Chris Gardner

The joys of self-publishing.

For Love or Money?


Do you write what you love writing or feel compelled to write? Or do you write what your publisher tells you to?

Those of you who’ve seen my books here will notice I write all kinds of things and I like doing that. I love trying new things and writing what interests me most of all. I’m also very much aware that publishers don’t like that approach to writing. If they find something that sells they want to stick with that, understandably.

My only hands-on experience with publishers has been as a co-author for three books written under a pen name and published by a US company. I wasn’t surprised by the restrictions put on us and I must admit it was a very worthwhile experience for me learning to discipline my thoughts in some way. But, although I certainly had some scope for creativity, it was work. Real work. Hardly digging ditches but very different to anything I’d done before. Not just the restrictions but also deadlines to think about.

The best thing about self-publishing is, of course, that you can write what you like. I think I’ve learnt some valuable lessons about self-discipline but the fact is whatever I choose to write next, some-one, somewhere in the world will read it! Some-one will hate it and some-one will love it. And I have no idea myself what it’ll be, but if it’s on Amazon, it will probably be something I enjoyed writing!

There’s also the compulsion, of course. My one and only non-fiction book, ‘Not Guilty’, was something I had to do. It evolved from a university thesis and I felt it was a story worth sharing with more people than just my lecturers! I also felt, after years of research and writing about Camellia McCluskey, that I needed to exorcise her from my head (and into yours, dear reader!).

Being a creative writer I was not satisfied with the factual version of the story though. I wanted to give her a life–try to make some sense of it all in a way and so I’ve written a fictionalized version of the story. I’ve included a lot of the facts but created a childhood and a life for her, before the drama that was to unfold later.

Thanks to everyone who suggested titles for me. I now have an artist working on the cover and will make a final decision when I see that. The current front-runners are ‘Hell Hath No Fury’ and ‘Retribution’.

Happy reading.

PS  On a totally unrelated note am I the only one who has trouble reading blogs with black backgrounds? Mine was originally black and when I started having migraines I eventually pinned it down to that. To everyone out there with a black background on your blog just be aware it may cause problems for some readers.

All my books are available on Amazon and most on other platforms as well. Please see the link above for more information or just check them out on Amazon.

Author: cmsgardnerblog

I'm a writer of fiction and non-fiction, for teens and adults. I live in Central Victoria, Australia and my books are available at

15 thoughts on “For Love or Money?

  1. Both. I primarily write for the love of it, but I’m in the process of transitioning to do it as a FT career and reach a point in it where I can leave my regular FT job, and just write for a living

  2. Wouldn’t it be great to write what you love for money? Submit serials to magazines like Charles Dickens and Harriet Beecher Stowe did in the old days and get paid for them? Things are different now. The articles that I have sold have been non-fiction pieces on topics about which I have some knowledge and experience. (Write what you know, right?) They were not necessarily topics I love. Nor was I in love with the writing. But maybe someday that, too, will be different. Write on and don’t abandon hope.

    • That would be great fun. I think it’s the same with all the arts now. A few people make a fortune and most make little at their art and have to work at something else.

  3. I’m glad I’m not the only one with problems over the background colors (and fonts) at some blogs. As much as I may love the content if I can’t comfortably read it, then… I love your simplicity and clean lines–makes it easy to see what’s important, the text! 🙂

    • Thanks. It’s not as snazzy as the black one I started with but now as soon as I see a black background I close whatever blog I’m trying to read. It’s a pity–maybe we can get the message out there.

  4. I’m writing for the love of it, for as long as I can afford to.

  5. Enjoy your writing, I do both, for money and for love. Sometimes both in the same piece which is nice. And I don’t like blogs with a black background either 🙂

    • It’s nice when they both happen together. I do find that even if I’m writing something purely for the cash there are times I can get creative and enjoy it.

      • The most tedious things I’ve had to write as a freelance have been the annual round-ups of what our five local authorities had been doing. ‘Hello magazine’ journalism that you were always pretty sure no one would read. The paper called in a freelance because none of the staff wanted to do it. Next to that pretty well anything else seems like fun 🙂

  6. I’ve worked as a writer most of my life, for newspapers and in advertising, but it’s never been about the money. It’s about doing what I love. The fact that I get paid for it is a bonus.

    Siimlarly, can’t say that i wrote my recent book, ‘The Wandering King’ for money. It was a story I’d been wanting to tell since college. Though I’m making a few dollars on the project, the real satisfaction comes when you are sitting down at the keyboard and creating something that captures peoples’ imagination. Finishing the book was nice, but as Homer once wrote, “The journey is the thing.”

    • Sounds ideal, Steve. I agree it’s nice to know people are reading your work, even when it’s free. I put one of mine, Inheritance, up on Amazon Select free for 5 days and almost 6,000 people downloaded it! I was thrilled to bits with those numbers–I do hope some actually read it!

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