As usual I’m late to the party. Then I got lost in the comments and forgot the question in the midst of all the answers. That seems to be a thing. Millions of answers but no one knows quite what the question is supposed to be.
I liked all the answers. That’s a thing, too. But we all deal with this in the face of, dare I say it?, paradigmatic change. We all grew up in the old world although some of us were there a lot longer than others. In that world the only way you could write was writing a novel or writing things while you were writing a novel. You weren’t real until you were writing a novel.
Rejection slips were the real goal. That was a very tough achievement to actually send something off to someone, after finding someone to actually send it off to, in hopes of, at least, a rejection note. I never got around to it. The line was way too long.
Jack, you know the answer. Your muse isn’t pissed over writing for money, she’s pissed because you’re more worried about the money than the writing. The way the Partner Program has changed now you don’t even have to click a box. In fact you have to click a box not to make money.
While writing for filthy lucre is despicable. We all have to do things for filthy lucre as that is the highest ethic of the old system. The game is putting together the right combination of gigs that make it survivable. But making some money because people read what you wrote is not writing for money.
But writing you do for writing. If you make money, what the hell? If you don’t then you are in the same place as if you didn’t. It’s all in the attitude.
The real point for me is that Medium is a new paradigm for art and communication that will transcend the old order’s collapse. You can literally write for an audience of millions, potentially, but if you work hard enough you can git a couple hundred people to pay attention. And make coffee money, too. That is so much better than never figuring out where to send your novel.
Novels. Yes, write that, too. I read a couple each week. But we all write two or three or more things at once, right? Work on what feels good that day and it may suggest another topic to write about. Making money at that is formula work, e.g. romance, space opera, etc. That is a little too close to grasping at lucre for me but I may try it anyway. That’s also a lot different than all the things that show up here on Medium.
I think that this is going to grow into some new evolutionary creature that is far more than the sum of its parts. Maybe we are all writing that creature into existence now and just don’t know it.