Monday, 7 June 2010

On Writers and Livings

Until recently there has been a miserable ecology for most writers in which they earn a pittance from their writing and also feel they're failing to make the grade, little realising how few of their peers do any better financially. Creative writers get by on running workshops, writing reviews, giving readings, and/or have day jobs, in academe or what's known as the Real World.

There's a new model emerging in which all have the right to write and put their words in public for free via blogs etc. Ripples of interest form around some, others remain essentially private documents.

The Amplified Author learns how to find the support and skills they need to improve their writing, to spread the word about it, to print some of it if they wish, to curate the ensuing relationship and, yes, to make some money from their writing and/or from the public profile it brings them. Instead of giving publishers the power to decide who is or isn't a 'real writer', there's a growing conversation between readers and writers with publishers and other respected sources helping to build reputations but not owning them. Writers have so much more control over their own destiny now, little to lose and much to gain. Having said that, many are also fixated on whatever goal (seldom involving much money) signifies success in their genre.

We need a Writers Liberation Front to help them cast off the shackles of the past and realise how the world's changed now we all got wifi access to the means of production.

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