A paltry paid neurosis
An article by Blake Morrison on GuardianUnlimted today draws attention to two recent surveys which found that 60 percent of writers earn less than 10k per year! And yet most people I know who aren't wise to most of writing's seeming aversion to the old sponduliks, seem to think that by writing one book all will be well thereafter. I think I've mentioned this in an earlier post, but this gap in perception and reality is fuelled by two things - the publishing industry's convenient reluctance not to correct the largely erroneous oft-reported six figure publishing deals. Such deals are achieved only by a handful of consistently achieving authors, and those who make the bestseller list once then disappear with each subsequent novel. And the second factor seems to be writers coyness at talking figures, through cultural inhibitions/etiquette and perhaps embarassment. It is true. Writing does indeed need to be some sort of neurosis! Or maybe it's just a combination of needing to turn experience into something more understandable; a re-shaping of the world, and the need for a long, hard challenge that requires an inordinate amount of persistence. And creativity.