I picked this up on the Bloggess today, and although she’s applying it to bloggers, frankly I think it completely explains writers.
You know why? We’re not motivated by the money. No, we are not. It’s not there. Even if a writer makes, say, $5k for a book, cranking them out at the amazing speed of two books a year, that’s, um, $10k a year. You can be homeless on that.
And we are not motivated by the fame. No. It’s not there, either. We all go to blogging now for our fame (even though it’s not there EITHER). Jenny Lawson, aka the Bloggess, gets 300k visits a month on her blog and has been voted one of the top 9,000 bloggers in the world. Top nine thousand. Like being people’s 8,999th favorite is a good thing! (I don’t mean to disparage her, either—I love Jenny’s blog.)
We writers work in the creative, not the labor, industry, and that means we are motivated by the autonomy, the mastery, and the sense of bringing something into the world that makes it a better place to be. Because we’re all here together in this world, aren’t we? And the books that others have brought into it have enriched and gladdened our lives, and we want to be a part of that, a part of that community, a part of that greater family known as Writerhood. We want to be in this with each other.
Thanks for pointing this out, Jenny! And also the guy with the pen! And everyone at Ohio U! (I LOVE the guy in the staff uniform.)