Writing a Book is an Elitist Pursuit now?

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Lately, particularly on the 7th of this month, The Guardian participated in the world’s third favorite book contest past time, giving a helping hand to the expected death of the book writing as a profession.

Writing is in danger of becoming an elitist profession, with many authors being subsidised by their partners or a second job in order to stay afloat, according to new statistics.

The full findings from the annual Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society report into author earnings paint a more nuanced picture than the headline results from last summer, which revealed that median earnings for professional writers had fallen to less than £10,500 a year. While the average professional writer earns £10,000 a year, the mean earnings for a writer’s household were more than £81,000 a year, and median household earnings were at £50,000 per annum. “Most writers supplement their income from other sources, such as a second job or household earnings contributed by a partner”, according to the report, which analysed answers from more than 5,500 professional writers.

“There is a danger of writing becoming an elitist profession which excludes new and diverse voices,” said Society of Authors chief executive Nicola Solomon. “This report should act as a wake-up call for the industry.”

Am not talking of eBook criticism or idle fear-mongering. (Let do this once more.)

On Tuesday (7th May), The Guardian expressing their worry on the assumed end of book authoring as a career, joined the book world’s third favorite leisure pursuit.

Well, we identify two problems with this article. First, the piece relies on the idea that the sole form of writing that matters is book authoring, while things like writing for TV programs, movies, or advertising agencies, or covering the news, do not even worth recognizing. This is truly an elitist assumption, one that the author of the piece ignored.

The other downside with this article is that it’s built with the idea that there was a time that book authoring wasn’t a lofty profession.

Here’s a commenter mind on the article:

Who the hell thinks writers are wealthy? Someone who’s never read New Grub Street, that’s who, and not read much else. Writing has never been a well paid profession except for the tiny minority and everyone else gets to sneer at those lucky few for writing bestsellers. Writing has always had a large aristocratic contingent.

They are correct. No matter the age or period you view this, whether or not it’s before the press machine was produced or the time when the character printer was developed, book authoring has continually been a hobby over a profession.

That was true even before the book publishing business existed; it isn’t merely solely a minority of book authors make a living at it however conjointly that in any given year the number of books was written on the author’s time within the hopes of marketing the book to a publisher.

But nobody who engaged with this article is conscious of the historical circumstances. Rather, as another commenter discerned, everybody thinks book authors are owed a living just because they’re book authors:

I don’t really understand this article. Since when did artists in any field think society owed them a living? There are more than ever before. Only a few can manage to make a reasonable living from their work, and the rest of us realize and accept that we need to have back-up in the form of a regular job or supportive partner.

Unbelievable but true.