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Old 01-26-2013, 07:42 AM   #1
kennyc
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John Scalzi admits he's a Hack. :)

Quote:
A Moment of Financial Clarification
January 25, 2013 By John Scalzi 91 Comments

Every once in a while someone in the comments here says, usually as an aside to something else, that no one becomes a writer to get rich. So as a point of clarification, and to give everyone else who is slightly exasperated by this sort of comment something to point at:

Hey, I became a writer to get rich. I’ve always been in the writing business not just to write, and not just to make money, but also to make a lot of money — basically, to get rich at it. Why? Because speaking from experience, being poor sucks, and in the world we live in, things are a whole lot easier if you have a lot of money. The thing I do best in the world in a professional sense is writing, so if I were to become rich, getting rich through writing seemed like the most likely way for me to do it.
....
http://whatever.scalzi.com/2013/01/2...clarification/
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:03 AM   #2
HarryT
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There's absolutely nothing wrong about writing with money as a motive, to my mind. Some of the greatest writers throughout history - eg Shakespeare and Dickens, to name but two - have done exactly that.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:05 AM   #3
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I agree Harry, there's this whole mythology about the arts....

Some interesting comments to the posting on that page as well....
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:29 AM   #4
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He also previously admitted to doing market research, figuring out what sells, and aiming his next book at that market. Sounded like the definition of professional to me.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penforhire View Post
He also previously admitted to doing market research, figuring out what sells, and aiming his next book at that market. Sounded like the definition of professional to me.
Oh No! Not Really!

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Old 01-26-2013, 12:24 PM   #6
Billi
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Who also investigated this very machine-like - not only what is selling but also the technique of writing, structure, drama, tension - was Nicholas Sparks. His description of this process didn't sound like he created a piece of art!
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:26 PM   #7
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Interesting Billi, didn't know that about Sparks. I've seen how popular his work is, but have not read any of it. Not my cup of peas.

Last edited by kennyc; 01-26-2013 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:55 PM   #8
George Applegate
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Once you agree to accept money for your work: "we've established what you are, we're just haggling about the price."

No author sets out to avoid making money, other than writers of religious or political tracts.

Readers want to be entertained or challenged or informed or reassured or any combination of those. If you do any of those well, you can make money. If, in addition, you are in the right place at the right time and lucky, you can make a lot of money.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:14 PM   #9
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Well, it seems an unreliable way to get rich.

I know it happens, but, even so. . .
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:42 PM   #10
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Even Stephen King admits that money is a motive for writing, though he doesn't claim it as the only reason. I've yet to meet someone who didn't like making some money for their efforts in a job, and don't see why writing would be any different. There is mental work involved in coming up with characters, plot twists and so forth. You are in fact creating something out of nothing as unlike other occupations the work doesn't come with things already created for you to put together or whatever. I mean a janitor cleans a place of business for example, and doesn't have to make the mess before he cleans it, but the author has to create everything from scratch.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:38 AM   #11
rhadin
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For a money machine, look at James Patterson. He runs (literally) a writing factory, which was the topic of discussion in a New York Times Magazine article about a year or so ago.
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:07 AM   #12
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In my experience, most writers write because, well... they have to. There's sort of an inner drive that starts fizzling and popping inside your brain if you don't give it an outlet now and then.

Many writers, when faced with the reality that the creative process WILL happen whether they want it to or not, decide to make the most of the situation and turn their, ahem, addiction into a money-making tool. From Scalzi's post, it sounds like he falls into that camp.

No conflict between art and business, there. It's more like a harmonious and symbiotic relationship.
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
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[...]No conflict between art and business, there. It's more like a harmonious and symbiotic relationship.
I think I'm still singing out of tune.
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:59 AM   #14
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I think I'm still singing out of tune.
mee too.
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:00 PM   #15
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I can't imagine many businesses running an ad that said "We only care about the money."
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