The income gap.
I’m having a bit of a moment today. It all started out so well, and then I checked my email.
There’s this disconnect in the writing world right now. Almost all of the writers I know (myself included) are living paycheck to paycheck. It’s hard to pay for coffee at our weekly writing meetings, let alone fork over hundreds or thousands of dollars for writing conferences, retreats, or webinars. Many of us don’t have credit cards or have limited credit. And even taking time off for conferences and retreats just feels completely out of reach.
More and more I see these emails about how by attending this webinar or that conference, I’ll be able to create a marketable platform for myself as an author. And you know what, I’m not arguing this fact. I am also sure that the people giving these presentations are worth every damned penny they charge. But I sit there and wonder how on earth I can ever participate. The reason I need these webinars is so I can make money, and I don’t have the money to jump in and participate. So, I’ve taken to deleting the emails before even opening them, lest blogs posts like this about being a poor writer take over my brain early in the morning.
One just came in. Secure my spot with an agent for the First Ten Pages Boot Camp. Only $199 dollars. No additional discounts available. I am sure it would be worth it. I’m also sure I’d like to eat and put gas in my car because if I can’t get to work, even ten bucks for something would be out of my range.
Don’t get me wrong. People are worth their time. The fact that so many freelancing sites are paying 3 CENTS a word is disgusting to me. It’s more disgusting that I sit there and contemplate it because I need to build my portfolio. But the gap between those who can participate in these programs and those that can’t just feels like it gets wider all the time. $199 for access to people who could change my life seems like this fantastic deal. Until I look at my checkbook register.
It seems like there isn’t an easy way to fix it. This is the business side of the creative world. And it kind of sucks.