I recently read an article on The Spectator titled, ‘Why English writers accept being treated like dirt.‘ The author of the article, Nick Cohen, writes eloquently on the subject of writers being expected to work for ‘exposure’ rather than actual pay (bringing up the Oxford Literary Festival and their treatment of writers), and how this pushes the viability of writing for a living in to something only within the grasp of ‘those whose parents are wealthy enough to subsidise them.’
Before I started writing a novel I knew it was gong to be hard work, but nothing could have prepared me for quite how much time and effort it entails. I already knew going in, that any money I made from selling copies wouldn’t equate to anywhere near the numbers of hours I put in to writing it. But having experienced the process now, I’m completely gobsmacked at how low the value of writing actually is. I think that if I took the time I used writing my novel as an unknown author, and instead used it to sit in the street with a sign asking for small change, I would come away with more money.
Cohen’s closing statement says it all:
‘Pay the bloody writer.’
© 2016, Gavin Zanker. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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