-Leonard, author of “How to Retire in 12 Months” writes about making money from blogging and how she did it, in her first book. I haven’t read it yet so I can’t give you my review of it however I did read her second book “How to Succeed in Creating a Life you Love in 12 Months” and I can confidently say there’s some good information there for individuals looking to break out of the 9-5 routine.
Importantly, if you want to write, write. Just don’t think about it.
Amanda Morrall is a New Zealand based personal finance expert. Her first book Money Matters was published in 2013 by Penguin Random House in NZ.