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Making Money With Art

Discussion in 'Writing Resources' started by Chessie2, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    I came across this video by accident. Her words really spoke to me and everything I hold dear about writing. For those who want to write professionally--this is for you. Not applicable if you're writing as a hobby.

     
    Tom, skip.knox and Michael K. Eidson like this.
  2. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Make art.
    Make rent.
    Help others do the same.
     
    Michael K. Eidson likes this.
  3. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

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    Cant argue with that.
     
  4. HaydenHarper

    HaydenHarper New Member

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    Thank you very much for sharing this.
     
    Chessie2 likes this.
  5. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    I agree with her that art must be a priority, & that if you want to do something, you'll find the time.

    Her points are somewhat weakened, as far as becoming a full-time artist, when she admits her boyfriend pays most of the bills for her and her four children because "he makes great money". Not many people have that luxury.
     
  6. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    She also mentioned in that same thread that she had already been providing for herself before he came along. Let's not judge her lifestyle or the 'luxury' of having a partner to help pay bills when the point remains that she's busted her ass to make money from her art, which not many of us can claim. Honestly, I find it kind of rude that you would bring up that point.
     
    TheCatholicCrow likes this.
  7. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    It's a valid point, and if she makes a public video about being a full-time professional artist when she's not paying the majority of her bills, it's 100% right for me to "judge" her, though I don't think that's what I'm doing. The question arises, would she have been able to sustain a full-time art career without another, majority, household income? Maybe she would. We can't know. But either way, please, do not presume to tell someone which questions they might raise for fear of being rude. I'm quite certain this forum is intended for open, civil debate.

    Whether you like it or not, she has a luxury that most people do not. I give her credit for stating that is the case, and that doesn't take anything away from her hard work. Just because she has someone helping to support her and her four children, doesn't mean she didn't bust her ass to make money from her art. I never said that, but it is a balancing consideration, nonetheless.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
  8. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    It could be said that I have the same luxury, because I do. It still doesn't take away from the fact that I work hard. You have a right to opine what you'd like but I didn't post this video to discuss the luxuries of being a woman with a supportive partner (and hell, let's take it even a step further because I have a hard time writing with ONE child to rear let alone THREE more, or are we forgetting that motherhood is a full time job in and of itself??). Lifestyle choice shouldn't have anything to do with the point she's making (and why I posted the video), which is making art and selling it is hard work. Her honesty about her situation doesn't all of a sudden make her hard work disappear.
     
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  9. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    1) I NEVER claimed it took away from the fact that she, or you, work hard. Quite the opposite.

    2) It has NOTHING to do with being a woman. You're the only one claiming such.

    I have two male friends, both of which have wives that make the majority income for their households. Both of these friends are writers. One is a full-time, traditionally published author with 2 school-aged children. The other has adult children and is more of a beginner, but he will soon be able to also write full-time. Both of these men have told me they would not be able to write full-time if they didn't have a partner who was able to support their families on a solitary income. They are fortunate. They are also the exception in modern times. Does that mean the traditionally published author doesn't work his ass off? No, it doesn't.
     
  10. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I think people prefer to hear the success stories of those who are close to where they are and what they're writing. I don't think that needs to become a source of conflict. Please let's calm down a bit.
     
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  11. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    Agreed. My comments weren't meant to be an attack on anyone's lifestyle, nor were they meant to be sexist, but rather, an observation that I found similar to the current situation of two writer friends. That's why I raised the issue. Perhaps I should've explained that early on.

    Chessie2, I didn't mean to offend, or derail. I hope you can see that. I'm no sexist, and anyone that knows me here, or personally, would say the same.
     
  12. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    I'm not offended. It's all good. :)
     
    T.Allen.Smith likes this.
  13. Dark Squiggle

    Dark Squiggle Troubadour

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    Wow. I gotta listen to her. Not that I want to make a living off my art, but I'd love to be able to sell it...
     
  14. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I finally had a chance to watch the video and had mixed feelings about what she was saying. There's only so much most people can put at risk for their artwork, especially at any given time of their life. The idea that you have to put art above everything - by which she means passtimes (okay) and employment - if you're a real artist.... well, while I don't exactly disagree with her, some of what she was saying didn't come across well with me. If you have to work eight hours a day, what are you supposed to do? She didn't really address that question, so to me it felt like she her comments were incomplete and not well rounded.
     
  15. Dark Squiggle

    Dark Squiggle Troubadour

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    If you have to work eight hours a day, your goal is different from hers, but the priority but still hills true,a does the sell yourself bit, and everything relief she said. Her goal is to work as a professional artist and to supplement her family's income. If you're working full time, then that is at least not your immediate goal.
     
  16. Michael K. Eidson

    Michael K. Eidson Archmage

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    I know someone who wrote in his spare time while holding down a 40-hour-a-week job. He was writing in one genre and not making many sales. He switched to another genre, and in less than a year, he is earning more from his writing than he is earning from his 40-hour-a-week job. So he's close to being able to quit the other job and focus just on his writing career. You have to write to the market if you want to quit your full-time job.
     
  17. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    What genre was he writing and what did he switch to?
     
  18. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    Selling books is freaking hard. You are building an audience and there is a lot that goes into it. I work longer than 8 hour days sometimes. It's not just the writing there's editing, scheduling of services, marketing and promotions that take a lot of time.

    She did say that outside of your family art should come first if you want to be a professional. It takes a LOT of work to get there especially because you have to keep producing. I did put a disclaimer in my OP about this being for people who want to make a living from their art. I absolutely agree it should come after God and family. Just me though. If others feel differently then that's not their goal. A lot of writers say they want to make a living from their work but are not willing to do what it takes to get there.
     
    TheCatholicCrow likes this.
  19. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    Like I said, I don't really disagree with her. I just felt that I had more questions that felt unanswered. For instance, how do you know when you're ready to take those kinds of risks? Do you start with eight hour days or begin with, say, 60 minutes a day and add more as time goes on?

    I also don't really know if passion - by itself - is the benchmark for whether or not you've got what it takes to be an artist. I think there are passionate people who try really hard and don't get very far.

    How can someone tell if their art needs more time and effort or when the extra commitment is ultimately a foolish endeavor? If I want to make a living with my writing, is that something I can achieve, or am I wasting my time? Nobody ever wants to consider that question, yet I think each of us have to at some point. For myself, I'm satisfied with my answer, but it's a scary question, and we have to face it.
     
  20. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    I see what you're saying now. Yeah, there are a lot of unanswered questions but everyone is going to have a different starting place. For me, I've always known this is what I wanted to do since I was like...7. My life has revolved around writing to the point where I stayed in the food service industry, which is a flexible industry far as work hours go, in order to have time to write. My parents never understood why I got a Biology/Political Science degree in college only to continue writing. Because I didn't even want to go to college honestly, I just wanted to write. I get up early or stay up late or find time during the day to do this thing. Creating is the most important thing in my life next to clearly obvious priorities.

    Far as whether your art needs more time, it always will need that time. One never 'arrives'. We're always growing and evolving as writers. My books don't sell very well. I'm unknown. I need an audience. So the answer is to write more books, do a bit of marketing each day, and just never give up. Making a living from art takes years and years. Some writers get lucky right out of the gate. Most of us don't. So to answer your question, for me, my art will always need more effort and time. The only way to make money selling books is to work hard...because writing is only half the struggle. Selling books is hard, way way way hard, and a lot of writers just want to put their work out there and not think about marketing, etc. It's not just about craft. It's about getting visibility as well.

    And to be entirely honest: my writing is my lifeline. It's existed before anyone or anything else in my life. I adore my husband for being supportive (although he wasn't always). It took years of showing him my daily habits (getting up to write) and him reading my work in order for him to finally get it, and now he brags about me lol. What I'm saying is only you can make those choices for your own life. Anyone or anything that stands in the way of my creation loses a spot in my life. Sorry, just the way it is. I make an exception for my family. Everyone else who has made fun of me or, like a friend I dumped a while back ago, who has tested my patience by calling and texting and coming over when I'm writing has been given the boot. *shrug*
     
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