This article may contradict everything that you’ve read from bloggers, writers, and authors on this platform thus far. I’m talking about the articles that are all about how to make money writing — and more importantly, how to make money writing on Medium.
In fact, it wasn’t too long ago that I read an article on this very platform that talked about how everything that we write, how we should be getting paid for it. That if we are not focused on making money with our writing, then what exactly are we doing?
And even though I do believe that we should be compensated for the time we spend writing, and the research we endure, and for the creative contribution we provide to society as a whole every time we sit down to put pen to paper or fingers to keys…
…in fact, even I’m guilty of writing articles on this platform about those very topics. And don’t get me wrong. I still believe that “a laborer is worthy of his hire” (Luke 10:7). Obviously we have to make a living and pay the bills.
Nevertheless, I find that in many areas we as writers have lost sight of our “first love.” And so, therefore, I don’t know about you, but I’m choosing to start 2021 off right by realigning my goals and priorities with my first love.
You see, I didn’t start writing for the sole purpose of make money. I started writing because I loved the act of it. The power of the written word has always intrigued me. Ever since I sat down to read the Bible it was the written word that molded my life and made me who I am today.
God made me to be a writer. He designed me to use this gift as a means to inspire others. Not solely to make a living, even though He knows we have need of these things, but to use the gifts He has given me to make a difference in someone’s life, and to make an impact in this world for His glory — as well as to help others to discover their own gifts.
You see, the moment we focus solely on the money and stop being driven by the heartbeat and passion we have for this craft it turns into any other job that we end up hating and complaining about.
“Man who work for passion, always richer than man who work for money.” — Mr. Miyagi
Let me put it to you like this: When was the last time you heard someone you admired, and that was successful, complain or say that they hate their job? It’s interesting to me because, in all of my research, I have yet to find such a successful person. In fact, every single one says quite the opposite.
To start off this New Year right, I want to share a few stories with you about three important and successful people — Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson, and the Writers of the Bible.
Why Michael Jordan Was so Successful in Basketball
Have you ever wondered how Michael Jordan became so successful at the game of basketball? Have you ever wondered why as a young boy he would play the game all the way into the late hours of the night?
Whether you want to believe it or not, Michael Jordan didn’t practice into the late hours of the night because he was in pursuit of millions of dollars or fame and fortune. No, he did it for the love of the game. He loved the game so much that he wanted to become the best ball player that he could be.
You can think of it like a marriage or a relationship. Speaking from the male perspective, when a man truly loves a woman he will do anything in his power to make that woman happy. He would do anything that he could possibly do to be the best man that he can be for that woman.
In the old days, most people got married, not for love, but for status. And to be committed to a marriage without love, despite the reputation you main gain, or the riches and fortunes that you may obtain, I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t seem like success to me.
But for the ones that did marry for love, even if they didn’t earn all of those fortunes and high reputations, in my opinion, they gained a whole lot more than those that didn’t.
Success is attracted to the commitment you have for what you love. The more committed you are, the more successful you’ll be.
Fortune and fame came to Michael Jordan, he didn’t go to it. Michael committed himself to that which he loved (the game of basketball) and that is what success became attracted to.
In many cases, we do things backwards. We pursue the fortune and fame only to see success be repealed from us. In order to achieve success it requires a paradigm shift, or a change of thinking.
Why Michael Jackson Was so Successful in Music
Now, what about Michael Jackson? What made him so successful?
Whether you liked Michael or not is beside the point at the moment, just consider this …
…isn’t it interesting how most rich and famous people, aren’t very good at managing their finances? They are amazing at making money, but they aren’t so good at managing it. Have you ever wondered why that is?
Michael Jackson is no different. Like many others in his profession, he went bankrupt several times. Clearly, musicians hearts and minds aren’t necessarily focused on the money, but more so on the music.
Now, understand, I’m not saying that we need to be careless with how we manage our finances in order to be successful in writing — actually quite the opposite. Instead, I’m trying to make a point about where our focus should really be.
Unfortunately, Michael Jackson had a rough childhood. In fact, he never really had a childhood to begin with, because his dad was very strict and forced Michael to give his attention to music, even more so than to his studies.
Even though Michael’s dad had his issues, Michael still had a personal love for music that even surpassed his brothers and sisters. In fact, there came a point in Michael’s life where his dad didn’t need to be so forceful to get him to play and practice.
In other words, Michael developed a love for music that became more powerful than that of the push of his father.
In an interview, Michael Jackson once said
“I live to perform. When I am out on that stage, that’s when I feel alive. When I am not working, when I am not writing music, making beats, dancing, or performing, I am not alive.”
You see, Michael didn’t do what he did for money. He wasn’t in pursuit of riches. He did it for his love of music and for his love of entertaining his fans. He was more interested is his music being able to change lives and speak to the hearts of those that listened than he was in making money.
Like Michael Jordan, and how committed he was to being the best ball player that he could be, Michael Jackson was committed to being the best entertainer and musical artist that he could be.
And like Michael Jordan, success became attracted to that unwavering commitment that Michael Jackson had to the love of music, and to the love he had of entertaining his fans.
How the Writers of the Bible Became Bestsellers
Now, here is what I really want to get across to you. Did you know that the Bible is still the #1 bestselling book ever written? The Bible has sold more copies than any other book in history. How did the writers of the Bible achieve such a milestone?
We know that the Bible is the Inspired Word of God. It was written by men who were moved by the Spirit of God to write. The Bible states that God is Love, and that He is a Spirit. I believe that we can also say that God is the Spirit of Love.
In other words, the Spirit of Love fell on the writers of the Bible and moved them to write. And one of the most interesting things to consider is neither one of these men wrote while having in the back of their mind how they were going to sell billions of copies or make billions of dollars.
No, instead, their only focus was on sharing the Word of God with anyone and everyone that would listen.
Isn’t it amazing how these writers never sat down to set up a marketing plan or a book launch, yet they have still done what no other writer or author has ever been able to achieve.
These writers are a prime example of those who’s minds and hearts where not on fame or fortune, but on sharing the Message of God to whomever would listen. And in so doing, they have achieved something that I hope to be able to achieve as well — to never lose sight of my first love!
Now Over to You
Have you found yourself drifting farther and farther away from your first love? Are you finding that you are more focused on making money than you are at just being able to do what you once loved (the act of writing), and getting frustrated to the point that you are now beginning to hate this profession just as much as you have hated all your other jobs?
I’m interested in reading your thoughts. Please use the comment section below to share your feelings about this article, and let me know if you have found yourself getting to this point in your writing life.
Believe me when I tell you, I’ve been there. I know what it feels like to love writing but never knowing where your next meal is going to come from, or how you are going to be able to pay the rent next month.
Believe me when I tell you, I get it!
In fact, there was one point where I was even considering quitting my writing business and never looking back. If you want to know what changed my feelings and how I fell in love with writing again, ask away in the comments.
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William Ballard is one of the most sought-after business and leadership coaches in the world. As founder and CEO of William Ballard Enterprise, his core business development and leadership programs are designed to be a catalyst for entrepreneurs and leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their business, their lives, and the world. To learn more about how to get back to your first love as a writer again, subscribe to William’s free business insider newsletter.