Yeah, I can hear the millions of you out there shouting:
“Where’ve you been? We’ve been waiting…”
I must admit not having comments from readers of my blog has been a little disheartening, but as one who has to swallow and digest rejections and ‘criticisms’ of her work on a regular basis, I think I’m woman enough to take it on the chin. So, I’m plodding on regardless.
Since my last blog entry, I've been thinking, reading and contemplating and have returned to this question which I have raised on more than occasion on my blog: What is a writer?
This subject was one aptly addressed by Anne Goodwin in her blog, ‘4 definitions of a writer,’ posted on her site on 16.5.13.
A few weeks ago, when reading Anne’s blog entry, I was still of the opinion that a ‘real’ writer is one who is able to earn an income from their writing. Perhaps that was my fantasy, because as pointed out to me by a friend, this definition would surely suggest that writers such as myself are not ‘real’ writers, because I have not as yet earned anything from my writing.
To confuse me even further, someone suggested to me that my definition fitted into that of a ‘professional’ writer. That is, a writer who writes for a living. This would include professional bloggers, journalists and other creative writers who are fortunate enough to be able to live off the sales of their novels and other creative works. In this one might include writers such as the late Ian Banks, Stephen King or J.K. Rowlings.
‘The big question: Do you write for love or money?’
Out of the 2500 women writers taking part in their survey 63% had received some payment for their writing at some point in their career. This amount, however, hardly covered their expenses for paper and ink cartridges. Half of the women earned nothing from their writing last year and a quarter earned under £500.00.
I’m not quite sure what the situation is for men, but those stats are not very encouraging for those of us (like myself) who hope at some point, to be able to acquire some monetary compensation in recognition of all the hard work, time and energy spent creating even a small piece of writing.
All things considered, I have come to the conclusion that there really are different types of writers, some just happen to be more ‘accomplished’ than others. Suffice to say that all writers write (and read, hopefully) and as Anne states in her blog, we edit our work, know the rules of writing, have readers etc.
Needless to say, I am in agreement with the 40% of the participants of the Mslexia survey, who felt that ‘writers should be paid for what they do…’
However, like a lot of the women in the survey I will, of course, continue writing even without monetary rewards because ultimately it’s not about the money. Writing a piece for me is like creating a new recipe, using old and new ingredients and each time aiming and hoping to create something tasty enough to stir or tickle the pallet of everyone who samples it. That is satisfaction in itself.