Before you rip me a new one, let me explain.
I, personally, don’t care if I get paid for my writing. Sure, money would be nice. Hell, winning the lottery would be nice. But I have a good job. Not only do I enjoy what I do for a living, but I also get along with my co-workers rather well. In addition, I get excellent benefits, regular pay raises and a bonus.
(Oh, by the way, the scare of losing my job has passed. We made it!)
Regardless of whether my job is in jeopardy or not, I (personally) still wouldn’t expect to get paid for my writing.
There’s no weird psychosis going on here, folks. Believe me, if someone got it in their head to pay me for a story, I’d take it. I would not subsequently lose interest in my writing, because someone decides to pay me for it. (H/T The Blue Candle Society).
But I wouldn’t expect it.
This: I’m not qualified.
If you compare any of my stories with writers that are making a living from writing, you’d see a very distinct difference. It is called experience and training, which invariably looks a lot like a professional product. Funny thing, I have loads of experience and training in my real job and, lo and behold, I am quite a professional. Good for me!
I like to write (badly) and I do want to share what I write, so that’s what I plan to do. Share my work. And since I know it is not up to anyone’s standard, I’ll probably offer it for free.
(ducks incoming rotten tomatoes)
Am I lowering the bar for all writers out there? Am I flooding the market with crap?
Yup and yup.
I don’t mean to, but writing is my hobby, and, well, it would be nice to share it. It’s like hobby painters. You wouldn’t tell them not to paint their generic, sloppy landscape scenes and sell them at flea markets, would you?
Every writer’s journey is different. Those who plan to become professional novelists should demand decent pay for their work, and get it. They shouldn’t have to put up with publishing contracts that are glorified vanity-press deals, nor should an experienced journalist write for exposure.
But for those of us out here that view writing as a hobby, we shouldn’t feel bad about offering our stuff for free. I think the public can tell the difference between our efforts and the real thing. And where that distinction starts to blur, well, that probably means that particular product is getting up to standard, and should be priced accordingly. I have faith the market will ensure that professional writers get fair deals – as long as we, as readers, are willing to support them.
So what am I saying?
Stop reading hacks like me and check out Michael J. Sullivan‘s Kickstarter project! Hollow World is very much worth your support. His career is a fine example of readers showing the market where they want to spend their money.
Until later, get paid.
MORE FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
- New Writers, eBook Publishers, and the Power to Negotiate
- The Truth About Freelance Writing (anjalienjeti.com)
- Why no one wants to pay for writing (wordspicturesmusic.wordpress.com)