I wouldn't really buy me an exotic pet, just pay off the car loan and take a vacation or two.
I don't know how anybody has the stamina to keep writing. They're either totally insane or they have voices in their heads (NOT the same thing). When you write a novel, you put in thousands of hours, and the chances of getting any kind of financial compensation for your work are pretty slim. I don't know anybody besides SAHMs who willingly takes on that kind of work for about a 0.25% chance of getting paid.
Besides the annoyance of being a volunteer slave, many of us could actually use the money. You know, to pay bills and other luxuries. We may have fellow writers and family members cheering us on, but when it comes right down to it, we have to put our own butts in the chair without any encouragement from bosses or, you know, a paycheck.
Last week I decided I wanted to actually report some income to the IRS this year, so I sent off two magazine queries, hoping to land an assignment. I entered a contest, too, because luckily for me, I found a contest that matches a story I'd already written.
I don't know if my efforts will pay off or not, but if it does, chances are it will happen a lot sooner than it would waiting for a novel contract. Also it will happen much sooner than getting a patent for the self-cleaning kids I'm going to invent.
Do you do anything crazy to earn pocket change?