Love of money and writing are not compatible

Many years ago, when I started writing my first novel, after I quit art school and decided to get a Bachelor's in English instead, my grandmother sent me a card. She wrote to say how proud she was that I was following my dream. It still saddens me to this day that my first novel took over seven years to write and went through many revisions before I finally published it, and by then, my grandmother had passed away without having the chance to read the final version or seeing it in print.

My grandmother loved to read. She ate books up. In her note to me, she never claimed to think the life of a writer was in any way easy, and it hasn't been. I don't make enough with my day job, and my writing doesn't generate enough income yet for it to be my sole income. However, I wouldn't trade this life for anything else, and I don't think my grandmother is any less proud of me now as someone who struggles to make ends meet than she was when I was just a university student.

A lot of people talk about what makes someone a "real" writer, and the list is usually focused on writing habits - whether you write every day, or you treat your writing like you treat your day job. In my mind, what makes someone a "real" writer is choosing writing over income and acknowledging that your writing may never generate enough of income to support you.

If after recognizing that reality, you still want to write, then YOU are a real writer.

Congratulations. My grandmother and I stand and applaud you.

A.M.