writers and money

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NOTE: The Artist’s Way is a 12 Step Process to recover your creativity by Julia Cameron that we are doing in the Writers’ Mastermind. You can read all about it here. Today, you get a sneak peek into what we’re working on inside the group. If you’d like to join us, sign up here!

This month, we cover ABUNDANCE!

And we are going to talk about MONEY.

The Problem with Writers and Money

One of the most damaging clichés about creativity is the idea of the poor, starving artist.

Add to that the fact we live in this age of free content…

And write in a highly competitive market…

Writers get used to the idea that it’s okay not to be paid for our writing.

But even if it feels good to sacrifice yourself on that altar (another virtue trap!)

you don’t have to
martyr yourself
for your art

Money blocks that keep fiction writers from financial success

Combine our romantic “poor starving artist” notion with traditional qualms about money, and you’re destined to become the cliché.

Common money issues:

  • It is the root of all evil
  • It turns people into greedy, self-centered megalomaniacs
  • It leads to addiction and vice
  • It is not for you (because of gender, race, class, age, etc.)
  • God/spirituality/morality hates money
  • That if you want money, you’re a bad person
  • That you do not deserve it
  • Getting rich off of writing will make you a sell-out
  • Money and fame will taint the purity of your art
  • That you’ll end up like Tony Montana in Scarface

You may not even realize you’re carrying around some of these ideas. But if you unconsciously believe successful, wealthy people are bad, it will only ensure you never become one.

Julia Cameron debunks the God/spirituality/morality issue below.

How can writers break money blocks?

The first step to breaking money blocks is to become aware of them. Do this exercise from The Artist’s Way to find out what beliefs are holding you back when it comes to going big on your dreams as a fiction author.


Complete the following phrases.

I. People with money are

2. Money makes people

3. I’d have more money if

4. My dad thought money was

s. My mom always thought money would

6. In my family, money caused

7. Money equals

8. If I had money, I’d

9. If I could afford it, I’d

10. If I had some money, I’d

11. I’m afraid that if I had money I would

12. Money is

13. Money causes

I4. Having money is not

Is. In order to have more money, I’d need to

16. When I have money, I usually

17. I think money

18. If I weren’t so cheap I’d

19. People think money

20. Being broke tells me

It’s not all about money

Your ideas about what you deserve affect everything you do as an author.

If you don’t think your writing is worthy, you will fail.


  • You won’t put your best into your book because, what’s the point? It’s not going to sell anyway.
  • You won’t query dream agents and publishers because it will be “a waste of time.”
  • You won’t promote a book you wrote in fear and uncertainty, because you feel it’s inferior and it’s not good enough to be successful.
  • You will not be willing to invest in proper editing, formatting, cover design, marketing, advertising.
  • You won’t invest in yourself and your continuing education as a writer. you “can’t afford it,” right?

You will give up, thinking it was all a foolish dream (like all the naysayers and your inner bully told you). You proved to yourself it isn’t going to work. All because deep inside you believe you’re not deserving.

In reality, you only failed because of your half-hearted attempt.

Don’t deprive the world of your words. Don’t sit on your stories. Give them the best chance you can. They deserve it.


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