There is something that confuses my brain quite fiercely. Honest. It baffles me. I often hear people grumbling about an author who is writing an unusual amount of books in one world, or about one character, and they moan, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. CAN’T THEY MOVE ON? THEY’RE ONLY DOING IT FOR THE MONEY.”
I DON’T UNDERSTAND. Why is this bad?
Rick Riordan has written 10+ books around Percy Jackson. Cassandra Clare has written 10+ books about her Shadowhunter world. George RR Martin has written 5 books (but, come on now, it’s more like 10 because of their size) in his Westeros world. John Flanagan has written 16+ books in his Rangers and Araluen world.
I, personally, believe it’s perfectly acceptable and reasonable AND LOGICAL for authors to write for money.
HELLO! They need money for food and chocolate (because that’s writing fuel) and also money to live in an igloo and feed their pet porcupines and also money to keep the WiFi on. Writing might even be their only source of income.
Criticising writers (or artists or musicians) for doing it “for the money” doesn’t seem fair.
Conversations like THIS are not acceptable:
Patient: Gee, how many more cavities are you going to fill?
Dentist: Um, it’s my speciality, so…as many as I can.
Patient: You’re just in it for the money.
Dentist: Well it is my career, so…
Conversations like THIS are apparently are acceptable??? And it’s so not fair! It’s writer-discrimination.
Reader: Gee, how many more books in your fantasy world are you going to write?
Author: Um, they’re selling so apparently people really enjoy reading them, so…as many as I can.
Reader: You’re just in it for the money.
Author: Well it is my career, so…
And, you know what? I don’t see complaints about contemporary writers doing this. If Sarah Dessen or Kasie West write another fluffy adorable contemporary about highschoolers, no one says “THEY JUST CAN’T MOVE ON, CAN THEY?!”
If you ask me, which obviously you want to because my opinion is absolutely the greatest, I believe we shouldn’t snark on authors for trying to make a living from writing. I think it’s okay to “write for money”. After peeking behind the publishing scenes myself, I KNOW it’s not an easy slice of pecan pie! Would I continue writing if no one would ever read or enjoy or buy my work? I love writing and making art! I DO. But I also want to share it. Although I know that NOT all authors are like this! I’m sure there are writers who write for themselves and don’t want to ever share it and that’s good and great for them.
Can’t authors write “for the love of it” AND “for the money”?? Should we ever shame an author who wants to make money off their work?
And, don’t forget! If you’re sick of reading a certain series or an author or world — THEN DON’T READ IT. Easy as pecan pie.*
* I actually have no idea if pecan pie is easy. Is it? It’s fun to say, though. PECAN! PIE! PECAN! PIE! See? Fun. You should try it.