The cold, hard truth is this: most writers don’t make much money on their writing.
That isn’t to say that most writers don’t get published; in fact, in the Internet age it is easier than ever to get published. Its just that most writers can’t make a full-time living only by writing. For this reason, you need to make sure that you are writing out of love, not only for money, because the money may never come.
Writing is one of those professions that, unless you make it big like Stephen King or R. A. Salvatore, you’re not going to receive much public recognition. A byline or two, or even a successful web site, won’t put you in the public spotlight. Even a single best-seller, unless it’s followed by several more bestsellers, doesn’t mean that your writing is going to be able to pay all of your bills for the rest of your life.
Here’s another thing: writing out of love instead of writing for money actually can improve the quality of your writing. If you are passionate about what you’re writing, you are writing something that you feel deeply about, and if you are writing with a determination and a desire that can only come from loving what you do, your writing will be that much better. On the other hand, if you are trying to bang out the last 10,000 words of a novel that really should have ended 5,000 words ago, your writing won’t be as good. Write for love so that your writing can improve.
Writing out of love should come naturally. Again, few people get to do something so cool as a profession. If you are talented and determined enough to have made writing your full-time source of income, that’s great. You have opportunities that few people have. Be grateful for those opportunities. Relish them. Love your chosen profession, because there are hundreds if not thousands of people who would trade positions with you in a heartbeat. And do you know what? Many of them make more money than you do.
If you write for money instead of for the love of writing, you’re bound, ultimately, to fail as a writer, or at least be a miserable success of a writer.