Last week in a class I am doing we were asked a fundamental question. What is the value of what you do creatively? Does it have high value to you or low value? There was a line drawn on the ground with a side for high value and another for low. We were asked to place ourselves on the line. Then we were asked to explain. I said writing has high value for me. It gives me joy to write. And when people read what I have written and appreciate it, it makes me happy. It’s like a high without the alcohol.
Then another axis was drawn. The axis of money. The question was how much does your creativity pay you and how much would you like it to pay you. And what if it doesn’t pay would you still do it. That was a tougher question to answer. Right now my writing doesn’t pay me in terms of money. I would like to make a living from it but it’s not yet happened. I did get some cash for a children’s story that was published in The Daily Nation. But apart from that I have usually been paid in kind or by getting to be on platforms or seminars where I would have paid a lot to attend but I got in free because of my writing.
These questions made me ask myself a question. Would you continue writing if you never made money from it? Right now the writing scene is crazy. There are so many people with creative blogs; artwork, writing, photography etc, and people are hoping to cash in on making money from their blogs or websites. I do too. I would like one day to be a full time writer. But if it didn’t pay long term would I still do it? I wrote a post my journey as a writer explaining my creative journey. It’s been a roller coaster but it’s been worth it.
My answer to the question is I will write even if it never makes me a cent. I love writing. I believe that it is the most important talent that God has given me. It is priceless and worth more then money or material possessions. It is my identity. So I will write and continue to write even if I never make money from it. If I can touch at one person, inspire that one person, make another person laugh, make someone else love to read, tell somebody else you are not alone in how you feel, then that is enough for me. That is the gift that reading has given me, and that’s the gift I want to give others.
Why do I write?
It gives me joy.
It helps me express my creativity.
It is my therapy (cheaper then therapy actually. Do you know how much therapy costs?)
It’s my gift or talent.
Basically writing is my everything. It is my joy, my pain, my heartbreak, my laughter, my twisted sense of humour, my worship to God, it is me.
In 2001 I wrote a poem called poetry but I have changed it to writing. It expresses what writing is to me.
When I am blue,
In a mood,
And not feeling too good,
I turn to you.
You’re the only one,
That understands what I am going through,
Who can really tell,
What’s going in my mind.
I don’t know what I would do,
If I didn’t have you,
To hear me out,
To help me express my emotions.
Years have come and gone,
But you’re still my rock,
The one I go to,
When everything else does not console.
You are my treasure,
Your represent my soul, my heart,
You’ve been there for me through the times,
“The good, the bad, and the ugly.”
Words cannot express,
The joy you’ve given, the hope you’ve placed in me,
But I do know,
You’re the greatest gift God has given me.
Some writing quotes
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
― Maya Angelou
“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”
― Madeleine L’Engle
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
― Ernest Hemingway
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
― Stephen King
“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.”
― Saul Bellow
“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
― Toni Morrison