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#MicroblogMondays 44: Money or Accolades

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Nathan Bransford asked a question a few months ago that comes up again and again and again on the Internet, but it’s a good one:

When it comes to your creative work (in this case, a book), “would you take money or an award?”

It’s popularity or prestige. It’s fame or skill. It’s money or accolades. You only get one.

Pick your poison.  I mean… uh… reward.

Would you rather have your creative work sell like hotcakes while you’re alive but burn out and be forgotten in the future, or have your work not sell well but stand the test of time?


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1. Shilpa 11. Isabelle 21. Traci York, Writer
2. Mali (No Kidding in NZ) 12. illustr8d 22. Gil (The Hardest Quest)
3. Mali (A Separate Life) 13. Madhavi 23. S
4. Cathy @ Still Waters 14. Casey 24. One and Done?
5. Middle Girl 15. Unpregnant Chicken 25. Good Families Do
6. Sweet are the uses of Adversity 16. Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal) 26. Jessica
7. Solo Mama 17. Wide Eyed in Wonder 27. deathstar
8. Loribeth (The Road Less Travelled) 18. Mary Francis 28. Kasey
9. Lori Lavender Luz 19. Ke Anne
10. My Path To Mommyhood (Jess) 20. Daryl


1 Mali { 06.29.15 at 7:14 am }

Right now, I’d choose money. Sadly, necessity wins out. Though if money wasn’t the object, I’d rather write really really well.

2 Valery Valentina { 06.29.15 at 7:48 am }

most times when viewing works of art by artist who lived poor lives, I feel so sorry they missed out on their fame. At the same time I get uncomfortable when an artist now is making a truckload of money for art I do not understand/value (say, with diamond skulls)

3 Middle Girl { 06.29.15 at 7:57 am }

I want my work to be considered good, excellent even. A legacy for my son and daughter, perhaps.

4 nina michelle { 06.29.15 at 8:11 am }

It would be nice to leave a legacy for my kids.

5 Lindsay | Solo Mama { 06.29.15 at 8:42 am }

I’d choose success while I’m here to enjoy it, in the here and now.

6 loribeth { 06.29.15 at 8:58 am }

It would be nice to be remembered after I’m gone. On the other hand, it would also be nice to have some extra $$ while I’m here to enjoy it. πŸ˜‰ Particularly since I don’t have any kids to pass it along to anyway. So I’d probably take & fame and fortune in the here & now, if I was really forced to choose.

7 Shilpa { 06.29.15 at 9:04 am }

I would love to choose money during the initial stage as it would help me to become independent ..

8 Ana { 06.29.15 at 9:20 am }

The here and now and the cold hard cash. I’m not much interested in a “legacy”

9 Jess { 06.29.15 at 9:22 am }

Oh man, this is tough. Because those lucky few, the JK Rowlings, for example, get to have both. I think I’m going to cheat. I’m going to say the award and legacy, with the hopes that maybe the money comes in in my retirement? I like the idea of writing something lasting, but the money is awfully nice, too. It’s such a small number of books that truly stand the test of time when put up against the huge number of books that are published now. I think it would be nice to be one of them.

10 Isabelle { 06.29.15 at 10:35 am }

I think I’d also choose money…

11 Isabelle { 06.29.15 at 11:03 am }

And then, my husband wants an award. I told him that good thing his wife wants money… so she could give him some. πŸ˜‰

12 illustr8d { 06.29.15 at 11:21 am }

I think this gets chosen for me. As the sort of writing I do, fantasy, is less likely to win things like Pulitzers or PENs, etc. But I also consider awards to be too political, often. Maybe not always, but often. I don’t know that I’d earn much money, either.

I think we have to write what we’re called to write. And let whatever happens from it happen.

13 Lori Lavender Luz { 06.29.15 at 12:08 pm }

I say this from a place of privilege (I don’t depend on the sales of my book to feed my family): I’d rather have it leave a mark in an enduring way.

What’s your answer, Mel? I have a guess what it is.

14 Mel { 06.29.15 at 12:10 pm }

I’d take the here and now. Whatever I get in this lifetime. I don’t look ahead to the afterward; I focus on the here and now. So I’d want to know that people like my creation now vs. having it last forever.

The answer you expected, Lori… or not?

15 Lori Lavender Luz { 06.29.15 at 12:27 pm }

I expected the opposite!

Actually, I want to change my answer, too. I was thinking more along the lines of money vs acclaim. But on second look this is more like attention now vs attention later (after my life is over).

16 Kaeleigh { 06.29.15 at 12:37 pm }

being as Im an author too I can say I have thought this through and have ALWAYS known that I would rather sell like gangbusters now and if I’m forgotten later then that’s life. I want to be on best sellers lists, I want to be on every book clubs shelf… I want you to LOVE the story and read it multiple times. I don’t even care if critics like it much at all! I want the work to be enjoyed by people! And if that means I don’t get to be “literary”, so be it. πŸ˜‰

17 Regina Martins { 06.29.15 at 12:44 pm }

Now that’s a tough question!
Right now I’d go for the money… If the book is really good and sells like hotcakes then the award could come later – it would be a bonus though πŸ™‚

18 Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal) { 06.29.15 at 1:15 pm }

I want to make good work. I’d also like to get compensated for that work. I don’t think I need a prize for that. Just because you don’t get an award doesn’t mean you haven’t created something of value.

19 Daryl { 06.29.15 at 2:43 pm }

I want my writing to be good. When I look at certain books/authors that are popular these days, a lot of times, the writing is crap. I want people to love what I’ve written, but is it terribly snobbish of me to say I don’t trust the judgement of a lot of people? I’d rather be highly acclaimed by a few than gobbled up by many, even if that means missing out on fame and fortune. Which probably does make me a total snob, but that’s my answer.

20 Traci York { 06.29.15 at 2:55 pm }

My poison… err, I mean, reward, would be the money here and now. I see my writing as something I enjoy, but I don’t consider it to be any kind of great literary effort. I see my three kidlets as my legacy – hopefully my writing will eventually yield enough cash to bring them out to dinner on occasion. πŸ˜‰

21 Sharon { 06.29.15 at 2:56 pm }

Money, honey. I don’t care about accolades. . . much.

22 Amel { 06.29.15 at 3:18 pm }

Money. Then I’ll tell hubby to quit his job and we’ll be travelling around the world ‘coz I can write anywhere. πŸ™‚

23 Turia { 06.29.15 at 3:26 pm }

The here and now. I would want my work to allow me to spoil the people I love while I’m alive. I love many many authors who will never be literary giants, but they have changed my life with their words.

I am so muddled right now and out of routine I forgot today was Monday! I’m not going to label my post as a microblog, because it’s not short. But I’ll try to get back into the swing of things soon.

24 Jennifer { 06.29.15 at 4:39 pm }

Isn’t it about the money? If you really want your book to be read and loved and didn’t care about the money then you would not charge for it, right?

25 Justine { 06.29.15 at 9:25 pm }

I’d prefer long-lasting love. This isn’t much of a surprise, though, given that I only have a few close friends…I suspect they go hand in hand. πŸ™‚

26 Jessica { 06.29.15 at 9:34 pm }

I think famous people become richer when their fame brings in more cash. If this was like a chicken and egg cycle, I think fame starts it. With fame, cash follows? There are ordinary rich people who were never famous, but sweated it out for their money.

27 Kasey { 06.30.15 at 10:06 am }

I’d take money now.
Interestingly I just came across this topic last night. I finally got Pioneer Girl the Annotated Autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder from the library – it’s been on hold forever. In the forward LIW’s daughter Rose says her mother wrote the book hoping for prestige rather than money. Although it doesn’t clarify prestige during her lifetime or after.
Does your answer change if the question is accolades awards critical acclaim during your life time with no money vs. making a lot of money but not the fame?

28 Ann Z { 06.30.15 at 10:14 am }

So, if this had been hypothetical, the answer would absolutely be that I would want money and for the book to sell really, really well. But for my actual book, I just want the accolades. I knew going in that it would never sell well. For a long time, I had no intentions of writing it – I’m not a writer. But I just wanted the book to exist, and it does. And now that it’s out there, I’d rather have the accolades.

29 JustHeather { 07.01.15 at 1:32 pm }

Aww, crud! I forgot Monday again!
Not a writer and can’t see any of my arts and crafts really selling or getting accolades, but I’d love the money.

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