Gauging the writing life in these economic times...
It’s 2009 but you’d think it’s 1929. My grandparents are still talking about how it was growing up in a recession. I’m listening more and drawing a few parallels. It’s at a point too, that every time I pick up printed media I find where another publisher has laid off workers, authors are feeling angst because some contractual agreement was breached, or even where cutbacks forced companies to rearrange whole departments. Mergers are commonplace with no guarantee that the job you had previous to the change would be retained. I’ve talked to several industry-level folk and it’s serious! No one is immune, and I feel that it may have taken it’s toll on writers who are used to a certain regimen where status quo was much stable than what is being seen on the surface. But what’s below that level of assurance…that which we know that’s there but need to be drawn out of you? Has the economic crisis forced you to do things differently? What are your thoughts on this? I wanted to gauge the opinions of others, and as I write this, I need ink for my printer and noticed yesterday at Staples that the price for ink has skyrocketed!
I imagine with all of the turmoil in the literary industry editors will demand that your writing be tight and that you endeavor to write more exponentially to insure that the interest level is balanced for whatever you can reap. I hear all the time that agents are getting more queries, people from all walks of life feel that they should write a book, and I know for sure that aspiring authors (and a few veterans, too) are exploring self-publishing options. In turn, the POD entities, vanity presses and others in that mode are sharpening their pitches and have improved in some cases to have done what was necessary to coddle disgruntled writers looking for greener pastures. While that masterpiece is still being worked on by you, your third eye is on the periphery of looking for better ways to make ends meet. You may even feel that your writing needs more oomph, or that your publicity need higher visibility. Of course, this is not the time for writer’s block. Are you still writing with verve and with imaginative spirit through lean times?
I’ve come to the conclusion that we, as writers will always feel that our words, wit and wisdom will prevail when we ascribe to writing from the heart. An unfocused writer worrying about the burdens of life will be lonely and may have problems facing audiences if complacency runs amok. Our minds will work overtime just to have continuity for all things literary. We need this in times like these where the audacity of hope is much more than just change. The latter will only become an issue if we don’t do the things that have always meant the most to us. I can’t speak for anyone else but I know that I have to write daily. The writing life is embedded into my psyche and is like a good drug I can’t do without. It’s no coincidence that I’m writing more and will have a fit if I can’t read to my heart’s content. So, when you see or read another situation where someone has been laid off, think how blessed you are to be able to allow words to brighten your day. Whether the present economy is or isn’t affecting your writing, there must be something that you are doing that has stemmed the tide, perhaps. As for me, I refuse to try to make sense of a senseless world. Recession or not, I know my strengths and weaknesses as a writer, I’ll write my way through it — what about you? Care to share?