Money? Ok- any published writer reading this, please feel free to laugh! I reckon if I ever did get published, it would work-out to a cent per hour of effort put in. You know, the sort of wage that even the most oppressed sweat-shop worker would turn their nose up at. Hey, I'd love to give up my day-job to write. But not if it means giving up luxuries like - let's see - food, a house with more than one room, power (and appliances that use it), clothes that are less than 10 years old, keeping a car maintained and in petrol. (Yes, I know I'm spoilt).
As a fun leisure activity? Yeah, to some extent. I enjoy being on a roll, and when a solution to a character's dilemma suddenly presents itself, it's like being on a high. But most days it's frustrating and causes eye strain. (note to self - overdue for eye check - maybe that's the cause of headaches?)
For kudos? Well, I kinda like the idea of doing a reading, particularly to small children. Well, what I would like to do is to read my work to an appreciative audience. I'm not sure that a class of restless, bored children asking why I'm not Roald Dahl fits with my successful children's writer fantasy. The reality probably would entail lots of driving and voice-strain. But I'd be lying if I said that a classful of enthralled youngsters hanging onto my every word was not a compelling image.
Actually- here's the reason. Forget about a classful. I don't need to be present when kids are exposed to my words. What I really motivates me is the thought of my words reaching the eyes of a child I'll never know or see. And the story speaking to the child. And for a short period, the child living in a world I have created. Experiencing my characters' feelings and thoughts. Identifying with their dilemma and loathing the antagonists. Cheering my character onwards, and caring very deeply about whether he or she succeeds. Turning each page with a growing sense of urgency. Being hit with a twist they never saw coming, and a resolution that they approve of - with all getting their just desserts. And finally putting down the book with a sense of satisfaction. I have experienced that through so many of my beloved books throughout my life. It peaked between the ages of 8 to 12. Grown-up books can do that, but as a child I was moved to tears and laughter far more frequently.
And if my words can recreate that experience for just one reader, then I'll feel that writing was not a waste of time and effort.