Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dark Oak's Allan Gilbreath on Writing for Art and Money

We ran a roundtable a  few weeks ago about the differences between writing for the sake of art and writing to make a living wage. Several authors were able to take part, and it made for a fantastic roundtable article. 

However, a few folks had pressing deadlines and weren't able to take part then, but luckily now I'm able to present their responses here.

For starters, how about the toastmaster general of many conventions and publisher/writer/editor about town, Dark Oak Press' own Allan Gilbreath.


Is there a difference between writing for art and writing to sell? What is it (or what are they)?

No.  We write to tell and share a story.  We put ourselves out there to be found by others who enjoy our efforts.  If not, you are typing for self therapy.

Why do writers tend to divide into camps and support one over the other? Aren't both needed?

We naturally find those like us that we enjoy and support them.  I came to the realization a long time ago that there is no competition between writers - we need each other to survive and maybe even thrive.

What advice do you have for writers pursuing a living wage in art?

Understand that very few people actually make a living through the arts as opposed to being a waiter.  The job of waiter is clearly defined in the mind of the public.  The job of artist is not.  An artist must become a true brand and commercial entity and work to maintain and protect their brand just like any other business.

What advice do you have for writers pursing art in a commercial culture?

Enjoy both lives.  Life one is working for someone else doing what you love.  If you wind up in charge, a true bonus.  Life two is the art you make on your own time for your own ends.  Find the balance you need for your life and enjoy it.  Be blessed with both your talent and your personal life.

Anything else to add,  Allan?

Trying to make my fellow writers and artists money is a passion of mine.  We all work very hard and deserve to be rewarded for all that we do.  Getting that through to some people is tough some days.  Some times, tough to the point of not caring, then almost magically, along comes that next event or person or story that makes you realize that if you don't keep fighting, we can run out of people who will.