"Was writing a book worth it?"

The other night I had a coworker ask me a very interesting question. At first I wasn't sure I knew the answer, but to my surprise I had a quick response and learned a little about myself in the process.

The young man knew I'd recently published Sweet Sixteen Killer. And he had been thinking himself about possibly writing a book, but he wanted to know if I found writing a book was worth it.

At first, my obvious answer was yes. But I also jokingly said that from a financial point of view "not yet".

He further explained that he was thinking of it from others perspectives. Like, from the readers' response.

To that I had a quick and thorough response. Which surprised me.

I said:

"First and foremost, you write for you. You do it for yourself. Sure yeah, you do it for others too eventually, for your audience sake. But firstly you do it for you. When it comes to creativity and art, you do it because you want to. Because it's who you are. Because you get pleasure from it. You write for other people after that."

But what about you all? If you're an author, how would you respond to this sort of question? I was surprised I seemingly already knew the answer, even though I wasn't sure I had ever really thought about it (or at least not in a while).