I Don't Get Any Money From Writing, Yet, I Write

Updated on June 10, 2017


It is the greatest expression of emotion. It’s raw, powerful. I sit at a desk in the dim lighting of my room. Outside my window trees sway with the wind. Music pounds against my eardrums. It’s my escape, forgetting myself in the words of the song. And why not? My life is filled with disappointment; I’ve let down many people. But worst of all, I have let down my mom.

At twenty years old, writing is my only passion. It’s the only job I desire, but I have nothing to show for it. No awards, or honorable mentions, no grants or trophies. All I have is the heavy weight that’s lifted off my chest once my pencil taps the paper. The words flood the page like a river that can’t be held back. It flows without seeming to ebb. My ideas are numerous, but I have no fans, no one to buy my books or spread the word about me as an author. That thought gives me a heavy heart.

My mom knocks on the door. “I heard that a diner close to us is accepting applications.”

I turn up my music. Some day my writing career will give me all the money we need. But that is naive thinking isn’t it? How can an author like me hope to make it big without any agency or publication house?

I have my dreams.

That has to count for something.

My mom leans against the door frame. Her eyes are sunken, tired, and her belly seems bloated with the added pressures of her work. “I could really use an extra hand, we could use some cash,” she says.

I nod and my reply is soft, “I’ll submit my résumé.”

“Thanks, honey, it will be really good if you could get the job. Then we can save some money so your brother can go to medical school without ending up in debt.”

My chest aches. I’m just a disappointment—a stagnant pool of water, lacking the potential to be anything more than what it is. He will be the surgeon. He will be one that supplies our family with money, and the most outstanding of all my mother’s kids, though he’s the youngest. I swallow. Not even the soulful music in my ears can ease my sorrow. “Alright.”

I want the one thing I love to work out for me, to yield some profit. I want my mother to see that when I sit around writing stories, I’m not wasting time, I’m evolving. I’m jumping over obstacles, and preparing myself to conquer greater challenges. But how many writers actually make enough money to sustain themselves?

To her, writing is never meant to be anything more than a hobby, or something that one does for a little income post-retirement. For me, writing is everything; it comes as easily as breathing. Yet, the one thing I love gives me nothing. And I wonder if I have to channel myself into some mainstream job just to survive.

Mother watches my back as I turn from her. She watches it for a long time and walks away without saying a word. Her silence hurts the most.

Yet, I write.


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    • Aristotle Junior profile image

      Aristotle Wilson 12 months ago from Vancouver

      Thanks for the moment, but I realize the task of getting a job is also hard :)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 12 months ago from Queensland Australia

      This was a captivating read, Aristotle. True writers are born to write..it is something within them. To actually learn to write from the heart and to establish your own voice you need to write for the love of it without money distorting it. That will come later. You are young so have plenty of time ahead of you to become a successful author or freelance writer. In the meantime get another job to have money coming in, but keep writing.