I’m probably not the only person who thought it would be nice to write fiction for a living. What’s not to love, sitting in one’s PJs, stuffing in the marshmallows and pouring stories? What kind of awesome job is that? I figured, there might be competition — but the marshmallows were calling so I got stuck in.
When I started, I thought the biggest hurdle would be publication: would anyone want my stories? It didn’t occur to me that if they did, I still wouldn’t get paid. Once I realised, I figured that for now, I was happy writing for the sake of it. Sort of. At least until I’d published a novel or two, and could be taken as a ‘serious author’ (whatever that means — the subject of another post perhaps).
It’s not that simple. This week, The Guardian published an article by Liz Bury, ‘Philip Hensher stirs debate among authors after refusing to write for free’ — and it makes for sober reading.
Yes, you can be a Man Booker shortlisted, literary novelist and still be called rude names, by a professor at Cambridge, for refusing to… work for free?
Boo. Just, boo.