Determining your time worth, or how much you should be paid per hour, is a tricky subject. You often need to go into education, experience, competitive advantage and more. However, there is an alternative component to also consider. In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the top rung is self-actualization. This theory states that after people’s needs for safety, food, belonging, and esteem are taken care of there is only self-actualization left. This final layer can be thought of as expressing yourself or exploring your own beliefs / spirituality. Writing often falls to this category as most writers can’t make a living from their writing. They write because they are exploring their thoughts and beliefs and want to share those discoveries.
So how do you measure your time’s worth against obtaining this final need? It’s tricky, but I think it still needs to be done. Once again, I think this goes back to defining what success means. If you are looking for absolution of your ideas, then reviews should be your focus. If that’s the case, how much writing do you need to complete before getting those reviews? How many hours of your life is worth a single review?
Another way of justifying your self-actualization is through sales. This is tricky when you add in promotion because it becomes difficult to determine the causing factor of the sale. I would normally shy away from justifying a writer career with money, but if you desire, here is a website that will show you what your time is worth to yourself. (I think this quiz is fantastic)
Fans and Writer Groups
I think that this is the most natural fit for most authors. This is different than a review, because there is a lot of dialog happening outside of the review system between the author and the fan or writing group. This is also hard to measure your time against, as it can be in such small increments.