Friday, January 29, 2016

Easy Writer

Kelly Braffet, the author of “Save Yourself” and other novels, tweeted this morning about a comment to a New York Times article that described writing as "the ultimate part time job, very few hours but full time pay." I assume the commenter has never written a word outside a snarky comment board so I thought I'd put the craft of writing into perspective for the layperson:

You know how the meal you spent two hours cooking is eaten in just ten minutes? Frustrating, right? It's a lot of work for a small payoff. Well, the article you read in just ten minutes took two days to write. The book you read in just ten hours took two years to write. And those are the pieces that actually sold; most pieces are rejected over and over before they are accepted (if they ever are).

It is extremely difficult to make a living as a writer. Most working writers must work supplemental jobs in other fields to pay the bills. Writing is certainly not a part-time job for full-time pay. More realistically, it is a part-time job for no pay or a full-time job for part-time pay.

Now, please go enjoy a book this weekend. Someone wrote it because they had a story to tell, not because they wanted an easy job.

For reference, the comment was made to the January 25 article "The Improbable Rise of Mississippi Roast"