How do writers survive?

“There is no problem with journalism. The problem is with the business models to support journalism. There will always be a need for news and reporters.”

– David Cohn, founder of Spot.us

How little would you pay for a book?

I sometimes can’t work out the value of decent writing. The romance of slaving away into long, cold ours at a computer with the euphoria of a knackered marathon runner bashing through ‘the wall’ does fade after a few pangs of hunger.

While I understand the value of developing a brand, promoting my expertise, making a name for myself. That is what I hope I do when I write. But it’s just a simple preservation thing. I’d like to plan ahead, have some fun, maybe even save into a pension. Call it survival.

I wonder what would happen if journalists and writers went on strike.

You’d reach for your newspaper, scroll through your smartphone, check social media and there’d be no news… nothing relevant, savvy or progressive. No news to share with your friends or to break the ice with awkward contacts.

I suppose that won’t happen. In a world where unpaid internships exist, the response of young journalists is a fearful, cut-throat necessity to undervalue each other. It’s preferable to actually trusting each other to rally together for the sake of a principle, a dime for our time, a measure of our worth.

Rational economics – people vote with their money. But the market price is certainly not rational. A price that someone is willing to pay and someone else is driven to accept says nothing on the inherent value of something. And that might be all that matters.

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