Professional Writing: Art or Business?

professioinal writerI was asked recently what it’s like to write for money. The motivation of the person that asked was, “Shouldn’t you write for the sake of art?”

I’ve been a professional writer for over 20 years. My titles have changed but my job always involves writing, content producing, and editing for PR, marketing, advertising, books, news, web, TV, etc.  Sometimes I only provide the creative direction or strategy.  Many times I write the material or scripts myself.  One of my current titles is Communications Director but I always think like a writer and publisher/broadcaster on every project.

Just about anyone that can write a letter to home thinks they can write for literary acclaim, social commentary, and yes… money.  Some can.  Most can’t.  It’s a business, not art.

Writing for “art” is done by a very small segment of the literary world and there is nothing wrong with that.  And there is nothing wrong with writing for money either.

I’m fortunate because I get to do my hobby as my job – for profit. And here’s what James Patterson, the most profitable writer in the world has to say about it. He talks about literature vs. entertainment and is right on the money (pun intended). Interestingly, he’s one of our directors in the non-profit that I’m involved in:

Author James Patterson, Inc. Churning Out Bestsellers

The 65-year-old crime and thriller author has written 106 books, sold more than 260 million copies and boasts 76 bestsellers, a Guinness World Record.  See this NBC News segment of his newly remodeled oceanfront Palm Beach home where he works:

See More (NBC News)

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Communication, public relations, & marketing consultant, freelance writer, media producer, and speaker.

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