Friday, October 01, 2010

"Oh For Art's Sake!" says Zuki

I was going to blog about something interesting, maybe even meaningful. I swear.
Then I saw the latest post by my friend Zukiswa Wanner, she who recently released  her third novel "Men Of The South," and it resonated so much I decided to link you to it instead.

Zuki says:

"I just found out recently that some Jordan/Paris sorta starlet in Joburg gets paid mucho bucks for selling her story to a magazine (Yay for journalism, Ms.Editor. Someone really cares to know the name this starlet whose claim to fame is a defunct Pop Idols career is sleeping with) . This after I had been asked by the same magazine to write YET another story for next to nothing. ‘We will give you publicity,’ was how they tried to sell it to me. Weirdly, two years ago, I would actually have done the story. I was under the dumb illusion that if someone sees my name on page 20voetsek of a magazine writing about something totally irrelevant to my writing they would be interested in buying my book and I would be the next Dan Brown. Didn’t happen."

Read the full post.

As for me, I've found that I get paid me more for work done without a byline than work that is published with a byline. So for the most part, I do bylined work as some sort of marketing ( though I still get paid by the magazines etc), as if to say, "hey, I'm still here, and I'm still somebody."

Question: What does Zuki's post, and my experiences tell you about the writing life? Is it much like you expected?


Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

Interesting article.

Husband and Mom always used to grind their teeth at the number of free ms reviews, edits etc etc that I've done.

I've recently had an ephiphany. My time is my most valuable commodity. And, as I'm becoming more confident in my ability as a writer, I'm willing to do less and less for free. However, I think one should always do a certain amount for free (pay it forward/expression of gratitude for talent)but I'm more discriminating now.

tiah said...

I loved her blog post!

I never expected big bucks. But I expected a wee bit more than I'm getting. Read King's 'On Writing' and there seems to be so many more opportunities to sell shorts back then, than now.

What I found interesting is I read her post just after I re:blogged that link on cell phone stories (writers write them for free) and I've just agreed to blog on another site (for free) and...

I confess, my hope with the blog is to bring more attention to my blog. As to my shorts, I did them trying to attract attention from certain people (publishers / agents) so that when I submit a novel or short story collection - they'll be inclined to read it (ms submissions are not always read). I also hope that I'll be able to reuse the shorts someday for something that will make money.

I hope.

But it does feel that while the internet has 'made writers of all of us' it is also making it more exclusive - few can afford it.

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