Sunday, September 2, 2018

Making Writing Pay by Leanne Dyck

(me and my friends playing 'row, row the boat' photo by a co-worker, circa the 1990s)

That day's guest lecturer had been in the field of child day care for many years. No doubt, she shared a lot--the highs, the lows. But what hit me was:  "After graduation, as a child care worker, you'll earn less than a general laborer."

I pipped up with, "Money doesn't matter to me. I want to give quality care to the children who need me. I want to support families."
Early Childhood Educators 'work is undervalued and they in effect subsidize the service they provide through their low pay.' (Beach, Costigliola, 2004)
'Across all national surveys, low wages have been consistently identified as the primary reason for leaving the field.' (Halfon, 2014)
'The high turnover rate in child care creates instability and negatively affects the quality of child care.' (Beach, Costigliola, 2004)
I graduated from the University of Winnipeg's eighteen-month program and sought work in rural Manitoba--because I thought that was where I was most needed. I quickly became aware that many people viewed me as nothing more than a glorified babysitter. Because I focused on intangible rewards, I had a fourteen-year career--only retiring when a family tragedy forced me to make lifestyle changes. 

And now I write...
'Don't write to become famous or to make a lot of money. Write because you love it.'
-Joe Beernink
Wait a second. What's wrong with writing for money? Love--money, can't you have both? Most writers start with at least one (love). Why can't you dream of attaining the other (money)? What's wrong with dreaming. Sometimes it makes for an excellent motivator. 

Some may say, "But what if you don't achieve the type of success that you dream of?"

What if you do?

And we're all grown-ups. We've had our dreams dashed before. We've learned how to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off.

Dreaming of success shouldn't stop us from celebrating the small successes we make daily. Turning on the computer... Picking up that pen... Writing that sentence, paragraph, chapter, book.

Yes, I'm writing to build my readership. Yes, I hope my books sell. No, this doesn't make me a sell-out.
'Real art has positive value, which means it has Commercial value. We perversely define artists as those who Don't create for money (as opposed to nearly every other vocation, where skill, experience and quality for a craft would boost your income), based on the idea that great work transcends commercialism.' -Derek Murphy 


In 1985, broke and depressed, Jim Carrey wrote himself a cheque for 10 million dollars for "acting services rendered". The cheque deteriorated but Carrey eventually made it. 

Read the entire story here.

(me completing my studies, circa the 1980s)

Next Post:   Sunday, September 9th
(at approximately 5 PM PST)
To honour those who have returned to their studies, I wrote Magdalene College's bell tower--a short story. I hope you enjoy reading it.

(my husband and me waiting for a parade, our dog wondering, what? photo by T Hobley 2018)

Sharing my author journey...

I know it looks like I have a demanding workload, and I do--especially this summer. But I do aim for a balance between work 

and play. (Even though I do view my work as play. Fortunate, eh?) I take time to do other things that aren't writing--spend time with my husband, go for long walks with my dog, attend community events. And because right now all my deadlines are self-imposed, I take one day off each week. I'll admit that sometimes it's difficult, during that day, not to turn on the computer or reach for a pen. Sometimes I give in and jot down a note or two. But it's important for me to remember who I am beyond being a writer. Taking a break from my writing is a good way to avoid burning out, to ensure that writing continues to be fun, and to maintain balance. 

Enjoy those dog days of summer!