How many of your friends/relatives think your writing is just an unpaid self-indulgent hobby? Well maybe this blog post will help change their minds…even your mother! I can tell you that your creativity actually creates new money and, we writers already know we stand upon solid ground.
When I write, I do my own soul some good by providing what I have written for others to read, I’m entertaining some people some of the time, and of course that goes for you too. Sometimes we do much more, e.g. maybe by offering encouragement and support that helps a reader how to change the direction of his life, or pull back from a disastrous episode, or encouragement in taking chances that will make his life and the lives of those around him better. Now you might think the casual observer will say, ‘well as you’re not a John Locke, Stephen King or JK Rowling so what? Who cares what you say? You’re not in their league.’
And this is simply not so.
If you are a writer—even if you are the worst, least successful writer in the world and are just doing this in your spare time because you enjoy it—you are a positive force in the economy. “Ha! I don’t believe you!” I hear you say – just see…
Let’s say you’re the most horrible useless writer, ever! And what’s more you’re never going to improve. Well, you’re still doing some good things actually… You’ve bought notebook and pens, maybe a computer. You need software; you’ve added more paper, printer, and ink cartridges. Somewhere out there, a small portion of the economy thanks you for your input. Thank you.
Now, let’s see when you send out your appalling manuscript to a place that accepts submissions without needing an agent. You are involved in helping to create and maintain a few jobs. Slush pile readers and junior editors will get paid because you and thousands of others like you who wrote awful manuscripts that someone had to evaluate. Thank you.
So even the worst writers are doing something valuable for someone else!
Supposing you’re a fair writer? You’ve written a passable title that someone, in the commercial publishing universe, wants to buy. You’ve now created money out of thin air for yourself. You didn’t take anything from anyone else to create this income and no one had to lose so you could win. You invented money for yourself by inventing a product someone wanted. And this brand-new money invention doesn’t stop with you. Oh no. You’ve also just exponentially increased your contributions to the world. First off, you are a writer who has created a paying job for one agent. As more writers need agents, more agents will be able to find more work. You also have caused the creation or continuation of many other jobs which include junior editors, senior editors, copyeditors, publisher, bookbinder, typesetter, book marketer, to bookseller to bookstore owner. Wow! Then there’s an artist for the cover and you are now responsible for the existence of a piece of art stemming from the advent of your story. Reviewers exist because of you. Then there’s an item for corporations, and an ad revenue source for media advertising. Thank you.
Supposing your book is really good and you do well. You’ll receive more of that magic money you made out of nothing but thoughts whirling around in your head. You will begin providing work for advertising companies and promotions. Your sales are adding to the GNP and with the profit your publisher makes from you, will enable them to publish other writers.
And what if you self-publish?
You’re skipping the agent, the publishing house, the slush readers, junior editors and senior editors and simply put your book out there and of course yourself with it. You’re still a huge good force in the world. You’re creating out of your thoughts, and every time you get paid for it, you have created money that did not exist before. By creating something new with value, the economy expands by the exact value of that thing you’ve created. If you add up that money you’ll know exactly how much it is.
Part of this money goes directly to you – delicious! Part goes to the online shops featuring your work, (you’re helping them stay in business and present the work of other writers too). Part goes to anyone you employed e.g. editor, proof-reader or the cover designer. If you use an online publishing company to create hard copies of your work, every time someone buys one of those, you’ve taken a step towards keeping jobs for people e.g. who plant trees, mill them, make paper, bindings, print your cover, make the glue that keeps the cover on the book and finally packages the book to send to your new reader. Thank you.
And by doing all that, it is a good thing. I can go on as there’s still more… What if your good book sells in foreign countries? Ah! We’re now including jobs for translators, more editors, agents, typesetters, bookbinders, bookseller and distributors. You’re now a benefit to the international economy, various national economies, and in a way you’re an envoy for your own country depending on what you wrote. Thank you.
Now let’s think BIG!
How about selling your story rights to a motion picture company. You’re now also providing work for everyone who is involved. The list seems endless from the people who scout filming locations, set designers, prop creators, screenwriters, camera grips, best boys, producers, directors, movie distributors to your local theatre. This is before you include the actors and actresses portraying your characters and speaking your words and get paid because of you. I can go on…those selling popcorn and tickets. Artists designing movie posters and advertising agencies creating promotional campaigns. If you’re another JK Rowling, subsidiary rights will also come into play, creating more jobs. Think of that enormous market! Action figures, toy sets based on your characters require artists to design them, companies to produce them, outlets to sell them. Ditto branded T-shirts, coffee mugs, bumper stickers, and posters. All from the beginnings of your penmanship. Thank you.
Now you’re a captain of industry, with your very own publishing empire. You’re creating the wealth of nations from the products of your mind and spreading this wealth out around the world. But you don’t have to be JK Rowling…Even if now you’re just working on your first novel in your bedroom, you’re doing something good. You are creating something that didn’t exist before, and I think that’s wonderful because of what it does for you and by your support of the economy. Thank you.
So, when next someone tries to tell you that you’re wasting your time playing at being a writer, point out to them you can sleep well at night knowing that people all over the country, or maybe the world, are feeding their families and paying their bills in part because you had the guts to send your work out, and by doing so, create money and jobs that would not have existed without you.
What do you think?
Thanks for reading this latest blog post. Have a great week ahead.