What do stockbrokers, insurance agents, and the kid down the street selling lemonade on the corner all have in common?
They want your money!
You knew where I was going with that question.
Here’s the next one, why do writers have a hard time asking for money or to be paid what they are worth?
The answers may not be new or profound. It is just something I have observed and wanted to share with you.
New writers have an uphill battle with themselves. If you are a new writer like me then you have probably had multiple mental fights within yourself about whether what you are doing is worth it or if it is a complete waste of time.
Aspiring writers, in particular, may find it difficult to know their true value because they haven’t discovered the value within themselves. When you are surrounded by individuals who only see value through products that are ‘seen’ instantly, than products that are invisible or haven’t been fully fleshed out, you may feel disheartened and maybe even defeated.
When I started writing, I knew that my first short story wasn’t going to be a bestseller, but I needed something to help me get over my fear of asking for money for my work. I learned that my work has value, even if it is small. Because, deep down inside it is valuable to me. Writing even a 99-cent story keeps me grounded in my goals and helps me to stay positive and keep moving forward with other ventures.
Another issue that new writers may face when it comes to asking for money is the fact that they may not have an established platform. Social media has given us so many options, but with options comes the added issue of being spread too thin or even creating content that doesn’t seem meaningful.
For example, if you have ever seen the show Forged in Fire (one of my faves), you’ll notice that each blacksmith has their go to tool. Some use a hammer, and others use that pounding-press machine, in order to create a strong piece of steel. Even though they use different tools, they are aware of the strengths and weaknesses of each tool. The same is true for different social platforms in the hand of a writer.
Social media like any other amazing tool needs to be used properly. The experts know how to use each individual tool because they put in the time and effort to learn how to use it. And, once you learn and change your method the tool becomes your best advantage to making money through writing.
Some writers avoid the entire money conversation all together because they did not sign up to be a marketer of their work. But, a creator of worlds and creatures. However, all endeavors require some sort of marketing. Even sharing your ideas with someone could be considered marketing in some way.
Writers, like myself, may over-think the marketing process. You don’t need the latest app, or the best post ever. You just need to have a strategic plan, patience, and good quality work.
Finally, the main reason why writers have a difficult time asking for money is because it involves asking. And, I don’t mean the direct approach. Even the more subtle, “hey grab your copy of XYZ from Online Store” approach feels sleazy at times. And, it shouldn’t. Asking for money is difficult, but your well-thought-out approach can lessen the blow and not make you feel less like a used car salesman (nothing against used car salesman).
Asking for money is bold.
Asking for money because you created a wonderful product and you want to share it with the world just means you know your work’s value and you have every right to ask for it.
Do you ever feel like asking for money feels uncomfortable especially if you are new to writing?
Has anything bad (really, anything?) happened when you asked to be paid what you are worth? Let me know below in the comments section.
Thanks for reading!