{Secret Library Podcast} Manjula Martin on How Writers Make a Living

Manjula Martin is fearless.

She gets to the heart of the matter: why don’t writers get paid like other professions? Why does everyone expect to read content for free or very little money these days? Why don’t we value writing the same way we value other work? And why is making a decent living considered “selling out” in some arenas. Manjula has been exploring the topic of money and writing in numerous forums, from her blog “Who Pays Writers?” a collection of rates that writers can submit anonymously about writing jobs they have worked, to her anthology “Scratch” that collects thoughts from a who’s who of today’s writers on the topic.

This has been a taboo conversation for ages. People were expected to feel grateful to get their work published at all, whether or not they got money for it. But why is writing a career that is so undervalued? Manjula and I dive in to some of these topics and hopefully get you excited to read her book, which collects essays and pieces from both prominent and new writers on the topic of making money from the written word. It’s a must-read and this episode is a must-listen if you want writing to be a career, rather than just a fun hobby.

Listen up on iTunes | Scratch: the Book | Who Pays Writers? blog | Manjula’s Website | Twitter

Discussed in Episode 54 with Manjula Martin:

  • Day jobs and writing on the side
  • Finding the stories that aren’t getting told
  • The conundrum of the MFA
  • Why don’t Masters degrees talk about the money?
  • Class issues around money and career
  • The danger of only certain people being able to afford being storytellers and what it does to the stories that get told
  • The shift from being able to work full-time and still write on the side- how today’s society is eliminating this option
  • The shortness of cultural memory
  • How to create an anthology
  • Wanting to hear from a variety of voices and levels of experience in the book
  • What it’s like to edit 33 writers
  • The importance of false deadlines
  • Looking at debt as an invetment
  • The fact that even rich and really famous writers are still insecure
  • Working on a novel and a gardening book
  • The unicorn day job
  • Keeping the romance going in a less than ideal world.

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