Need or Want? Which Is Best For Writers?
They say necessity is the mother of invention. If you need to write to make a living and pay your bills do you find it easier than if you are financially secure and write because you want to? Which drives creativity better, need or want?
Some people, and I count myself among them, don’t operate too well under pressure. Looming deadlines and loud managers are not for me. I need the shackles off in order to create. I write because I want to. I do it for the love. But all that is about to change, and in future I will be looking to my writing to provide me with an income. That is a scary thing since it will mean a change in emphasis — I will still be writing because I want to but I will also be writing because I need to. Once need comes into the equation pressure will start to build. As long as the desire remains it should be possible to balance that equation, but should that pressure become too great it can start to nibble away at your desire and erode it to the point where suddenly you realize you no longer want to write. That would be my nightmare scenario: to lose the love.
We are all different though, and some people thrive under pressure. Douglas Adams was like that. If left to his own devices he’d lounge around doing anything but writing. It was only when he was given imminent deadlines and had people howling at him that he knuckled down to it and let his genius get to work. That is the polar opposite of how I function.
So in answer to the question “Need or Want?”, it comes down to knowing yourself and finding the way that works best for you. Indie authors have to strike a balance. They can’t afford to lose their love of writing, they must keep on wanting to write. Yet they need to write in order to keep a roof over their heads and that kind of pressure does not sit well with everyone. Once you’re established and generating a steady income it all becomes that much easier but for those starting out on the journey the need can outweigh the desire. If you can handle that in the early years then you can gradually start to shift the emphasis back towards want. If you want!