On Writing · Publishing

Penny-Anne Beaudoin on a hot topic: Do Writers Have the Right to be paid?


In response to a blog (http://vanessashields.posterous.com/tuesdays-truths-times-two-part-two) I wrote about whether or not writers have the ‘right’ to be paid, my wise and wonderful friend, Penny-Anne Beaudoin, had this to say:


Like every other occupation, writers deserve to be paid for their work. Only, writing isn’t like every other occupation, or even any other occupation. It is a profession that closely resembles mental illness – we spend the vast majority of our time in our own little worlds communing with creatures of our own imagination. In any other circumstance, that would be more than sufficient cause to break out the butterfly nets. So it’s no wonder people have trouble understanding writing and are unsure how to value it. We change passion into ink, give vocabulary to unspeakable memories, slap the world in the face to make it pay attention, then open our arms to heal it. What kind of price tag can be placed on that?

And writers themselves are notoriously ambivalent about money. We dream of making it big, or least making enough money so we can focus solely on our craft. And yes, we bask in the affirmation that comes with being well paid for our work. But deep down we know if we never made a nickel from writing, still we would write. If we never won a contest, never published a piece, never saw any grant money, still we would write. It is the nature of our illness, the price of our passion.

The truth is, we have no choice.

Thank you, Penny-Anne. I whole-heartedly agree. (PS. I can pay you for your eloquent response.)


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