Tuesday, March 03, 2009

For the money?

Apparently there's a bit of a hoo-hah in literature land because Colm Toibin says he doesn't enjoy writing, he just does it for the money.*

AL Kennedy -one of my heroes - had this to say on writing professionally:

"Sex = nice thing. Sex For Cash = probably less fun, perhaps morally uncomfy and psychologically unwise."

(More here.)

What do you think? Does the cash taint the pure expression of one's Ahrt? Or are we all grubby whores at the end of the day?

In other news, Nathan Bransford is positive about the future of publishing - only everything's going to change. I think I'm cheering on that revolution.

*Edit: Sorry, I slightly misunderstood Toibin's point. He said the money is the only part of writing that he enjoys. Basically, he's saying that the process is not enjoyable.

7 comments:

Craig Sorensen said...

As one who does something other than write for money I look at it this way:

I enjoy my nine to five job, and it pays the bills. It actually pays quite decently.

But every morning I get up early and write, because I love it.

Weekends too.

I always have to drag myself from the computer to go to my job. Simply put, I'd love it more if I could write all day.

Every job has its aggravations, but I'd trade in my current nine to five aggravations for writing aggravations in a heartbeat.

And this might leave me writing things that are lest "artistic" than my full potential. But nothing would be stopping me from writing my to my full potential as well.

Unless you're filthy rich, you gotta pay them bills. To do so while having a job you truly love is heaven.

Period.

Erobintica said...

Interesting range of answers to that question on the link. Sometimes writing is a pleasure and sometimes a chore - just like most things in life. Some of us write because we have to. It just seems like breathing.

So does money mess it up? I'll let you know if I ever start making any real money at writing. Oh, I've gotten contributor's copies of poetry journals and links from online places. But I've yet to have someone hand me cash (figuratively speaking) for something.

Yeah, the publishing world is changing very rapidly - but I think that's okay. It will be interesting if nothing else.

Nikki Magennis said...

Hi Craig. Thanks for your thoughts.

I s'pose it's only in the last century or so that the idea of purity and high art developed. Very Romantic, isn't it? Back in the day, everyone was a craftsman and worked for money.

And hi, Robin! I'm currently doing a bit of research into that compulsive aspect of writing - hypergraphia, it's called.

T. Elle Harrison said...

At this point in my life I don't think that I really have a choice when it comes to writing. I have to do it. But like anything else when you are forced to do it with deadlines and the like things change. I imagine that after awhile it will feel a bit like prostitution. Especially if you end up being pigeoned into a specific genre.

Nikki Magennis said...

Hi Elle.

It's a funny one. Maybe because when you write you're selling your thoughts, pieces of your mind, in a way. Which is incredible and awful, depending on how you look at it.

Shanna Germain said...

I'm a grubby whore all day long...

Oh, wait, is that what you're asking?

Neve Black said...

I'm laughing at Shanna's comments above here.

It's funny that I landed on your page Nikki, because I've finished going through 102 e-mail messages from a writer's group/publisher I'm involved in. Obviously, I'm not very diligent about logging in.

The group topic was: How to self-promote your book. Whew! This part of this business is both interesting and exhausting. I beginning to wonder if I'm ever going to have time to write again.

Oh, wouldn't it be nice to win the lottery and write whenever I wanted to write? There would be no deadlines; no necessary book promoting and no grammar. Yah! Okay, I'm kidding about the last one. Sort of.

p.s. spam word: frisk. You'll have to frisk me for my winning lotto ticket!