Saturday, August 04, 2007

How much do you spend on your writing?

On a writing e-mail group I belong to, the discussion on writing expenses was recently covered. What's been the most valuable investment in your writing career so far? Many of the participants mentioned writing conferences. Certainly a valuable experience for some, but at hundreds of dollars a pop, they can add up.

Over the years I haven't had many major writing expenses. But what I HAVE spent my money on to further my career is ... books. Writing how-to books, research titles, and novels (this is vital to any fiction writer). These tomes have proven to be my most valuable investment. A great way to buy these books is through the Writer's Digest Book Club. I was recently surprised to realize I've been a member for almost ten years!

Second, I've been a subscriber to Writer's Digest & The Writer magazine for nearly a decade. These may not seem like huge investments, and that's what's great. They aren't.

I'd like to offer some encouragement today to those whose budgets are slim: It IS possible to succeed as a writer without going to a writer's conference (though I certainly am not debunking going when the time is right for you). But that's the key. Make sure the time is right for YOU. It's very easy to feel pressured to do things you're not ready for. Listen to your heart, and if you're a Christian writer like me, trust that the Lord will show you exactly what you're supposed to be doing (and investing in) at this point of your career. Sometimes the right thing for you is completely opposite from what everyone says.


Nicole said...

True words, CJ.

WordVixen said...

I think my greatest expense was the laptop- but hubby surprised me with it for my birthday, so does that really count?

Most of my how-to books were bought on the cheap, or handed down from my brother after he gave up on his plans to write. A few I borrowed from you, and a few I bought to review. Those were the least helpful. :)

Timothy Fish said...

I suppose it depends on how you define spending money on writing. One might count the classes I took in college, but they were required to get an unrelated degree. Writing conferences may be great for some people, but not for me. I tend to start thinking about why the people giving the conference are doing that instead of writing, if they know so much. I don't mess with most books that explain how to write. I buy novels, but only for my own entertainment, so they don't count.

My biggest concern at this point is to make a profit on any book that I write. Up to this point I have done well with Church Website Design: A step by step approach and Searching for Mom moved into the black yesterday. Spending money on things that I really don't think I need makes it harder to break even on a book.

hrh said...

Hey, C.J., thanks for these encouraging words. Couldn't of come at a better time for me, who's been moping around lately about my commitment to writing since I've passed over another season of writing conferences for lack of $$$. :)

Linda Walker said...

Hello C.J.
As editor of Writer's Digest Book Club, occasionally I'll do a google search on the Club to see what bloggers have to say and today ... well, there you were (smile).

Just wanted to say hello and to thank you for the great Club referral and for being a 10-year member of the Book Club. If you and your writing group would like to read more about the upcoming books and others already offered in WDBC, along with other interesting publishing news, please visit Our WD imprints are listed by season - just scroll down to find "Fall '06 to "Fall '07."

Best to you,
Linda Walker, editor