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Very interesting post

Those of you who don't normally read cesperanza's lj might want to take a look at the post she made today.  It's generated a huge amount of discussion in a very short period of time.  As an added incentive, if, like me, you've ever wanted to know what "ETA" stands for in lj-land, the mystery is finally solved.

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Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
maddiec24
Aug. 10th, 2005 03:24 pm (UTC)
I couldn't get the link to work, but I assume you mean the "pay me to write" chick. Another friend posted about it, and I was going to flame the nut, but so many other people had, I didn't feel the need to. I just couldn't believe it. As my friend put it, it's one thing to ask for money because you really need it - - like, I'm out of work and my kids are hungry or sick - - but this just amazed me. In addition to it being illegal and immoral, it insults all of the writers, of fanfic, or "real" fic, who work, raise families and still find time to write *without* asking people to pay them.
aswanargent
Aug. 10th, 2005 03:50 pm (UTC)
The link (which works for me) was just to cesperanza's entry and the comments that were made to it. As Ces said in the first ETA to her post, the orignal "pay me to write" post got deleted almost immediately. I never saw it myself.
maddiec24
Aug. 10th, 2005 04:08 pm (UTC)
I didn't mean your link was bad - - it's our dsl that's the problem. It's stormy here right and some stuff loads right up and some won't. I went to cesperanza's LJ(that link wokred for me - - see what I mean?) and I assumed that was the one you meant. I saw the original post, but it was the comments that amused me. She didn't get defensive until the post after it.
castalie
Aug. 10th, 2005 03:29 pm (UTC)
I'm actually commenting here for another reason than the post you linked to. Just wanted to thank you because while going through Cesperanza's entries, I found a pure gem, namely a brand new DZ fic - and it's Walt/Johnny and it's long and I'm so very happy squeee! So thanks *g*
aswanargent
Aug. 10th, 2005 03:44 pm (UTC)
*beams*
rileyc
Aug. 10th, 2005 07:21 pm (UTC)
I'm actually not as taken aback by this as a lot of others are, but that's only because until fairly recently in my fannish experience, pay-to-play was the norm.

A few years ago I tribbed to a Duncan/Methos print zine, and remember having some uneasy feelings about that. That was because my prior experience with contributing to zines had grown to be increasingly aggravating and stressful, all because a particular publisher was blatantly in it for the money she made. Standard operating procedure with zines is (or was) that all of the contributors would receive a free copy of the zine as soon as it came out. Not with this gal. *If* you could attend a convention and pick it up in person, fine; if you couldn't, though, tough luck. You would receive your copy only if she had any left over from the con; if there were none, you just had to wait until she felt like getting around to a second printing. Even outright paying in advance made no difference. She'd take the money, no problem, but only fork over the merchandise when she damn well felt like it.

That was her prodecure on everything. Mention you were interested in a copy of a particular show, and she would pop up to say she could provide you one -- if you would cover the price of the tape, the mailer she would send it, postage, and the cost of her trouble, generally coming out to around $8.00. Admire a photo she had taken of a star at one of the cons? Peachy; fork over some cold hard cash for the right to enjoy it.

She was the worst one like that, but absolutely not the only one.

So, by the time of this Highlander zine, I was feeling fairly cynical about fandom in general. But guess what? It turned out to be one of my best experiences, setting me up for the generosity I would soon encounter in Oz. What happened was, not only did the publishers of the zine promptly supply all tribbers with their copies, *but* they donated all profits to charity, and *then* they gifted all of the contributors with beautiful (free) t-shirts emblazoned with the zine's local, and even went so far as to include thank you cards. That absolutely blew my mind and effectively erased the bad taste of that pay-to-play stuff.

So, yes, while that post is appalling, it doesn't actually surprise me. Here's hoping it doesn't catch on, because I so thoroughly love fandom as I know it now, no price tags attached.

Sorry, didn't mean to rant on like that.

aswanargent
Aug. 11th, 2005 10:48 am (UTC)
Ranting is always allowed. :-)

I don't know how other people feel, but for my part, there's a certain amount of guilt that accompanies my position as a non-producing member of the fandoms where I read. Feedback seems a very inadequate way of thanking writers, icon makers, etc. for all the work they've put into creating something that's given me (and in many cases will continue to give me) pleasure. There are writers out there whom I'd very happily pay to read (a certain RB being a case in point), and the fact that these very talented people are willing to share their creations with the rest of us without asking anything in return never ceases to amaze me. So, in the cases where I can, I try to find small ways of saying "thank you"; it makes me feel like I'm giving something back, and I hope it pleases the recipients.

What the writer of that post (which I never saw, btw) did is something else again. The idea of holding her own work hostage is vulgar and crass, and the example of television and film talent who've tried blackmail at contract time should have given her pause for thought. If you're a real writer (I think), you must feel a compulsion to write; the stories need to get told and they won't let you rest until they've seen the light of day. Whether or not they'll find an audience, whether or not the writer will get anything back is probably (I think) irrelevant. Sure, recognition and payment would be nice, but that's something that's earned. In the meantime, you work at your day job to pay the rent and put food on the table, and you continue to write and hone your craft. And if you're talented enough and determined enough, maybe -- just maybe -- someday you can give up the day job and devote all your time to writing. But you have to pay your dues first. Even J.K. Rowling did that.

If I've said anything exceptionally stupid here, my apologies. Just remember that for me to put myself in the shoes of a fiction writer is like a guy who hunts with a stone knife trying to stand in for someone who uses a hunting rifle. Two different worlds, lol.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )