Monday, November 17, 2014

Wanted: Starving Artists, Not Professional Artists

I know that I spend a lot of time here on the blog preaching about professionalism in this business. It is 100% true that we want people who are truly professional about their writing and their careers in publishing. We don't want the "hacks" of the world who cannot work with editors, agents, art departments, business departments, their fellow writers, and certainly their readers. We want that level of professionalism. But... We want those starving artists.

This is not about the money issue. This is, instead, about the passion and the drive we see in those starving artists. These are those people who believe so much in their craft, they will live in states of near poverty just to devote everything they have for their craft.

I have a friend who does theatre and has her Equity card from the time she spent in the New York theatres. She is often working 7 days a week, holding down two jobs just to live her passion. This is a drive and a dedication we want to see in our writers.

Think too about many other professions out there - teaching for example. These are people who give 110% for some of the lowest salaries out there. The nation screams about how important education is, and these people believe in that so much they give everything they have for little pay.

Writers, however, who spend more time thinking about the money, have forgotten what put them into this business. It was that excitement and thrill of creating those characters and those scenes. It was that feeling of being a starving artist.

Now please do not get me wrong. I want to see more money for authors. They bust their butts to create those stories and characters we have fallen in love with. But for me, that money would just be an added bonus if we can keep that same drive we had when we first started writing.

1 comment:

  1. Not being appreciated has a way of killing that drive for many, I think. When writers feel they have to give away their books or sell them for 99cents, 'starvation' of both the body and soul, not to mention literary inspiration, cannot be far behind.