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Old 04-03-2008, 10:29 AM   #16
Taylor514ce
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Inspiration is a myth. A myth is a female moth.


Sir Philip Sidney on "inspiration" - a classic example of the hypocrisy of inspiration:

Code:
Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,
That she, dear she, might take some pleasure of my pain,
Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know,
Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain -
I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe,
Studying inventions fine, her wits to entertain,
Oft turning others' leaves to see if thence would flow
Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sun-burned brain.
But words came halting forth, wanting invention's stay;
Invention, nature's child, fled step-dame Study's blows,
And others' feet still seemed but strangers in my way.
Thus, great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes,
     Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite
     Fool, said my muse to me, look in thy heart and write.
Oh, the poet studied the classics (other's leaves) in vain, studied the metrics and nuances of other poems (others' feet) but all of that hard work was useless until the muse inspired him to look into his heart, and bang, out popped this poem. Yet the poem itself is a conscious imitation of the classics. The theme, the structure, the meter.

We tend to forget that "art" is "artifice", and thus artificial.

Last edited by Taylor514ce; 04-03-2008 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 04-03-2008, 10:33 AM   #17
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Are you honestly saying all writers who write for a paycheck are not worth reading, and should just give up their trade?
All? No. There is never a 100% rule but the majority of those who write only because of paycheck and without it would not bother, then probably yes. Because they create a book that they think should attract money. Not what they really feel/think. So, the book is in a way - dishonest. It is created to satisfy the reader, it is being tailored for the reader's wishes and it is not fun. Very often it detiorates into milking...

That's why there are so many fantasy series that look the same...they are not inspiration they are cliches that attract money.
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Old 04-03-2008, 11:15 AM   #18
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It's true that authors don't make much. It's wrong, I think, to assume that we aren't capable of doing ANYTHING else and would continue writing and making our writings available without even the hope of compensation.

The hope of becoming read, of catching on, of becoming the next J. K. Rowling is highly motivating. If it became certain that there was no money to be had no matter how wonderful our works were, why wouldn't we switch to writing screenplays, song lyrics, or something else.

Like teenagers with their garage band, there's the joy in the process, but there's also the hope of catching that wonderful wave.

Then again, would J. K. Rowling have been able to complete the series if she'd had to spend her days at the welfare office? There's something to be said for compensating authors we love.

Rob Preece
Publisher, www.BooksForABuck.com
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Old 04-03-2008, 11:22 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BooksForABuck View Post
It's true that authors don't make much. It's wrong, I think, to assume that we aren't capable of doing ANYTHING else and would continue writing and making our writings available without even the hope of compensation.

The hope of becoming read, of catching on, of becoming the next J. K. Rowling is highly motivating. If it became certain that there was no money to be had no matter how wonderful our works were, why wouldn't we switch to writing screenplays, song lyrics, or something else.

Like teenagers with their garage band, there's the joy in the process, but there's also the hope of catching that wonderful wave.

Then again, would J. K. Rowling have been able to complete the series if she'd had to spend her days at the welfare office? There's something to be said for compensating authors we love.

Rob Preece
Publisher, www.BooksForABuck.com
you know there are only so many hours in a day and if you spend a good portion of them at your job to pay the bills there is certainly less time to write. Thus, even if there is a book in there it takes time to get it out, perhaps years. And then there are all the other books that you would have thought of beyond that one if you had time to write them. Getting paid solves the problem of paying the bills and provides a lot more time to write.

Dale
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Old 04-03-2008, 12:21 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by carandol View Post
Actually, ú95 is good value for the number of books you get -- it's just than most individuals are unlikely to want most of the books in the set, so will be paying over the odds for the books they do want.
There is also books24x7.com and the Safari ebookshelf from O'Riley that are great sources for reference (non-ficition) books.

BTW: Yes, my wife and I bought a set of encyclopedias when we got married (1985) from a door-to-door salesman. Thought it would be good for future kids as I had access to a set when I was a kid. Little did we know about the internet then. I would hate to be an Encyclopedia salesman today.

BOb
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Old 04-03-2008, 12:23 PM   #21
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Being paid for writing

Why is writing a book any different than writing software? The latter is now mostly done for free (except the boring stuff), and I bet many (most?) writers make very good use of freeware...
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Old 04-03-2008, 12:29 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by lexico View Post
Why is writing a book any different than writing software? The latter is now mostly done for free (except the boring stuff), and I bet many (most?) writers make very good use of freeware...
So untrue. "FREE" or "OPEN SOURCE" software is written be people with 1. a passion for programming and 2. a passion for the software they are contributing to. So, the "compensation" of contributing to an open source software project is the ability to use that software.

Software is not "mostly" free. There is software that you can "use" for free, but it is paid for by advertising $, do the developers are getting paid. Examples might be google, flicker, digg, gmail, yahoo mail, etc.

This is why you don't see alot of "line of business" (boring) software out there for free. I write LOB software, and get paid to do it with the sales/support revenue from that software.

I don't think writting a book so that you can enjoy it yourself is quite the same thing.

BOb
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Old 04-03-2008, 12:35 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lexico View Post
Why is writing a book any different than writing software? The latter is now mostly done for free (except the boring stuff), and I bet many (most?) writers make very good use of freeware...
It's not different. It's a question of whether the author is giving away or selling the product. Freeware is given away. Some books are also being given away for free. It's a question of respecting the author's wishes and not stealing. Appreciate what's given to you, but don't steal if it isn't. Everything in the world is not automatically yours, nor should it be.

Everyone has to do something to make money to live. It's entirely appropriate that people expect to be paid for their time, effort, skill, and knowledge. That applies to book authors, software authors, and to everyone no matter what they do.

If they choose to give away their work (known in some circles as volunteering), be thankful! The difference is in the attitude that things are owed to you and an accompanying lack of appreciation vs. being aware that someone is doing something nice for you that they have no obligation to do and appreciating it.

Last edited by cmbs; 04-03-2008 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 04-03-2008, 12:36 PM   #24
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Why is writing a book any different than writing software? The latter is now mostly done for free (except the boring stuff),
Er, hardly .

Check out the job adverts in "Computer Weekly" or any other IT trade rag. I work mainly in web site programming and database stuff - primarily SQL Server with a bit of Oracle. You won't find too many people doing that kind of stuff "for free".
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Old 04-03-2008, 12:36 PM   #25
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So untrue. "FREE" or "OPEN SOURCE" software is written be people with 1. a passion for programming and 2. a passion for the software they are contributing to. So, the "compensation" of contributing to an open source software project is the ability to use that software.
2 is not a necessary condition. I wrote MobiPerl just because was so fun to write and it could be useful for people. That I can use the program was and is not a factor.
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Old 04-03-2008, 12:39 PM   #26
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I wonder what a support contract would be for a book. If you pay me this sum of money character X will not die. They characters will travel to Stockholm if you pay for this contract...
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Old 04-03-2008, 12:39 PM   #27
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2 is not a necessary condition. I wrote MobiPerl just because was so fun to write and it could be useful for people. That I can use the program was and is not a factor.
The fact that many IT Pro's also write "fun stuff" for free, doesn't mean that they don't also get paid for doing their "day job".
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Old 04-03-2008, 12:41 PM   #28
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Because they create a book that they think should attract money. Not what they really feel/think. So, the book is in a way - dishonest. It is created to satisfy the reader, it is being tailored for the reader's wishes and it is not fun. Very often it detiorates into milking...

That's why there are so many fantasy series that look the same...they are not inspiration they are cliches that attract money.
There's nothing wrong or dishonest with intentionally using writing to entertain, or to make money. And there are numerous Pulitzer winners that will tell you that quality writing can still be done under a salary and a deadline, and often is.

And there are enough blogs out there that demonstrate that feeling and inspiration is far from enough to create good writing.
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Old 04-03-2008, 01:12 PM   #29
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Also, many writers write for themselves, not for others, and do not have as much of an interest in being published. (I wrote for 10 years before releasing any of my books... I was having my fun writing them, not selling them.) Who knows how many good books are sitting on the writer's shelf, because they do not see the likelihood of making a profit, so they won't bother to get it published? Money could be keeping good books from you.
Similarly, most great books also have great editors. They don't tend to work for free. Some people can edit their works well themselves, but many cannot. I'm sure if there were no money in publishing any more, many authors would self-publish online but the quality would not be as good as it would with the help of a professional, critical eye fine-tuning it.
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Old 04-03-2008, 02:04 PM   #30
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Why is writing a book any different than writing software? The latter is now mostly done for free (except the boring stuff), and I bet many (most?) writers make very good use of freeware...
Ummmmm.... no. Not even close. If you look at the contributions to leading open-source projects, you find that the bulk of the contributions come from a small group of people (on any given project, not the same small group across all projects, naturally). A fair fraction of those people are, in fact, professional programmers. And many of those are... this is important now... paid by their employer specifically to contribute to the open-source project. Consider the entire Eclipse team, many of the leading Apache committers, and on and on ad infinitum.

And, even beyond that, open-source projects are nowhere near being the majority of software not even close! Or even the majority of software that is "not boring" (whether for the author or the user). Open source represents less than 1% of the software being written.*

I regret to say that your facts are uncoordinated.

Xenophon

* I can probably turn up some references, with a bit of work.
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