No, I’m not offering a reward.  I’m just going to talk about the topic. If you came looking for a reward, sorry!

Our society measures success in money – and in what money can buy. If you drive a Mercedes and live in a mansion you will be seen as successful. Writing doesn’t usually bring that kind of reward.

I’ve said in previous posts that a writer should love what they do, that the reward is in the writing. But there are other rewards too, beyond the pleasure of getting your ideas on paper and of (occasionally) getting a cheque in the mail.

For me, just being able to say, “I am a published writer” gives me a charge, whets my whistle, turns my crank and stops only slightly short of blowing up my skirt. Of course, the word ‘published’ is important, but if you write a blog then that counts as published. I’ve had many articles and books published too but people don’t have to know that.

Another reward is that you are considered to be an authority on the topic you published. To me, it’s a reward when people are flummoxed about something and they say “Ask Val. She’ll know.” There’s no guarantee that I’ll know, but it feels good that people have that kind of confidence in me.

It’s rewarding when people say “I read your article,” or “I read your book”. It feels even better when they say “I especially liked the part where…”

It feels good when you go to the library to research. You say you’re working on an article that requires … and the librarian works twice as hard to dig up the references you need.

It feels good when people click “Like” on your blog. (Memo to self: Do more of that for other bloggers.)

It feels good when someone says “I sent your book to my children in South Africa” or to an aunt in Japan.

My very best reward came from a woman in South Florida (I live in the Pacific Northwest) who e-mailed me that an article I had written 25 years ago had influenced her work in the hospice ever since she read it.

Mansion? Mercedes? I’d rather be a writer. How about you? What are the rewards of writing for you?

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