Art and Money

I plan on going to a grant writing seminar on Sunday. You always hear about all this “free” money they have out there for attending college, starting your own business, writing a book. Three guesses on what Id do with a grant… okay.

I enjoy writing for many reasons, one being that it frees me from the day to day grind of day work, family and life’s struggles. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to be able to do it for a living, but I also wonder that with the added pressure of writing for a living, actually needing to make money off of my writing to survive, would that hinder the creative process? Would I feel so pressured to make a buck that it would compromise what I really feel passionate about? I read many blogs and diaries of other authors on line. It seems to be a theme lately, the work and the money. An author idol of mine just signed a major book deal and she was speaking this morning of her discomfort about receiving money for a work she hadn’t yet created. Another author has been worrisome about receiving checks from editors that she needs to pay her bills. She also spoke of one of her writing days really feeling like work, like just getting the words down and hoping the bring in cash (put much better than that, of course). Yet another artists received enough in donations from his fans to quit his job and work on his art for a year.

So, I wonder, as much as I fantasize about writing what I want to write and being paid for it, if this actually happened (or happened much more often than it does now) how would that change the way I feel about the work? Sure, a book deal would be wonderful, but would I then feel so much pressured to pump out a book a year that I just become a machine? Is there a balance between the art and the money? My art is my release and the occasional checks are a sweet bonus. I just don’t know if the money would still be sweet if there were lots more of it, or if it would just feel like a check I had to slave to get.

I guess I said all that to say I’ll be going to the seminar and I plan on writing a grant to fund my writing. I hesitate to attach the funding to a specific project because you know how all over the place I am with my projects. So, on the other hand, maybe I should get myself organize before I put that sort of pressure on myself? I’ve been thinking about consulting a super-organized friend of mine on getting my writing life in order. Ah, hell.

As a side bar, when I’m talking about authors and editors, I normally don’t mention them by name because I feel if I’m going to shout them out in this blog, I could at least link to their sites, work, etc. Well, it’s no secret that I’m not html savvy and I don’t know how to link to things. I’d be happy to rectify this if someone could give me a small tutorial on blogging and linking?

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