I recently read an article about the advantages and disadvantages of writing for free in an expensive and money-hungry world. The article started off with a man who was asked to write an article for a publication, sans payment, and this man happened to be a paid writer. He wrote back saying he would not do such a thing, when his writing was his source of income. The article goes on to talk about how the average paid writer was able to become said paid writer, because he started out with a bank roll in his pocket. It’s disheartening to think that the writer’s that make it big are mostly there because they had someone (i.e. mom and dad) paying their bills when they first took that internship in NYC or other expensive city. The writers who are trying to get into the business without anyone paying their bills will forever have a harder time getting anywhere, because they have to work 40 hours a week to eat, have a hot shower and a roof to sleep under. When that writer comes home at the end of the day, sleep is the only thing that sounds appealing, not writing a 1,500 word essay to a magazine that won’t pay them for their efforts. However, newbies in any business know that any acknowledgement of their work is usually worth the effort. That one free show you perform or short article you write could get you recognized by someone who could get you that dream job.
I’m not exactly in the bank roller class, but I’m not without help if I need it. It’s a tough position to take a stand on because I don’t want to stereotype all rich kids into being bad writers who only making it because Daddy’s money bought them an internship. I think writing is a talent anyone can have, rich or poor, but I do agree that it is much harder to move up in the business without knowing somebody who knows somebody.
Then again…there are those random success stories like J.K.Rowling‘s, who was supposedly eating paper for dinner before Harry Potter changed her life. Hopefully when someone Google’s my name in twenty years, I’ll have a similar story. Although, if I can keep eating real food over paper, that would be really great. Fingers crossed.
Check out the article here: http://gawker.com/5989280/when-people-write-for-free-who-pays