Writing Is a Waste of Time

I’m sure every author and aspiring author hears this.  “Writing is a waste of time.”  “You’ll never make any money.”  “Get a real job.”  “No one will read it.”

So, why do I write?  For myself.  I do it for purely selfish reasons.  I’ve been developing this story of mine for 14 years, and I am in the process of writing it.  I want to finish this book, and read it.  Because I want to write what I want to read.  So, how do I address these comments?

Writing is a waste of time.

No, it’s not.  It’s my free time I’m using to write, so I guess it’s like a hobby.  Hobbies do something for people, they help reduce stress, they help increase enjoyment, they help improve mental health.  It all helps me be a better person.  That is not a waste of time.  It doesn’t matter if I never publish (I will self-publish at least, though), all that matters is that I write this book for myself.

You’ll never make any money.

I’m pretty confident I’ll make a little money, but no money?  With the amount of time I spend promoting this book, a book that’s nowhere near finished, I’m pretty sure people will buy it.  Many?  I don’t know.  I can hope.

No one will read it.

Actually, people have already read what’s on my official page.  So, no one can say that no one will read it.

Get a real job.

I have one, thanks.  Writing is unlikely to be my primary job.  I have a full time job, and that is what supports me and my family.  It’s also what gives me a limited time to write.

So, authors and aspiring authors, what comments annoy you?

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14 thoughts on “Writing Is a Waste of Time”

  1. I don’t know if I consider myself an aspiring author (I haven’t given up on the idea of writing fiction again one day, but I’m afraid it won’t be before I retire… who knows?)
    In any case, those kinds of comments don’t annoy me because I’ve stopped listening to them a long time ago. 🙂

    1. I don’t mind them on the internet. I find comments from anonymous people like that aren’t worth responding to. However, when they come from people you know and see often, then it becomes irritating.

  2. Lately I’ve been getting a lot of support when it comes to writing. If anything, in the past, it’s my own self-doubt that’s been whispering comments like this. But in your case, you have to wonder why these people are so invested in your life and how much money you make anyway.

    1. I haven’t actually had these comments said to me, but I’ve heard of other people getting these comments. I’m pretty lucky to have had very few negative comments said to me.

  3. Ha ha the only time I ever run across this is when I really have to do other things like clean my house or when I’m trying to finish a sentence and the baby is waking up and he’s starting to cry. But otherwise most of the comments I get are along the lines of wow that interesting how far along are you.

    Just ignore the naysayers. When you do publish whether through self-publishing or traditional publishing they will be the ones who want a free copy and tell you that they always thought you could do it and supported you 100%.

  4. Because I kept my writing pretty quiet until I’d had some pieces published, I didn’t get those comments much. The one that bothers me is the “Oh I always thought I’d write a book” when I tell someone that I’m a writer. The best solution to that is to say “Oh you should do it!” and watch them pale at the prospect of the hard work involved.

  5. I’ve often received the “you’ll never make any money” comments, based on the fact that the arts in general ARE a difficult world to make money in. What bothers me is when it’s said in such a tone as to imply that the only reason I’m writing in the first place MUST be to try and make money. Believe it or not, people actually ENJOY making art. You know, the same way you enjoy playing video games or participating in sports? You don’t have to make money at something for it to be worth your time.

    Also, the occasional comment from people who have never written anything in their entire life, but assume that it’s easy as pie. I’ve had people scoff at me when I tell them that I’ve been working on this one particular story for a decade now, and this one coworker of mine has been tormenting the hell out of me for taking “so long” (i.e. more than a year) to do the editing on my manuscript. And that’s all considering that these people know damn well that I have a day job I have to deal with as well.

    PEOPLE. lol

    1. What’s with people, huh? I certainly write because I enjoy it. If others get some enjoyment out of it, all the better. It may sound selfish, but my writing is for me first and foremost.

      1. People are funny that way…for some reason writing is one of those things that people just can’t imagine as being enjoyable. It has to be for a purpose. I’ve been writing purely for my own enjoyment since I was about 12 years old, and it’s only in the last two years that I started to actually seriously think about publishing and whatnot.

        1. If I didn’t enjoy writing, I wouldn’t be blogging. I think writing can be fun, and part of the fun for me is the interaction after I post. Of course, for writing books, I’m interested in seeing the numbers. I love statistics.

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