Tuesday, September 15, 2009
How do writers make ends meet?
This is me doing a workshop at the Woodford Festival.
I don't know what the figures are in the US or the UK, but in Australia, very fewwriters make a living out of writing fiction. There are a couple of people who have won the 'publishing lottery' and then there are the solid performers like the romance writers, who can turn in 3 books a year. Then there are the rest of us, who might have between 5 - 20 books under our belt but there's short fall between royalties and reality.
In Australia we have government bodies that administer grants at a state and national level. Authors, musicians, artists etc can apply for a grant to support them while they write, paint or create. But the grant pie is only so big and there are many more applications than there are slices of pie.
Many authors supplement their book writing income with part time work. Or they work full time and still manage to write.
Many authors make up the short fall by running workshops, doing manuscript appraisals, appearing on festival panels and teaching creative writing through academic institutions.
The wonderful artist, JC Leyendeck, did a painting of an artist painting a beautiful feast, while he shivered, wrapped in a blanket, cooking sausages.
How do you make ends meet?