The most difficult challenges writers face today
1. More than ever, writers have to be versatile, able to write long or short, fast or slow, reports or stories, independently or with others, online and on paper, in multiple genres and platforms for a wide variety of audiences.
2. Writers must seize control of their careers. In a bad economy, with newspapers and magazines shrinking in staff size and resources, the writer must always be planning for the next move. The key is to keep learning: reading, writing, talking about the craft.
3. The panhandler says “Can you spare some change?” I want to say, “Can you spare me the change?” Change is no longer something that happens, that injects itself into normal patterns of life and work. Change has become the normal pattern. With change, especially technological change, comes gain and loss. Writers must ask: “What new opportunities can I embrace?” But also, “How can I compensate for what’s been lost.”
4. Back in the day, our job was just to write. If the writing was good, it could attract an audience. If not, we deserved to be ignored. Now there is a new paradigm. The writer must be willing to promote the work and to develop that work into a brand. Stephen King is many things, one of them is a brand. With so many choices on the Internet, readers do turn to reliable names, sources, and brands.
5. The institutions that used to support writers are shaky. Newspapers and magazines are in decline, as are publishing companies, which seem more risk averse than ever. Old economic models seem beyond repair. The good news is that with new technologies, old borders and barriers have crumbled. At very little cost, the writer can publish his or her own work through websites, blogs, social media, and on-demand publishing.
6. While some of these new realities may seem dispiriting, more comforting is the news that good stories have not become obsolete, that curiosity and critical thinking remain in demand, that those of us who live inside the language have special creative powers that attracts others to us, including potential employers. Keep the faith. Hold the torch up high. Get your hands moving on that keyboard.
Thank you Roy, I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and answer my question.
Roy Peter Clark, a Ph.D. in medieval literature, is Vice President and Senior Scholar of the world-renowned Poynter Institute. The author or editor of 14 professional books, he is founding director of the National Writer's Workshops, regional conferences that attract 5,000 writers annually. His 50 tools, published in abbreviated form on the Poynter Website (www.poynter.org), have already gained foothold worldwide.
You can find out more about Roy and Help! for Writers at Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and at Poynter.
Now for those of you sharp-eyed readers who noticed the word GIVEAWAY and the little GIVEAWAY logo above...we're having a GIVEAWAY! Thanks to the author and Anna at Little, Brown and Company we have a copy of Roy's book for one you lucky ducks..
- Must be US or Canadian resident, at least 13 years old
- No PO Boxes
- Leave a comment WITH your email address on this post
- Drawing ends midnight PST September 30th, 2011
- Winner will have 72 hours to respond to winning notice
If you don't want to wait for your own copy:
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