Authors get advances. Writers get day jobs.
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The professional author pie is a small one, with author advances all but extinct and author royalties shrinking. I’m way too lazy to link to sources to validate that statement, but trust me, it’s true. Yet despite this negative trend, the number of wannabe authors remains strong. Why?
The simple answer is that many writers think of story-telling as something innate, or something not motivated by money. In the same way that visual artists (painters, sculptors, Bedazzlers, etc.) are contemporarily portrayed as jobless dirty people, authors would suffer the same problem if not for the strange acceptance of a supplemental day job. For a writer to have a day job is like a Thomas Jefferson having a slave; we don’t like it, but it happens so we have come to accept it. A visual artist with a day job is still just a dirty person. Academia excluded (visual or textual artists all have equal weight as university professors) a “normal” day job isn’t given the same respect in the world of paints and clay.
The complicated answer is that so many writers hope to be the exception. Some writers don’t mind authoring for money; I’m not talking about these wonderful people. Some writers want to make money by textualizing their philosophies. Is this possible? Has any author made a living only writing what they want, with absolutely no concern for money? I want to say “yes,” but I fear the answer is “no.” Examples please.