Writers Worth: Everything’s Relative

Cathy Miller is one of my closest friends. I’ve never met her, but it’s hard not to like a successful, hard-working freelance writer who’s going about her business quietly while totally owning her space.

In this her third post for this Writers Worth Month (it’s a record — thank you, Cathy!), Cathy reiterates the idea of $100K earnings and how that relates (or doesn’t) to your individual worth in a way only Cathy can present it.

Writers Worth: Everything’s Relative

by Cathy Miller

My dad was the quintessential southern gentleman. I love sharing what I call his “southernisms”. Those sometimes quirky − often hilarious − southern sayings that define a situation.

One we heard often growing up was – everything’s relative. I think of that particular southernism whenever I read “must” edicts on freelancing advice blogs.

  • Must earn $100,000 to be successful
  • Must be on Facebook (Pinterest, Amazon, what-have-you)
  • Must post to your blog three times a week (twice a week, once a week, what-have-you)
Must be a Maybe

What do I mean by that? Let’s use the examples above.
  • What if your situation doesn’t require $100,000? Maybe you had a successful corporate career and success to you means more time with your kids (or grandkids). Maybe your less than 6-figure salary is more than adequate for your current needs. Does that make you a less successful writer?
  • What if the platform you choose is NOT Facebook? Or any of the other “must be on” platforms. What if the one where you hang out happens to be the same one used by your target market? Does that make you a less successful writer?
  • What if you don’t post three times a week? What if your blog community prefers once a month? Or enjoy your posts no matter how frequently (or not) you post? Does that make you a less successful writer? 

Individual Worth

Perhaps the hang-up is mine. I hate being told I must do something. I blame it on my middle-child-of-seven syndrome. I seek recognition as an individual and avoid doing something simply because everyone else is.

You measure writers worth by what’s important to you. There’s nothing wrong with setting a six-figure goal if that’s your goal. I remember the feeling when I hit that target in my corporate days. I also remember the years after as some of the unhappiest in my life.

Identify what’s important to you. Sounds simple but that’s not always true. Plenty of people want to tell you how you define success. Distractions are all around you. Discover your worth and go after it.

Henry David Thoreau (a pretty decent writer) said:

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”
Words are a gift. Writers worth is the vessel that shares them with the world.


Cathy Miller has a business writing blog at Simply stated business. Her blog, Why 60 Miles, is in the early stages and inspired by her passion for walking 60 miles in 3 days to support research for finding a cure for cancer.

About the author




  • Cathy Miller May 28, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    Thanks, Lori. You are also very special. I so appreciate your efforts to help us through your Writers Worth month.

  • Sharon Hurley Hall May 28, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Wise words, Cathy. Sure, there's plenty of advice out there, but only YOU can decide what is most important for you.

  • Lori Widmer May 28, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Exactly, Sharon! There's so much information floating around, and not all of it fits.

    Cathy, thanks. 🙂

  • Ashley May 28, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    What a great quote, Cathy, and so true. Money can't buy happiness and it is only one measurement of many when it comes to success. Some people don't even count it as a measurement of success at all. Like you, I was making the highest salary of my career when I left to become a freelance writer. Not only am I happier now, I'm also more successful in the things that matter to me most. The paycheck is only one measurement of the things I count as success.