What’s Wrong With Writing About Writing Because I Like Writing About Writing?

Writers Rock Hat

Feel free to skip this blog post. I’m getting defensive again and if that sort of thing isn’t your cup of tea, I won’t be insulted if you ignore this post completely.

Reprinted with Permission:

Dear Deb,

I see through your agenda. Why don’t you tell everyone why you really blog? You just want to make money and that’s it.



I published this letter because more and more people are writing to ask me about my “agenda” or why I blog. I’m blasted publicly and privately just about every day for earning money from this blog.

The truth is, I blog because it’s what I like to do. If you had a chance to talk about your favorite subject every day and get paid for it, would you? Then why do you blame me for doing it too? It’s like telling a best selling author he should write his book but he’s a whore for wanting royalties or an endorsement deal.

For two years I published only job leads. As the leads posts led to some interesting comments, I realized I enjoyed talking and creating discussion topics about writing. This blog wasn’t a marketing vehicle and it certainly wasn’t a money maker. It was something I liked to do.You can’t land a job with a blog filled with lists of writing leads. Don’t get me wrong, I landed clients as a result of this blog, but that wasn’t the reason I set out to do this.

Up until about six months ago, I didn’t even pull a profit with this blog. When I first hired Jodee to find leads because I was too busy with client projects, I paid her out of my pocket. Eventually anything I did earn went into the running of this blog or paying the bloggers. It wasn’t until last February or March, when I started treating this like a full time business, that I began to draw a salary. Don’t get me wrong, I worked hard to build this blog into what it is today, but that’s because I enjoy it so much. When it looked like this blog could be something special, I did everything possible to make it so.

Do I have an agenda with this blog? Considering it’s my primary source of income, I’d say making it profitable is high up there on the list. Honestly though, I blog because I like talking about writing. What’s wrong with that? Why do I constantly receive letters or read forum or blog comments blasting me about this or hinting of some hidden agenda? It’s not a vehicle to sell anything, I’m not constantly pimping projects (though for transparency sake, I do have stuff in the works), I’m not shoving my latest ebook or project in your face all the time.  I do this because it’s what I love to do.

This blog did turn out to be more than I expected. It turned into a career. It turned into consulting projects and speaking engagements and more. Do you see me promoting those businesses here? No. No I don’t. Those are cool perks that come with writing about writing.

What’s wrong with writing about writing because I enjoy writing about writing?

This isn’t a big kumbaya. I’m not looking for a bunch of “you so rock, Deb” comments, so please don’t go there. What I don’t understand and would like to discuss is why this freelance writing niche is filled with so many people who are so worried about what other writers are doing that they stoop to insulting, finger pointing and flat out nastiness. So you don’t like what I do, I respect that. I don’t like what Anne Coulter is doing but I’m not sending her hate mail either. What’s up with all the animosity?

Here is my agenda, people. I blog about writing because I enjoy it. I like discussing issues that affect writers and sharing tips with a community. I simply enjoy what I do. There. I admit it. That’s my big agenda.

That is all.






29 responses
  1. Laura Spencer Avatar

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with writing about writing simply because you like to.

    There’s also nothing wrong with wanting to earn a living through writing or blogging.

    I say, if Deb is able to do both, then more power to her!

    As someone who also writes and blogs for a living I can say that it is very hard work. I appreciate the effort put forth here.

  2. Matt Keegan Avatar

    I also enjoy writing about writing therefore I see nothing wrong with this approach. I have found some good tips on this site and elsewhere which means you shouldn’t ever feel that you have to defend what you do.

    BTW, I have a personal agenda when it comes to writing — to make money. I suppose that makes me an evil capitalist, but it works for me.

    Keep on writing!

  3. Kathryn Lang Avatar

    There is nothing wrong with doing something that you enjoy AND doing it to make money. Actors do it and don’t get grief.

    There is nothing wrong with helping people AND making money. Teachers do it almost every day and no one says they are greedy.

    Write because it is your passion. Make money because you write something that others need, want or enjoy.

  4. Damaria Senne Avatar

    I’m going to email my plumber:
    Dear Owen
    I see through your agenda. Why don’t you tell everyone why you really fix drains, toilets and sinks? You just want to make money and that’s it.


    OK, now that I’ve got that silliness out of me, it strikes me that if this blog is profitable for you, then it makes it easier for you to spend more time on it and provide readers with quality content. Which is to our benefit, no?

  5. Sharon Hurley Hall Avatar

    I also enjoy writing about writing and hope to make some income from my blog, so I don’t see anything wrong with doing both. If your blog weren’t profitable you would have time to post as often as you do, which would be a big loss.

  6. Deb Avatar

    Thanks all. Again, it wasn’t meant to be a love fest.

    Why do you think so many freelance writers take exception to another writers happiness or success? Insecurity? Jealousy? Self righteousness?

    1. Miko Holt Avatar

      I remember my uncle who is a world-renowned Chef say to me: “Well, Kid i’m doing what I love to do and I GET PAID FROM IT”. Well all want to make money! Bills don’t stop coming in. And why NOT make money from what you love the most! It’s the American Dream Baby! 🙂 Great post

  7. Genesis Avatar

    How dare you earn money at something you enjoy! Don’t you realize that most people don’t get to do that? So really, you shouldn’t be allowed to be making money with something that everyone else finds useful AND you enjoy, that would just be too much. 😉

  8. Kathleen K. O'Connor Avatar
    Kathleen K. O’Connor

    I think it all boils down to jealousy. People are jealous of your success, and it makes them bitter to see you finally making a living off of your blog. I think you just have to focus on your projects and ignore the haters. Your supporters will continue to be here for you.

    Some lame-o writers worry so much about what other writers are doing because they obviously aren’t putting enough effort into their marketing and building their own businesses. If they were more worried about themselves than other people, it would do them good. Unfortunately, some people can’t stand to see others succeed so they do their best to shut them up.

  9. Uncle Ron Avatar


    I have no idea why some people are so petty they have to tear down what others do. Envy? Maybe. Maybe by tearing someone else down, they feel better about themselves. It’s common, and not just about blogs. I’ve heard these petty types try to tear someone down because they bought a new car, live in a really nice house or get a great new job. I say, more power to them and more power to you.

    Perhaps it would make you feel better if you compared the amount of hate mail you get with the total number of people who visit FWJ. I bet it’s a really small percentage.

  10. Eileen Rivera Avatar
    Eileen Rivera

    I think some people feel jealous that they didn’t come up with an idea first or maybe that they are trying to do the same thing as you but are not finding as much success. Either way, you don’t deserve to be their punching bag. As a newbie freelance writing, I have found this site invaluable and if there was a way to make you spend even more time on giving us advise and pointers, I’d be all for it. It saddens me to think that some people don’t appreciate the valuable tools that your website and others like it offer and instead would like to see them gone.

  11. JulieF Avatar

    I was going to comment. It grew so long I just gave up and posted my own thoughts on my blog. This whole thing has been a burr in my butt for months.

  12. Amy Hill Schaffer Avatar

    Since when is wanting to make money an “agenda,” anyway?

  13. Phil Avatar

    Hopefully, people like what they do…too much time spent on it otherwise.

    And, business is business. Business is not charity. Though utilities aren’t my favorite entities (local ones rejected me several times for jobs, 3 times on Indiana side, 3 times on Illinois side); I find it laughable when people complain about their profits. That’s why they’re in business. Same with financial institutions. Now if they are doing something illegal or unethical or lying to customers to make those profits, that’s something else.

    Heck, McDonald’s isn’t in business for the love of burgers. FedEx doesn’t get high on delivering packagages. It’s great that you like what you do. I generally do, too, though there are some clients I have because I need the income. I see nothing wrong with that. What are the people complaining doing, working for free?

  14. LIsa Avatar

    how odd. I sure wouldn’t sweat comments like that if I were in your shoes! you can just shrug your shoulders all the way to the bank!


  15. Marian Avatar

    Your agenda is to make a living writing a blog about writing.
    It’s a good and positive agenda. And even better than that you are succeeding.

  16. Dave Doolin Avatar


    That’s precious. “See through your agenda…”

    Here’s my disclaimer: I write only to make money. I write comments on blogs in the hope that people will visit my web site and spend money buying my stuff or paying me lots of money to help them out. I’m in it for the money, honey, and don’t you forget it.

    BTW, Deb, you so rock!

    @Julie – “burr in my butt”?

    1. JulieF Avatar

      Freelancers tearing down others.

  17. Jennifer L Avatar

    Please forgive me for giggling a little bit at the email you received, Deb. Obviously the emailer meant to be malicious, but it really just comes across as being silly.

    Raise your hand, anyone, if you are not at all concerned about making any money from any of your writing? Hmmmm, let’s see…anyone? Anyone?

  18. Kathryn Lang Avatar

    It depends on HOW you make your money that other writers view as good or bad. Selling books to readers is fine. Selling books and information to other writers means you are just out for a buck.

    That’s my first guess. Kindof like, “You are getting your fortune by stepping on the backs of all of the little guys.” Not that I feel that way personally. But I guess I can see how some others might feel that way.

    I say, as long as I get what I want and you get what you want then the transaction is fair and successful.

  19. Kat Avatar


    I cheer every time I read you standing up for yourself, what you do and believe in as a professional writer, and the integrity you display personally (whether you’re highlight your strengths or presenting your weaknesses so others might benefit.

    Keep on keeping on…and more power to you!


    1. Kat Avatar

      Okay…before someone slams me. I see the typos…and frankly don’t care tonight. I’m in cheering mode for Deb!

  20. lornadoone Avatar

    I’m curious as to why none of the detractors are commenting on this post. It seems like the perfect opportunity to air their grievances, doesn’t it? If they have so much to say about what you’re doing, why not speak up when called out on it?

  21. Jodee Avatar

    Short answer to your question: There is absolutely nothing wrong with writing about writing or anything else you want to on your own blog.

    I would be very interested to find out why someone would take time out of their day to send you hate e-mail. Do they feel so icky about themselves that they need to go after someone else to make themselves feel better? I’d really like to know.

    1. JulieF Avatar

      Jodee- jealousy and ‘keyboardkourage’. Discussed this with Deb before, she’s not as crude as I am, though. Pretty sure the same people doing the vicious writing/emails/IMs would benefit from getting a life.

      Disagreeing is one thing. Being off-color is, too. Straight out nastiness just proves they’re enjoying the drama- sort of like their personal reality series.

  22. Heiddi Avatar

    Well Deb, either people are jealous, have too much time on their hands or some other third thing is going on. As you did with this site, I started The Freshman Writer for the love of writing and wanting to share that info with other writers. Nothing wrong with that at all and if you do make money from it, imagine all of the hours you put in already that you WEREN’T paid for. There will always be people wanting to knock you down, Deb, but remember there are a lot more people ready to give you a hand up. 🙂

  23. T Avatar

    I think other writers are jealous–and possibly frightened. Why frightened? Because if you look at the numbers, it’s actually a very small percentage of freelancers who make a living wage. And as we all know, the writing landscape is changing; the old models don’t always apply today. People are probably scared of being left behind in the (non-paying) dust, and what easier way to vent worries than to attack someone who has obviously figured out how to succeed? I believe the ultimate goal is to do what you love and get paid for it, and I appreciate the tips and help offered here.

  24. asithi Avatar

    I have been called some nasty names as well and wanting cheap people out of their money. Hah – as if I am going to get rich from the $5 a month a make from the advertising on my blog. It’s hurtful and annoying, but I try not to take it personal. There will always be people who are afraid of other people’s passions.

  25. Jimmie Effler Avatar

    Aw, this was a really nice post. In idea I would like to put in writing like this additionally – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and by no means seem to get something done.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.