RARA-AVIS: Writting for Money

From: Sharon Villines ( sharonvillines@prodigy.net)
Date: 10 Feb 2000

> Writers often write for money; they did then and they do now. but they
> don't do it because they think its an easy way to make a living, or because
> they think they've spotted a formula that will enable them to "write by the
> numbers." Writing fiction is what they want to do, and they hope they can
> get paid for doing it. The fact that these folks were market savvy and eager
> to earn a dollar doesn't mean that they were just a bunch of guys banging out
> words they thought would bring in some coin, nor that their writing choices
> were mostly market driven.

A very good point. Whenever you hear a writer say their work isn't their best or isn't the real stuff or they just do it because someone told them to, hear instead a defense of work that they fear (or know) is not taken seriously by some group or the other.

I think this is why journalists are often happier writers than those who came out literature departments. The journalists judge writing against a much different and far more realistic set of standards than literature professors, most of whom have never written a word or even taken a set of books and tried to determine the standards for which are "good" and which are "bad." They are only applying as best they can what they have been taught.


Sharon Villines, Butler
The MacGuffin Guide to Mystery Fiction

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