“Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, and then for a few close friends, and then for money.” – Moliere

Depending on what stage of your career you’re at (as a writer), that likely made you either laugh or cry. Or perhaps give a melodramatic sigh of “ain’t that the truth?”

Either way, our motivating factors for choosing to write and choosing what to write change over time. Is it fair to say, then, that writing as an act of reflecting on our lives is a way to grow and flourish as an individual? Perhaps you haven’t thought of the simple act of putting ink on paper as such a substantial part of how people learn.

For Love

Let’s reflect on what we learned from that last relationship.

Poetry, witty and introspective aphorisms, journal entries and the like live in this territory of writing. It’s romantic, carefree and has no deadlines. We do it for ourselves and only share if we decide to. Most of the time, it’s for our eyes only. If you ever remember a time when you might have done this, dig it up and read it — you’ll see just how far you’ve come since then. You may also see the exact point at which you sold your soul.

For a Few Close Friends


Can you help me write the content for my website?

Can you quickly go over my resume?

Would you mind proofreading my entrance essay and adding in a few things?


Well, you’re my friend I’m not going to say no. I can’t let you submit that without my professional expertise brushing through it.

Sound familiar? You’re in the transition period. You still have enough love for the craft not to charge your friends for a bit of work here and there, yet you’re not tainted enough to treat it like a job and ask for money. This period usually doesn’t last very long. Fear not. You’ll be either rejecting them or asking for money in no time.

For Money

I need 500 variations of the same headline in three hours.

Can you have that website copy done by Monday? The same exact content in five different tones?

Your next assignment is ghostwriting a new e-book, better get started.

Now it’s down to nothing but business. You’ve drifted to the other end of the ocean that separates this land from the one of poetry and feelings. Now you’re following exact instructions with a deadline and an invoice at the end. Ghostwriting? That’s all the work with zero credit. No one knows you wrote that bestseller, and you’re not allowed to disclose to anyone that you did. But you’re a real writer now! Take your cheque and be on your way.