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I remember as an 18-year old literature student attending a lecture by a visiting professor from the Oxford University. He gave a talk on John Keats, my ideal at that point of time. John Keats, the boy-man who at twenty-two had died of consumption leaving behind such a beautiful body of poetry. The professor from Oxford explained that one of the reasons (in fact the main reason) the poet wrote was to survive financially. I remember how extremely upset I was at this statement, finance and poetry were really quite far apart in my mind. Well, so was most of literature.

But when I hear about the earnings of some of the foremost bestselling authors of our times, I wonder if some of them write for money.

I am a freelance writer for magazines and websites, so I write for money.

But now that I am on to fiction, I have had to start thinking of its earning potential, and I am not so sure I should. I have so far been a firm advocate of writing fiction for the sake of writing, but now that I have to take chunks out of my freelance writing time, I am not so sure.

I’d love to throw the question into the void, and figure out what the majority of writers think about writing vis a vis money.

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her forthcoming literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and will be published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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2 Comments

  • DG says:

    Nicely put, uppity, I know where your vote on my poll would go:)

  • Uppity says:

    I think if you love writing, why not write for money, regardless of what kind of writing it is? Why should writers be any different than anyone else who wants the opportunity to make money doing what they love?

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