“Poets and money are seen in each other’s company only rarely.”
–Michael Ellison, The Guardian, October 13, 1995
OK, maybe that’s not so motivational! And I think “children’s writers” in general could be substituted for “poets.”
This quotation brings up mixed emotions for me. On the one hand, it’s true. I don’t write poems because I think they’ll make money. I write them because I love writing them. And the idea of writing without financial expectation is appealing.
On the other hand, it ticks me off. I don’t expect to get rich writing poetry or children’s books. But I do think it’s reasonable to be able to expect to eke out a living if you work hard enough. I just wish more of the eking came from the writing itself rather than the school visiting, workshop leading, teaching, etc. That way, writing could remain the focus, and the rest could be gravy, or for promotion, or for the excitement of sharing your work and being around the people you’re writing for. Right now it feels like the other way around.
But, I love writing for kids and teens, so I’ll keep eking:>)