From Chapter 27 of Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
“You can do better than this, Jo. Aim at the highest, and never mind the money.”
“I think the money is the best part of it. What will you do with such a fortune?” asked Amy, regarding the magic slip of paper with a reverential eye.
“Send Beth and Mother to the seaside for a month or two,” answered Jo promptly.
To the seaside they went, after much discussion, and though Beth didn’t come home as plump and rosy as could be desired, she was much better, while Mrs. March declared she felt ten years younger. So Jo was satisfied with the investment of her prize money, and fell to work with a cheery spirit, bent on earning more of those delightful checks. She did earn several that year, and began to feel herself a power in the house, for by the magic of a pen, her `rubbish’ turned into comforts for them all. The Duke’s Daughter paid the butcher’s bill, A Phantom Hand put down a new carpet, and the Curse of the Coventrys proved the blessing of the Marches in the way of groceries and gowns.
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Now, I do not mean this to be, in any way, discouraging to all you aspiring romance writers. Not in the slightest. Because, to be honest, I would (and have done) write if I were paid nothing. I might not write for someone … other than myself … were I not paid for it, but I would write. It is rather a compulsion, for me.
So why do I say I don’t mean this to be discouraging? Because, as it was for Jo, writing historical romance only helps pay the bills. It is not something upon which I can depend entirely for my income. Not even close.
The truth is, very few writers exist purely on their writing. If they do, they’ve either hit pay dirt with some runaway hit, like J.K Rowling or Stephanie Meyer, or they write constantly, picking up freelance work and/or writing columns. It is incredibly hard work.
So, although I have been fortunate enough to have duped someone (heh) into publishing my work, I do not write for the fame and/or fortune. I write for the love of it. I always have. And I always will.