April 15, 2023

M - To Be a Writer, You Don't Need...Money + BONUS


There have been many writers who were poor or struggling financially due to job loss, disability, or being a single parent who went on to finish writing their books. They also published their books and made a name for themselves.

How much money you have in your bank account doesn’t reflect how good or bad of a writer you are. Make your writing valuable.

I’ve had just a few dollars in my bank account and didn’t know where more money would be coming from. I’ve worried over how I’d feed myself and those I supported. I didn’t even have food for my cats at times. (Don’t worry—I gave them what little healthy food they could eat from my own provisions. They never went hungry.) I’ve feared not being able to pay rent and wondered where I’d be living in a matter of weeks. During those hard times, I continued to write.

Even while deep in stress and depression and fear, I wrote. I had to. It was the only thing that let me escape my troubles, made me happy. Sure, having money would’ve taken away my worries. Sure, having money would’ve been grand; no one wants to be poor. I don’t care how much movies and fiction romanticize being poor, it’s hard. The stories of famous individuals who came from nothing and made it big only romanticize it more, but believe me, it takes a lot. Those people got to be where they are now through hard work, determination, courage, talent, timing, and maybe even a smidge of luck. What it doesn’t take is money.

Other times in my life, I went without Internet, phone, and cable for a year or more because I didn’t have money for those luxuries. Looking back, that was probably the most productive time in my life. I didn’t have the distractions of social media (which at that time consisted of only Myspace) or long phone conversations. I wrote to fill my time, and I had a blast doing it. I woke up wanting to write and stayed up to 3:00 AM writing. At the same time, I didn’t have money to buy sugar, so I learned to drink my coffee black. I loved my sugar and creamer, but I had long since stopped buying creamer in favor of being able to buy bread or another necessity.

Years before that, my family and I went without electricity for days or weeks at a time. And yet, I still wrote. I remember coming home from high school with only a few hours left of sunlight and knowing my valuable daylight slipped away with every passing minute, thanks to an overdue electric bill. I would curl up on a dark green recliner and read Charmed books by candlelight. It made me think about how people lived before the invention of the lightbulb and made me feel connected to those people, to my ancestors. Those times were tough, but writing by candlelight, surrounded by darkness and flickering shadows, was actually fun to me. Now, as an adult, I would not think it as much fun, but I would make the most of it.

So, no, you don’t need money to write. You don’t need electricity. You don’t need a car. You may be counting pennies. You may be living on handouts and government assistance, as I had to, but that doesn’t have to stop you from writing. At the very least you need pen and paper or a library with public computers. If you’re struggling like this, I feel you. I was you. (I still scrape by and live paycheck to paycheck.)

Don’t stop writing. People can take your money (rent, bills, essential grocery purchases), but they can’t take writing away from you. Make your writing valuable, more valuable than money, and do whatever possible to keep yourself safe in this money-hungry world.



M - Miller Matriarch

The Miller Matriarch is Grandy, Avrianna's grandmother through adoption. Grandy has not shown up, yet, once again, but...once again...she will soon enough. She is known as Grandy by everyone because she is a grandmother.

When I was first rewriting Book One, I didn't like "Grandma" or "Nana" or other name alternatives. Grandy, a spunky, tough, sometimes foul-mouthed matriarch, needed a title befitting her personality.

I am a huge fan of Charmed. In that show, their grandmother is known as Grams. Not even Grams suited the Miller Matriarch, though, and I didn't want to steal that name, either.

While pondering this dilemma, "Grandy" finally came to me. It is cute, short and sweet, and perfect because she is a grand woman, a grand lady.

So Grandy it was.

Grandy she is.

You can meet this grand matriarch soon!

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  1. Fascinating post; I love your dedication to your craft and the pure love you got from pursuing it, when you didn't have money to give you any alternate joy. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Writing really does give me joy that money can't buy.

  2. It sounds like that was a hard time in your life. I'm glad you had writing as a refuge.

  3. I'd like to have enough money where I could just write whatever I want instead of trying to write to a slightly profitable niche.

    1. I never write according to what's popular. I always write what I want.

  4. I admire your determination

    Returning your A to Z visit - thank you for taking the time to comment

  5. You have experienced some hardships. And yet, you keep going. Thanks for being an inspiration to others. Sadly, even writers we think are "great" seldom made money in their lifetime. As Bill Bryson reminded me in his book, "One Summer: America 1927," the great writers we think of from the 20s (Fitzgerald, Hemingway, etc) scrapped by while a few like Zane Grey became rich.

    1. I have. And I'm experiencing my worst hardship to date right now...the loss of my mom.