Two of my New Year’s resolutions: Do a fearless inventory of how much money and energy writing has cost me over the past year or so, and Decide whether or not to continue.
In looking over my personal library I find about fifty books on writing – all of which I’ve read, highlighted and sticky-noted. Their total cost to me – somewhere in the range of nearly one thousand dollars. Receipts for writers conferences and workshops (including a couple online), come to a little over two thousand dollars. A list of all the writers’ contests I’ve entered indicates a total expenditure of nearly three hundred dollars, and about a hundred dollars for various writer’s magazines and directories. This brings the cost of my writing to a robust thirty-four hundred dollars over the past year and half alone.
And that’s just money. What about time?
I write an average of three hours a day, three days a week, excluding holidays and Sundays. That amounts to over four hundred hours per year in pursuit of my dream of eventually writing something someone somewhere will want to read. That’s over ten forty-hour work weeks. That’s not including time spent reading and researching.
And the credit side of my Writing Ledger? How much have I earned to-date from my writing?
In terms of dollars – Zero, Zip, Nada. In fact, if an expert were to do a cost/benefit analysis, my efforts would not even come up to the bottom “Cease and Desist Immediately” rung of the ladder.
So why would I want to continue writing? That’s a no-brainer (I know the saying is passé, but it’s so appropriate). In my world and at my age joy is not to be taken for granted. Nor is it quantifiable in terms of payola. Writing gives me joy, so I’ll keep on writing.
Two New Year’s resolutions down. Good for me. Now if I could just figure out the easiest way to pump up my biceps…