Unpaid and under appreciated, the true cost of creativity.

 

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I have the upmost respect for the good teachers in our education system. The souls who work a ton of overtime and don’t get paid for it, just so our children can have the best education and school experience possible. Every teacher that my oldest child had, with the exception of two, were a marvel. I adored them all. In fact, if it wasn’t for Christian’s first grade teacher, I strongly believe that he would have never been diagnosed with autism and got the help he needed. My youngest started school this year and also has autism. He too, has been blessed with beautiful, wonderful teachers. I tip my hat to them because they are the best and go above and beyond the call of duty when they don’t have to.

With this being said, I recently read an article that states that teachers have the highest record of unpaid hours of any profession. I don’t disagree, but you are overlooking a whole industry of people who have higher hours of unpaid work. Those who work in the creative field. Us authors(especially independent), editors, graphic designers, artists, dancers and musicians(and a host of others I can’t list here)

I’m an indie author. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, this means that I’m soley responsible for writing, editing, cover design, publishing and marketing my own work. All of this costs money that I can scarcely afford. I have to pay an editor, a cover designer and when I have a little extra left over(which is rare) I pay someone, like a blog tour company, to help me market my book. An average book that cost you anywhere from free-3.99 for an ebook or 15 dollars or less for a paperback, costs me no less than 600 dollars or more to produce for one novel. This doesn’t not include the marketing. Do you want to know the total amount of royalties that I made off ebook sales since I started as a self published author, four years ago? A grand total of $10.14.  My paperbacks which I sold myself to those lovely souls who know me and are kind enough to support little ol’ me is higher. Roughly 600.00 in four years.

Let’s go on vacation shall we! I’m rich! 🙂

Money isn’t the only thing that my life’s passion costs me. Time. It takes me a year to a year and half to publish a book. This includes untold hours of staying up way past my bed time writing, editing and writing numerous drafts until I feel it is fit to send to my editor. Then, once the manuscript is back, still more rewrites.

Writing is a lonely, solo profession. I don’t socialize and the hours spent writing takes me away from the other things I love, like my family. The only interaction I have with my colleagues is through social media an a variety of author groups I joined. They are my lifeline.

Like a teacher, no one forced me into writing. I do it because I love it, just like teachers do. We dedicate our lives to a profession that pays us little because it’s our passion and that’s what keeps us going.

I’m speaking for myself as an author but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention other artists such as dancers, actors, designers , musicians, painters, sculptors, etc. And those who help authors make their stories a  published reality like editors who spend countless unpaid hours creating so the rest of society can have a little joy.

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