A Writer's Worth

I have some thoughts I'd like to share today, and I hope I make sense... but first, a story. I'm not sure where I heard it, but I found it intriguing.

A speaker started off his seminar holding up a $20.00 bill. In the room of 200, he asked,"Who would like this $20 bill?" Hands started going up. He said,"I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this. He proceeded to crumple up the $20 dollar bill. He then asked, "Who still wants it?" Still the hands were up in the air. Well, he replied, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty."Now, who still wants it?" Still the hands went into the air.

"My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives,we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who DO LOVE you. The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by WHO WE ARE. You are special- Don't EVER forget it."


First, I want to draw attention to the fact that he was comparing people to money. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it, but somehow I find it interesting. We, obviously, are worth so much more than a piece of paper with numbers on it. And yet it's analogies like this, seeing something of worth to us be compared to ourselves, that remind us so poignantly how much we ought to value ourselves.

Second, why is it that reminders like this are almost necessary for us? For me, as a wife, mother, and woman in general, I find that reminders like this lift me up. When I am feeling disappointed or low, it's good to be reminded that I am of worth. 

And third, for my writer friends. So many of us write because we have a spark, a desire, something inside us telling us to write. We don't focus on the money to be made (or lack thereof) or the possible publishing contract. At least not at the beginning. We write because we love it. But I think there comes a time for all of us - revising, querying, getting rejections - when we can get discouraged. Whether it's because we aren't seeing the monetary "fruits of our labors," or because we feel like we're fighting for a lost cause, it can be difficult to work through those times.

I really like this analogy for times such as those. We value money because of what it can bring us. We ought to value ourselves, and therefore our work, even more. Not because of what it brings, but because of what it does for us.

With every word we write, we learn. With every word we cut, or change, or switch around, we learn.

Our writing teaches us.

So if you're feeling down, trying to trudge through a tough time, remember the crumpled-smashed-stepped-on-dirty $20 bill.

Would you still want it? Is it still of worth to you?

You, and your work, are worth so much more.

Write on.


1 comment

  1. Oh thank you for this post. I needed to hear it.


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