Thursday, 10 July 2014

The "Stroppy Author" had another

well reasoned article over on "An Awfully Big Blog Adventure" yesterday. In it she had, yet again, to talk about the dire state of financial affairs for almost all authors.
And Joanne Harris was in strife because the media had misquoted her and made it sound as if she envied JK Rowling's income. I did not see the article in the Telegraph but I do not doubt reports from many reliable sources that said it did not point out how unusual JK Rowling's financial success as an author is. 
Most authors earn very little. Most authors have another job. Most authors write part-time. They do other things in order to feed, clothe and house themselves.
Most people have no idea what authors do. I think that is correct.
The odd thing was that I saw someone I know slightly in the library yesterday. He comes in to use the free internet services in the library. Most, if not all, of his searching seems to be concerned with used car sites, motoring sites and the like. He sometimes borrows motoring magazines or a DVD. I have never seen him borrow a book.
He apparently reads some of the state newspaper - because he will tell me he has read something I have written. We often agree to disagree. His views appear to reflect his apparently narrow interests.
And he thinks writing is easy. He believes anyone can do it. All you have to do is sit down and write and, according to him, it is then easy to publish it. He knows about e-publishing and self-publishing.
Many other people do too. They also seem to think that writing is easy, that all you have to do is sit down and write. Some of these people have actually done that and "published" the result.
Well yes, as someone put it on the ABBA blog site, most people can make beans on toast. Beans on toast is surely the literary equivalent of writing a note which says, "Gone out. Back later."
Writing a novel, a novel which someone else is prepared to publish, is more like preparing a long series of gourmet meals for a dozen dinner guests all of whom have different dietary requirements.
I doubt I will ever do it but I keep trying to hone my cooking skills.

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