The High Co$t of Writing

Think that writing is a cheap endeavor? Consider some of the ways we put our money where our words are:

  • Computers, tablets, readers, phones
  • Wifi expenses
  • Coffee shop “dues”
  • Printers and ink
  • Paper (Our paperless world has produced more paper, not less.)
  • Pens, pencils and all that clutter in the desk drawer
  • The desk and desk chair, which had best be ergonomic
  • Journals, notebooks, legal pads, calendars, diaries, etc.
  • Membership fees in professional organizations
  • Gasoline to visit our writing friends and groups.
  • Subscriptions to reviews, magazines, on-line resources
  • BFA’s, MFA’s
  • Workshops
  • Conferences, usually involving planes and hotels, etc.
  • Professional assistance like coaching, editing, book design
  • Taxes on any profit
  • Alcohol and/or chocolate
  • Therapy, physical or emotional
  • Postage on ms submissions
  • Entry fees for contests
  • Books–we buy more than we sell
  • Business cards, address labels, postcards, flyers
  • Marketing, branding–web hosting and the like.

No wonder that we writers are the lowest paid professionals in America, maybe in the world. Sure, there are the James Pattersons and Janet Evanovichs who have become industries in themselves, but divide their spoils by the number of wordsmiths and see what you get for the profession in general. Most of us pay for the privilege and are happy to do it. And now I understand that all my words stored on line are part of a huge and wasteful industry that depends on diesel backup generators and banks of electric fans and computers that comprise the ephemeral and free sounding cloud. Check out the article in last Sunday’s NY Times.

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