My recent post ‘Rise and Shine Women. It’s Time…’ caused some unexpected controversy. I posted it in one of the Facebook groups where I share my writing from time to time to inspire other writers in my genre.
The essence of the debate boiled down to this: We should focus on writing and not think of money. No harsh words were exchanged, and people appeared friendly and reasonable in expressing their views.
Except, energetically, it was as if I came up against a wall. I felt anxious as if I’ve done something wrong by speaking up about money. Then even deeper fear resurfaced: people will reject me; they’ll think I am materialistic and in it to make money. As I allowed fear to come, anger flared up. And what’s wrong with wanting to make money? Come on, people! Please tell me you NEVER thought of making it big?! Is it just me? I was getting defensive, trying to justify why it’s a good idea to want what we want. Finally, self-doubt kicked in: Am I writing because of money?
So, I sat with this discomfort. What bothered me most was that I was bothered by what other people thought or said. Why? What in me is reacting to this exchange? What are they showing me? I was trying to work out without much success.
Then I remembered a technique I use from time to time to clear limiting beliefs.
‘I deserve to be paid for my writing.’ I said out loud as I pushed my daughter’s buggy in the local park. On the scale of 1 to 10 (1 – not agreeing with this statement and 10 – fully agreeing), I was at number 2.
Oh, I see now why people’s responses touched a raw nerve in me. I did a bit of inner clearing on the go and felt a lot calmer.
Reflecting on this exchange, I learnt a few lessons:
- Of course writing comes first. Before we get paid we need to produce something worth paying for. But if we hold deep-seated beliefs, like ‘You cannot make living from writing’, sooner or later it becomes self-fulfilling. Even if we manage to publish our work, it could translate into poor sales and a lack of recognition. Then we start blaming the industry and passing on the belief that as artists we are doomed to starve.
- Discomfort around discussing money may arise if we hold some limiting beliefs about it. No wonder people would rather talk about sex, religion, or politics than mention money. Yet, at it’s best, money is simply energy and we exchange it for all sorts of things, including writing workshops, competitions, editors, etc. It’s the meaning we ascribe to money that can turn it into a thorny issue.
- Last but not least, it doesn’t have to be either writing or money. It can be both. Putting a book out in the world to change people’s lives without getting an adequate financial reward may cause self-doubt and resentment, however worthy the message may be. Let’s value ourselves, our time, effort, and money we invest in our creative endeavours. It’s time to rise above our limiting beliefs and shine.