The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words

QOTD – June 17th – Wait, Writing Won’t Get Me Money, Dates, Sex, or Friends?

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.”
― Stephen KingOn Writing

There are an infinite amount of reasons as to why people write. I write for the sake of catharsis, for sanity, because the characters in my head won’t stop talking, and because I, or they, have a story to tell. I write because I hope to inspire someone else to write, or to read, or scream and throw my writing across the room. I write because I want you – yes, I’m talking to you – to read the words that I need to say, and for those words to mean something to you.

I have never once sat down to write, and thought to myself: This is going to get me somewhere. I’m going to be famous, get girls, get laid, get money, and buy the fanciest typewriter I can find. If we follow our dream to be a well-known author, and that is our only motivating goal, then we are already failed authors. It has absolutely nothing to do with being well-known.

Only 2% of the world’s authors make enough money to call it their “job.” TWO PERCENT. Think about that. There is one person born every 8 seconds. There are approximately 7 billion people in the world. If your goal is to get famous, you will get lost in the mix. I promise.

My worst nightmare as a Creative Writing teacher is the student who comes into my class and says, “I’ve written a novel.” Then again, I’ve said those words too. I’ve written a novel. It’s on this very same computer that I’m typing on. It’s also printed out and sitting in my closet, or on my desk, or in a drawer, or wherever I put in 5-years ago when I “finished” it. It’s a terrible phrase.

More than that, I hate Starbucks Authors. I’m currently one of them. Yep, I’m writing in a Starbucks, and I hate everything about being here. Every Starbucks has at least 5 people with laptops or notebooks, and they are all writing the next great novel. I suppose I hate myself right now. At least I’m not writing a novel? Sure, maybe I don’t hate myself that much.

Writing, however, makes me happy. So I do it. I write wherever I am, and whenever I can.

How about you?

Question of the Day:

Why do you write, and what do you get out of it? 

About Christopher Margolin

Chris Margolin spent more than a decade in Education as a high school English teacher, and is now an Instructional Coach for the Longview School District. He is also the founder of The Poetry Question, an online journal which focuses on reviews of small press poetry publications, and runs a regular series called "The Power of Poetry," where notable poets share their personal stories of how poetry has affected their lives. Margolin resides in Vancouver, Washington with his wife, and daughter.

3 comments on “QOTD – June 17th – Wait, Writing Won’t Get Me Money, Dates, Sex, or Friends?

  1. The Running Son
    June 17, 2013

    May I quiet your heart and put your speculation to rest?

    Go read one of my poems. You will notice immediately, that you want to have sex with me. It’s a normal reaction. But you will the know the truth that attractions to broke romantics *can* happen. Steven King? Universes of respect for the man, but his mojo seems to be centered in his nerd-chakra. Mr king needed a clever out, and found it in his “happy” statement. God bless Stephen King and America.

    Loved On Writing btw. Autobiographical.
    Running(cynical)Son – ☀ ☁

  2. kiwiskan
    June 17, 2013

    I write because I have to…

  3. Bryan W. Pajari
    June 17, 2013

    I write for the same reason I wipe my butt. To get all the nasties out and feel like I’m clean. Not writing is like being a kid who popped his pants wobbling his way to find the right room to clean up, but you still have the left over fesses until you get home. It’s about finding your home to change into your comfortable skin. You have so much to let out. Writing is one of my preference to clean and carve out the unwanted poop. (expressions that hold me back from moving on and learning)

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