On one of my OryCon panels– “What I Wish I Had Known Then”– one of the other panelists made the distinction between a writer “getting paid” and “getting paid money”. Which confused me, because what would you be getting paid in, if not money? His answer was “exposure”. And it’s true, there are several publications of lesser repute who will offer this “payment” of “exposure”.
But that’s not payment, any more than handing someone an issue of Saveur is making them dinner.
Now, if you’re at a stage in your writing where, to you, there’s value in your work getting seen without monetary compensation, hey, that’s your business. But don’t call it “payment”.
But beyond getting actually paid– which is a lovely thing– there is the next level of “money” which is the Big Prize.
I’m not going to fool myself into thinking that’s going to come, at least not quickly or easily, if at all. I’m not doing this with stars in my eyes. Well, maybe a little bit.
The truth is, there are several ways to make the “big money” that are far more lucrative– at least in terms of yielding said big money– than writing fantasy and sci-fi books. If I were only concerned about making money, I’d do one of those things. But doing this— writing these books– that’s what drives me.
So if the big money comes– a film or TV deal based on Thorn and what follows, for example– I’d like to think I’d mostly keep doing what I’m doing: writing the next book.
And travel more, of course. Those aren’t mutually exclusive, after all. But in the meantime, I’ll be digging away in the word mines. See you down there.