I started blogging back in August of 2009 when I was 16. Even if I had wanted to make money from writing, I would have had no idea where to start.
Growing up, writing was an outlet and a creative medium. Over time, I continued to write because it helped me discover what I thought and felt and believed. Now I write because I can’t not write. I keep at it because this is what I’m called to, at least for this season, and I pray that every word, every blog post, every tweet and Instagram caption will glorify God.
It isn’t about the money and it never has been, which is good because, uh, what money?
If you spend much time in the ‘blogging world’ then you know what I’m talking about. I bet a few names come to mind when I say what you already know:
Sometimes bloggers become authors and sign multi-book contracts.
Sometimes writers make a full-time income from affiliate marketing and sponsored posts.
Sometimes writing blog posts equals making money.
And sometimes it doesn’t.
Sometimes we show up day after day to blank page after blank page and we give it our all, spilling out our heart and walking in obedience, but a check doesn’t show up in the mail.
Sometimes we wake in the middle of the night with the title for a blog post or one sentence that doesn’t let us go, so we tap it out in the Notes section of our phone but those words will never find their way to a printed book.
Maybe you have scraps of paper with ideas to write out or twenty half-finished blog post drafts and you’re doing your best to keep at it even though it doesn’t make you even one penny.
Maybe, like me, you self-published a book and now dodge questions about if it’s made you any money and how it’s truly going, laughing to yourself because you know that is so very much not the way to get rich.
Here’s the truth:
Your writing changes lives whether it makes you money or not – and you can’t put a price tag on that.
You don’t need an invitation to a speaking event or a book contract for your writing to matter. It already does and the weight of the importance of your words doesn’t hang on a check arriving in your mailbox.
So keep at it. Keep showing up and spilling out the words that He gives you to share. Your writing brings glory to the Author of life and perhaps it will lead to a paycheck down the road, but it won’t be any more valuable on that day than it does right now.
Just because you don’t get a pay stub doesn’t mean you shrink back or play small or give it all up. Do your thing. Play your note. We are all watching and learning, moved. You are making the world kinder, more beautiful, wiser, funnier, richer, better. Give your gifts the same attention you would if you got paid. – Jen Hatmaker, For the Love
If you can make money along the way without feeling icky about it, go for it. Use affiliate links when you mention products your readers would love. Write an ebook and make it available for a small fee. Maintaining a blog isn’t cheap, I know this, and so if you can bring in a little extra income I seriously think that’s fantastic.
But don’t put a price tag on your worth as a writer and don’t you dare, not for one second, think that your writing needs to make money to change lives.
Nope. You’re already doing that. You’re changing lives and glorifying God and leaning into your giftings by continuing to pull open a blank page and offer a piece of yourself.
Charles de Lint said it so clearly, that “no one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell.”
And so you must tell them. And maybe you’ll make some money, but that won’t mean your stories are worth more than another’s.
You are a writer. You can attach the word to your being. You can claim it, it’s okay.
You continue to unwrap the gift that He has given you as you offer it back to Him by sharing your gift with the ones around you.
To write is to give. To be flat out, all out generous with your story. – Lisa-Jo Baker
*The quote by KM Logan (from the book Called To Write) clearly struck a chord with me and so I made one and then two and then three graphics because I couldn’t help myself. Feel free to choose your favorite and share with a friend or pin it so you won’t forget: your writing matters.
Related post: When It’s Hard To Keep Writing
affiliate links used
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