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Freelance Writers ~ Have You Lost Sight?

Updated on July 17, 2011

The HubBub on HubPages

I haven't been here long; a mere few weeks. But one of the things that has come to my attention is all the hubbub on HubPages...about "how to make money" with your Hubs. There are loads of pieces on the topic, and most of them are quite helpful, especially for newcomers. So before I go further here, I would like to offer the following 'disclaimer':

I am in no way undermining what all these fantastic writers have offered. It is clear that they have experienced more than those who have only recently arrived on the site. To them I say, thank you! As for those who seem to be obsessing about the whole money-making thing, this article is for you. It is my way of planting a few seeds that may bring your attention back 'round to the whole reason we write. That is all I have to say about that...

So then...on to the topic, shall we?

Why do you do it?

I suppose not everyone writes for the joy of it. I'm pretty sure a lot of folks write because they're looking for "an easy way to make money" without having to put out any cash to do it. And then there are the folks who write because they must. They write because it is as essential to their well-being as food, air, water...and chocolate. {You didn't think I'd forget the chocolate, did you?} They write because it is what they are meant to do. In short: they write for the joy of it.

Now, to the former group I don't suppose any of what follows is going to be of any real value. If you're doing it solely for the money, none of this will matter. But before you leave this missive and move on to the next, I will offer this: if you're looking for "an easy way to make money", you might like to try something else; like eBay or Craigslist selling. Or maybe "post ads for fun and profit". Because the real deal is that even the best writers must build a following (which takes some time) and hone their craft (which takes even more time) before they will see a steady flow of cashola. It's just the way it is.

To the latter group, I thought it might be a good idea to bring you back 'round to your "why". Why do you write? Is it something that you are compelled to do or is it simply a fun diversion? Do you have aspirations of being a best-selling writer? Can you see your name on the New York Times Bestseller List? Do you dream of having your book made into a movie? What is your reason for writing?

{Pause now to consider these promptings.......}

The Economics of Passion

Unless you happen to be one of the two percentile who don't need to think about money (because you've got so much of it!), it's likely you're always on the lookout for opportunities to make more. And the icing on the cake would be to do what you love and make money at the same time. Who wouldn't want to be in such a position? Ask any person who has lots (of money) and they'll probably tell you the same thing: "I did what I was most passionate about. I put my passion before the dollars. That is how I came to all this wealth." This is not a cliche. It is a truth that I have been witness to over and over in my life time. Those who "made it" did so because they were driven by a passion so fierce they couldn't do or think about anything else.

Contrary to what your mama may have told you, it isn't about "hard work". Because when you're doing what you love to do, it isn't work at all. Which is why they (the successful ones) will tell you that their primary motivation was not the money. They did it because they had to. They did it because they couldn't see themselves doing anything else. They did it because it was essential to their Being-ness. Along the way, they got so good at it, the money just had to follow. It's what one called "the economics of passion". I never forgot that.

If you think I'm joshin' you here, you are mistaken. I've known lots of "rich" folk and I have always been brazen enough to ask. Not a one of them ever said, "I did it because I had nothing better to do." Every time I asked "how", they all said the same thing. "I really didn't have a choice. I was compelled."

The Oooey-Gooey Feeling Place

Stop for a moment and think about the artists you are most drawn to. Whether they paint, write, act, sing, dance, those whose work is most attractive to you. Hold that image in your head for a minute. Feel how it feels when you see or hear their work. Where do you suppose those feelings are borne? Do you think it is you or the artist?

I ask this because I have always wondered how it is that certain artists can move me so much while others go unnoticed. Beyond unnoticed...those whose work repels me so strongly that I shudder when I think of them. Do you suppose the feelings their work evoke (in us) is a result of how they were feeling when they were in the process of creation? Do you suppose that it is the energy of their own selves that calls (or repels) us?

It happens that I am a firm believer in the transference of energy. I believe that the emotions I feel when drawn to a particular artist are a result of what they were feeling when they created the piece. Some are soothing. Others excite me. Still others evoke an inexplicable sadness. No matter what the emotion, I know beyond what is "logical" that I'm feeling whatever I'm feeling because they were feeling it too. In other words, they transferred their feelings onto the canvas or recording or stage on which they danced. The more powerful their emotion, the more powerfully felt by those witnessing.

Think about it this way: let's say you're watching a movie. The actor(s) are so "good" that you forget they're acting. You forget it's Meryl Streep on film and see her as the character she is portraying. All the while you're watching the movie, you are lost in the story as if all the world no longer exists and you have entered the world (of the story) you're watching on screen.

We call these actors "the best" in their craft. Why? Because they are excellent at making us feel how the character feels. They are over-the-top-great at what they do...thereby transferring those emotions onto us. See what I'm getting at here?

Now if we were to take all that and apply it to our writing....something like this:

When you sit down to write, clear your head of all things "money". Let go of any distracting gnats that might be flyin' around in your pretty head. Take a few deep breaths...and focus your attention on the feeling-place (Yep. I know that sounds really sappy. Bear with me for a minute. And quit rollin' your eyes. You might just find some elevation here.) Ask your Self "what do I want to share that may have an impact on the lives of my readers?" Or some such thing. You get the point. Do this before you begin writing. Listen to your gut. Be who you are. Let the You that is you bare itself to the world without fear or shame. Let 'er rip!

When you have finished with your piece, go back and read it. Read it through the eyes of your readers, not the writer. How does it make you feel? Even better, does it make you feel anything?

If you can put yourself in this place every time you sit to write, you will find more satisfaction than any amount of money will provide. It is then, and only then, that you will begin to see that flow of cash come rolling in. In short, the money is a form of energy...whatever you put out is gonna come right back to you...tenfold.

Just you watch and see.

Lessons from a cat...


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    • MichaelWriter profile image


      7 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

      Thanks for the great hub :) It's inspired me to think about the topics I should be writing about. I voted it up!

    • fpherj48 profile image


      7 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Hi there....and thank you! When I first came aboard hubpages, I had no idea there were money-making ooportunities. While I feel this is a great benefit, I don't want to divert my focus. I write because I love to. I read for the same reason. For me, if I change what drives me...My vehicle will fall apart! Great Hub..voted up.

    • Jeff Poirrier profile image

      Jeff Poirrier 

      7 years ago from Washington

      I believe your ideas concerning the transference of energy are absolutely tangible. We feel them every time a writer is emotionally invested in their work. This reminds me of a collective consciousness debate in college... Anyway, thanks for the inspiration.

    • x2x3 profile image


      7 years ago

      Great hub :)

    • camsolivia profile imageAUTHOR

      Camille Olivia Strate 

      7 years ago from Planet Earth

      My thanks, JSParker~ And thank you also for the note (fan mail?). It is most delightful to get feedback, particularly when folks use words like "engage" (grin). Hope you'll come back for more.



    • JSParker profile image


      7 years ago from Detroit, Michigan

      Very good hub! You are a good writer. I enjoyed the read. You've got the right flow in your writing, questions that actually engage me as the reader, and I like your images, too. Thanks!!

    • camsolivia profile imageAUTHOR

      Camille Olivia Strate 

      7 years ago from Planet Earth

      ritzzy~ thank YOU for your wonderful commentary. I'm so pleased (especially about the "chuckle"). Warms me to my cockles (grin). The very best to you in your writing endeavors. BRAVO!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I learned much of what you are speaking about, through an on-line creative writing course. I especially liked your direction at the end though; about 'clearing one's pretty little head,' and had a chuckle at the same time. Think I will copy and paste this paragraph, so as to read before I sit down to write. Thank you.

    • ThoughtSandwiches profile image


      7 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      Sadly...I have gotten used to not making money for my writing...but I still love to write. Hopefully the two will have a nice "lil fender bender one day and come together! Great Hub...voted it all kinds of up!

    • crystolite profile image


      7 years ago from Houston TX

      This is a well and Good presented story. Some articles are published but not interesting.I find yours amazing.Good articles attracts more reading.My biggest thrill is seeing that the Hubs are read.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      One can be passionate about writing "how to" articles written at an 8th grade level so that the instructions are easy to read and implement, something I enjoy doing given my tech writing and training background, as well as my OCD-like attention to detail.

      I also know that when I've tried to write around what is supposed to be a "high-paying" keyword with the goal of getting those Adsense clicks and page impressions, it's often a real struggle. But, when I write about what interests me or what I'm passionate about, the writing is effortless.

      So for now, I'm writing mostly about topics that interest me which, including "how to" articles, although sometimes I'll try to find keywords AFTER I've written an article, if only to get more people to read it (although, like Roy Perrin, it would be very nice to earn some income as well).

      Great hub! Rated up and useful. Congrats on your nomination and welcome to HubPages.

    • Amy Wimmer profile image

      Amy Wimmer 

      7 years ago from Santa Cruz, CA

      LOVED this! So gorgeously written, and positive, and inspiring! I like to think I feel that way because "[you] were feeling it too." :)

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 

      7 years ago from UK

      No, not $$$ yet, just cents - but right now it’s as exciting to me as if it was $millions! :-)

    • camsolivia profile imageAUTHOR

      Camille Olivia Strate 

      7 years ago from Planet Earth

      Bravo, Melovy! Happy to 'serve' and also inspiring to hear you're earning the $$$. Good for you! Thanks for the read AND the comment.

      Happy Friday!

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 

      7 years ago from UK

      I like what you say here, both about writing and about energy. Like others have said in the comments, I write because it’s a passion and because I’d like to earn money - and also because I hope what I write may be useful to others. Your message to not get caught up in chasing money is one I seem to need to remind myself of often as it’s easy to get seduced into thinking I should be spending time on key-words etc.

      What you say about how an artist feels when they work coming across in their work is interesting. I really enjoyed writing a recent hub and it was chosen as hub of the day, much to my surprise. This has of course increased my traffic hugely and although my earnings are still very low in a week I’ve earned already five times what I did all of last month. So not worrying about money makes sense to me!

    • camsolivia profile imageAUTHOR

      Camille Olivia Strate 

      7 years ago from Planet Earth

      First I would like to thank all of you who read and wrote to express your thoughts on this Hub. I am deeply grateful for your time and energy.

      Second, I would like to clarify something: it was not my intention to dissuade ANYONE from writing for profit. I do it too...and I find it quite rewarding to receive $$$ for doing what I love to do. The whole point here was to remind you that the PASSION is first...whatever comes next is "gravy".

      When I began this piece, it was because I'd seen so many questions (and Hubs) about "how do I make money"...and many of those folks seemed to be struggling with the idea (of "how" to turn a profit). Simply put, I was nudging all of the great writers out "there" to keep their passion FIRST...and let the money flow as it may.

      Hope that clarifies things a bit. (grin)

      Hugs to all ~


    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 

      7 years ago

      I enjoyed this hub a great deal. It deserves the recognition of a hubnugget!

      As a reminder to get back to basics, and remember the reason we write - it's fabulous.

    • Karen Banes profile image

      Karen Banes 

      7 years ago from Canada

      I write a blog called 'Change The World With Words', so you would think that makes my writing motivation pretty clear. But the tag line is 'Make art. Make money. Make a difference.' Making art and making a difference are 'higher callings' I guess, but making money is a necessity for those who didn't inherit a fortune and forgot to marry rich (tongue in cheek). If you can do all three at the same time, you have a pretty good life going on I think. I do write for money, and it is, in some ways, hard - but in other ways it's the easiest money I've ever made, since I love writing more than almost anything else (with the exception of my family, and maybe chocolate).

    • workingmomwm profile image

      Mishael Austin Witty 

      7 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      There is some really wonderful advice here, and yes, it did make me think. I've always "had" to write - ever since I was a little girl. When I found Hubpages (and Squidoo and some other sites), I started trying to write just to make money. I didn't make very much at all, and I let that disappointment kill my passion for what I really love. Writing is one of my first loves. It just is. I need to focus on that, and not worry so much about the money. Thank you. :-)

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 

      7 years ago from Australia

      Thank you for reminding me of the reason I write. It is easy to get caught up in the lure of the dollar with so many writing opportunities available on the Internet but money has never been my driving force for writing. Congratulations on your HubNugget nomination - well deserved for this great Hub.

    • camsolivia profile imageAUTHOR

      Camille Olivia Strate 

      7 years ago from Planet Earth

      Thank you, Sir. Your time and commentary are greatly appreciated. Hugs & warmest regards ~ Cams

    • JY3502 profile image

      John Young 

      7 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Cam, I couldn't have said it better. You have great style and I think you will go far on hub pages.

    • camsolivia profile imageAUTHOR

      Camille Olivia Strate 

      7 years ago from Planet Earth

      My thanks, Angie. Happy to know you enjoyed the piece. And thanks for the welcome too. This is quite the friendly site; lots of warmth. Oh...and thanks for the congrats too. This is my second...and it's thrilling to know folks like what I'm putting "out there".

      Have yourself a terrific day!

    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 

      7 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      Good hub, camsolivia ... you have summed up in a nutshell what writing really should be about. Enthusiasm, for anything, is infectious and it catches other people up with it ... welcome to HP and congratulations on your HubNugget success. You thoroughly deserve it.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      You know, Camsolivia, I write because I "have" to - the words are dammed up inside me, just clamoring to get out. I write here, at Triond and WordPress, BrightHub, Constant Content, WritersAccess and Demand Media Studios.

      And . . .

      I am writing a book - that is what I am listening to, what I am looking forward to when the "earning money" writing has ended for the day.

      So I write to earn and I write because . . . I GOTTA!

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 

      7 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Wonderful article and everyone will fall somewhere into your criteria of passion vs money. I know who and where I fit, but I ain't tellin'. I love the cat too! Up and beautiful.

    • Amber Colleen profile image

      Amber Colleen 

      7 years ago

      Good article! It's definitely better when writing is the thing you want to do, or must do because you love it (though making money from what you love isn't a bad deal either).

    • camsolivia profile imageAUTHOR

      Camille Olivia Strate 

      7 years ago from Planet Earth

      NiaLee~ Thanks for taking the time to post your comment. A little suggestion: perhaps you might forgo all limitations of what kind of pieces you "should" or "shouldn't" write on HubPages (or anywhere else!)...and write what PLEASES YOU. If writing is your passion, as you say it is, then any forum you choose to write on/for is going to provide you with an opportunity to hone your craft. This, in my personal (and not so humble) opinion is precisely why they (forums) are useful to writers. If it happens that your articles/stories/etc. are used by other sites and then read by more (and more and more) people, that's just an extra bonus. In other words, leave the "rules" out of your writing. Just write. Let the Universe (or God or whatever you call it) take care of the rest. This is where you will find your greatest joy (in writing).

      'Nuff said.

    • NiaLee profile image


      7 years ago from BIG APPLE

      Thanks, writing is my passion, I just have very little time now. I appreciate the advice and web site a lot. NOw, I confess that I am more tempted to write a series or short stories on hubpages than articles...though different ideas pop up and inspire me a piece as short as an article on hubpages. Thanks to remind us of the essence of writing.

      Love and peace upon all.

    • Roy Perrin profile image

      Roy Perrin 

      7 years ago from Jacksonville, NC

      I happen to be one of those that sort of falls into both categories. I LOVE writing, but i'd also like to be able to make some money at it (maybe someday do it for a living). Great hub. We all need a reminder now and then to think about why we starrted doing things to begin with. Voted up and useful.

    • angemac23 profile image


      7 years ago from Canada

      Yes, I totally agree!

    • tarrka1089 profile image


      7 years ago from Ohio

      Another interesting piece - and for the record, couldn't agree more. I write for $ on a couple of other sites, but here is strictly just for the art/creativity and to share insightful information. My biggest thrill is seeing that the Hubs are read.

      Well-deserved on your Hubnuggets nomination!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      You write this piece beautifully! Honestly a few years ago, I couldn't believe I could write passionately and gain quite a number of followers. Today I now believe in the power of sharing your love, emotion, passion to another. May this be in the form of written words, music, art, etc. Thank you for this inspiring hub.

      Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination. Do check your email and join the Hubnuggets fun. Best of luck. Blessings, love and light. :)

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image


      7 years ago

      Congratulations on your hubnugget nomination. I love to write in general. I have noted that in regards to what types of topics are likely to work for adsense-ad clicking-are topics that don't interest me they are how DIY or health etc. I like to write about books and classic Hollywoord. So for me Hubpage Ads will be better. I feel you must have topics you write on for love and topic syou write on for practicality so that you can balance your personal and professional life. Your professional life will always have stressful times-I've seen artists-and writing is an art-who have grown to hate waht they previously loved because their fancial situation is horrible and they didn't separate some art for just them.

      I see hubpages as writing for just me. If I never make any money on here that is fine. Then I can look towards frelancing for advertising companies etc. and even if I am not passionate about a company's topic, I feellike I am still writing for passion. A friend of mine lost her love of music because she taught music in her home-the same music genres that she plays in her free time. She no longer wants to talk abuot music in her free time. Since she was a child all she wanted was to be a music teacher. It is sad.

    • angemac23 profile image


      7 years ago from Canada

      Great article!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      You are so, SO right. Passion is key. I hope more folks read your words of advice- and take heart!

    • camsolivia profile imageAUTHOR

      Camille Olivia Strate 

      7 years ago from Planet Earth

      Thank you all for your wonderful commentary. And for the votes (breaththeair!)! Anaya, I'm in your corner as well. Agreed, all on counts. Hugs to you ALL.

    • Anaya M. Baker profile image

      Anaya M. Baker 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks for writing this! I really believe in the integrity of hubpages, as a community in which passionate writers can share and engage.

      Personally, I love to write on literature, and can go more "academic" rather than "popular" or "writing for the net" on these pieces. Hp is the only place I've found where this kind of writing is supported, and where I can read work by other writers with similar interests that aren't dumbed down to maximize on ad revenue from the higher traffic you're supposed to get when writing at an eighth grade level. But it brings down the integrity of the entire site, and the actual, passionate writers here, when certain individuals are just spewing out poorly written, keyword laden garbage in hopes of a few pennies from adsense.

    • breaththeair profile image


      7 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Well said!! Very nice! I chose "awesome" because, first of all, I'm in love with your picture of the cat. But also because I could not agree more!

    • camsolivia profile imageAUTHOR

      Camille Olivia Strate 

      7 years ago from Planet Earth

      thanks, Dan. and here's a question for you: do you suppose Hemingway or Twain or Emerson were concerned with "a few succinct words"? (grin)

    • danfresnourban profile image


      7 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Great hub. I agree that the best writing can put the reader into the situation to experience it for themselves. Writing is always more memorable when the reader "lives" the story. With that said, I think it is even better when you can do that with a few, succinct words.

    • BakerRambles profile image


      7 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      You know, thank you very much for writing this, I'm a firm believer in passionate writing and not just money writing. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day and thank you for uplifting mine through the clouds. Ps. --economic passion is an amazing term for the love of creative thoughts


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