Do you think being 'vested in writing' actually requires an output of 'hard, cold cash'? Or do you think thinking and reading (and writing and writing) can be ever enough?
First, I want to clarify that this is simply my opinion. Second, no matter what I say, there will always be exceptions, so please take it with a grain of salt. Now on to the juicy stuff.
The short answer is "Yes." Yes, I think being vested in writing requires an output of 'hard, cold cash.'
The long answer is a little more convoluted, but it will bring us back to the short answer, so stay with me here. IMHO, there are two ways to invest yourself in writing:
- Spending Money
- Spending Time
Time you spend educating yourself on the craft of writing is investing yourself. This includes attending conferences and workshops. It includes formal education. It includes reading blogs on writing, reading books on writing, and it includes reading books in the genre you write. Education is always an investment.
So here's where we get to the meat of the thing. Look at that second list about educating yourself. Many of those things cost money. Conferences? Workshops? College-level classes? Money, money, and more $$$. Books on writing? Not so cheap. Books in your genre? Not SO expensive, but money, neverthe less.
Now I can hear you protesting.
"But I use the library."
"I get books for free through blog contests."
"I attend the FREE WriteOnCon Conference."
I say, wonderful! Great resources. I love the library. I love WriteOnCon. I love blog contests!
But here's the catch: Time = Money
I know, cliche-city, but it's true. I work for myself and I know exactly how much my time is worth. I know exactly how much I am not earning when I choose to spend my time elsewhere. Spending time is a monetary investment.
Finally, I think there is a place where you must simply suck it up and pay the hard cold cash, because there is no substitution of time. As a serious writer, you should join a writing association. Whether that's SCBWI, RWA, NWA, a local group or whatever, do it. Joining a group is a declaration to yourself that you're serious. And bonus, it's a declaration to others (i.e. agents and editors).
So yes, to be vested, I do think you need to shell out some cash.
What's your opinion?