Writing takes work — writers should be paid.

So, my day job is not exactly a high paying day job. I watch the controversy (?!?) over minimum wage being raised, and over workers being paid living wages (again I say ?!?) and how some assholes think that just because you’re doing a menial job that it’s okay that you work full time and still have to resort to governmental aid to be able to have a roof over your head, have healthcare, and be able to feed yourself and your family. I don’t actually make minimum wage — but I do make less than a dollar more than my state’s minimum wage, at a job I’ve been doing for a decade, and at a place where people have been hired to do the same job I’m doing off the street making a dollar more than me, if not more. I frequently do the “what if” game. What if something happens to Beth? Could I maintain the apartment and the needs of the animals and still feed myself? (the answer? I’d be biking a lot more, because bye bye bus pass, and I’d be eating a lot less, because, you know. Food.) I’d be able to swing it if I was eligible for food assistance. But it would be tight.

Now, imagine we had children instead of cats and a dog. (I’d rather the cats and the dog, but they don’t need as much in the way of food. They don’t need clothing. They don’t need school supplies). This is what I think about when people bitch about people getting paid to do their jobs.

And that brings us to art, to artists and makers and creators and writers. Doing work. Artists and makers and creators and writers are just as important to a healthy, thriving society (oh, wait) health care professionals and teachers and trash collectors and service workers and people who flip your fucking burgers. Basic needs are the same. People need shelter. They need security. They need food.

So, this post? Shouldn’t infuriate, because it’s not a new thing at all, that writers are expected to get paid crap to write. Asking for $11 an hour to live on? Not. Rolling. In. It. Depending on where in the country you are, that’s barely a living wage. Why the hell should any be criticized for asking for that much? People, she wouldn’t be having $11 an hour of profit, of free money. That’s bills and rent/mortgage, that’s groceries and gas and car insurance. It’s people wanting to get paid to do their job. And, you know, you’re not obligated to pay authors or artists whose work you don’t enjoy. That’s fine. I want people who enjoy my writing to read my writing. But, if you are going to enjoy the art of others to the point of owning copies of it, support your artists. Don’t expect to get it for nothing. Not being able to afford it and not* going through authentic channels (like libraries, or used bookstores/not pirating) is utter shit and is, in a nutshell, a good example of what’s wrong with our culture. We lack empathy. We lack a willingness to humanize our fellow humans. We are taught to act as consumers with everything, and we follow as we are taught blindly too much.

Pay your artists, damn it.

~*~*~
edited because oh my gods did I forget a very important ‘not’ there. Libraries rock. Use your libraries. Don’t pirate. Do proof read your posts before hitting post.

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7 thoughts on “Writing takes work — writers should be paid.

  1. Jolene Poseidonae

    Reblogged this on Strip Me Back To The Bone and commented:
    Reblogging this here. The main point is the outrage I’m feeling over https://nhwn.wordpress.com/2015/01/15/good-for-you-not-for-me/. That it even is an issue. I’m not surprised, but it’s just . . . .what the hell, people. And it seems an issue within paganism as well, so I have to say again: support your artists, writers, and crafters by paying them, by crediting them. Do not plagerize. Do not pirate. Basically, don’t be an ass. Pay people for their work.

    Reply
  2. busynurseresearch

    My favorite example to pull out in the minimum wage debate is this: When I started working, minimum wage was $3.35/hr. I could fill my gas tank for $10, so roughly 3 hours of work before taxes. To fill that same car today would take $45, so by all reason, the minimum wage should be about $15. Actual economist-types say more like $17, so what do I know?

    Looking at the article you linked, it sounds like that author had a great idea. If enough people chipped in so that she could focus on just writing the book, great. If not, then it wouldn’t happen. That would be sad for those who wanted to see what the book would turn out to be, but nobody would be out anything. Why in the world would anyone have a problem with that, especially given that anyone who chipped in at least $10 would get a copy of the book? I mean, that’s literally what a writer’s advance is: paying for the book before it’s written so that it can get written.

    Reply
  3. Beth

    Reblogged this on Wytch of the North and commented:
    Bravo!!! I’m not sure why some people feel writers, artists and crafters should have to work for free. If you want something in your life, be willing to support the person who makes that thing by paying for it. Because we need to eat, too. It’s really that simple. (Of course, with most of the readership of this blog I know I’m preaching to the choir here.)

    Reply
  4. Miaërowyn

    Reblogged this on The Forest Witch and commented:
    All the yes!
    This not only goes for writers, but makers of things, crafters, those who take enormous amounts of time to do what they love because they love it, not because it’s going to give them a living income. I’ve come to the realization that while yes, every time I see something I like, I go, “I could make that” and think about how much less I’d spend on something that I’d make myself, would I really have the skills? And do I realize how much time and attention goes into the making of something?

    As far as the more feely arts go (visual, music, dance, stories), you just can’t expect to pay people pennies for something that you enjoy a lot, and took crazy amounts of love, time, and attention to produce. If anything should get our money, shouldn’t it be the things that speak to our hearts and move us?

    Ugh… I hate consumerism and capitalism. They seem to think there’s no place for real art, not even mentioning the artist.

    Reply
  5. Nornoriel Lokason

    I’ve had people pirate some of my books and I’m *~not~* happy about that. It sucks in general but it especially sucks if someone is not, say, Stephen King and they have more of a niche audience/are more independent/etc, it’s shitty. We’re being screwed out of money when that happens, and that’s not OK. I have so many Feels, but in sum, “word”.

    Reply
  6. lykeiaofapollon

    Quite so. Where I am at 11/hr per hour is a pittance. I make 10.45 an hour at my job and barely make ends meet. I guarantee that what extras I make off my art is not really going on extra luxuries.

    Reply

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