Jason Fry on Writing for Free

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by LAJ_FETT, Mar 6, 2013.

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  1. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 9
    Jason Fry posted a link to a new entry on his blog about writing for free over in Lit. Reposting the link here for fanficcers who might be interested.
  2. Jedi_Lover Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    Interesting. Of course as a fanficcer...I have to write for free. I don't want Mickey Mouse's lawyers on my doorstep.
  3. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

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    May 25, 2002
    star 9
    I figured if anyone was thinking of making the jump from fanfic to making money from writing they might find the entry of interest.
  4. Jedi_Lover Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    That was pretty interesting that some people expect writers to work for free. I don't know how anyone makes it in the business with all the competition.
  5. mavjade It's so Fluffy Fanfic & New Movies Manager

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    Sep 10, 2005
    star 5
    Interesting article. I think it's more geared toward journalism rather than fiction, but I guess the same things can apply.

    Like most jobs, you need experience to get jobs but need a job to get experience. I'd be willing to write some short stories or two for free, to get published (or as J_L says, we fanfic writers don't get paid for any of our fanfic work) and if I was self publishing I would consider free for a period of time but a novel is way too much work to do for free. ;)
  6. Mechalich Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2010
    star 4
    I think Fry's article makes a great deal of sense within the specific context of attempting/conducting writing as a paid career. If writing is your primary profession and the thing you expect to pay the balance of your bills, then yes, you have to be very careful about attempting to maximally monetize almost everything you do.

    On the other hand, if writing is some you do because you write, and something else pays the bills, then I believe the calculus changes. Speaking for myself I love writing, and I would certainly love to be able to write full time, but I have long since accepted that is simply not going to be my career path - not because of talent as a writer, but because I don't have a talent for the relentless self-promotion, jobbing, lobbying, and all the other non-writing stuff that takes more time than the actual writing invovled monetizing one's work.

    As a result, my calculus is almost the reverse of Jason Fry's. I'm not attempting to monetize my writing, I'm just interested in telling the stories I wish to tell and getting them exposed to the maximum audience I reasonably can with a minimum of effort on the publication/marketing side. So if I was asked to do something, and it was something I wanted to do and felt would be good for me and for readers, then I wouldn't expect even the suggestion of monetary compensation - rather like participating in a board contest here.

    With regard to the specific Atlantic action in question though, that was obviously ridiculous. Either you're an entirely non-profit enterprise and nobody gets paid, or everybody gets paid. it's particularly crass in the current era, where a only tiny fraction of quality people who publish material on the internet that's worth reading are going to reasonably get paid for it, for one of the few organizations with connections to the elusive purse strings to ask for a freebie.
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