Welcome Wednesday guests for October:
10/01 Finding Sky author, Susan O'Brien;
10/08 Award-winning Hank Phillippi Ryan (Truth Be Told);
10/15 Indie authors Polly Iyer (Backlash) and Ellis Vidler (Prime Target);
10/22 Murder by the Month author, Jess Lourey;
10/29 Marilyn Levinson, Golden Age of Mystery Book Club Mystery author.

Gloria Alden's latest publication is nonfiction. Boys Will Be Boys: The Joys and Terrors of Raising Boys. Edited by Cher'ley Grogg was recently released and available on Amazon. Gloria wrote three essays and two poems in her chapter included in the book.

Don't miss next month's release of Chesapeake Crimes: Homicidal Holidays on October 7th, in which WWK bloggers Shari Randall ("Disco Donna") and E. B. Davis ("Compromised Circumstances") have short stories.

KM Rockwood's
short stories will appear in two anthologies released in October. They are: "The Lure of the Owl" in Swamp Mansion and Other Dark Stories, to be released as a ebook, and "Aunt Olga and the Werewolf" will be included in the third Creatures, Crimes and Creativity anthology release by Intrigue Publishing. at their conference in October.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Subsidizing Writers Can Help Solve the US Recession

I’ve been thinking about ways to increase my earnings from my writing. I’ve been writing for about eight years now. I’ve reported income to the IRS four of those years and yet I’m in the hole net about $1,500. With this business model, I surely need a government bailout.

Consider the way the government is trying to stimulate the economy. With one hand they lower interest rates practically to zero to encourage borrowing and at the same time tell banks across the world they need to be more prudent in their lending and that they should maintain larger reserves. And governments are surprised banks aren’t lending all the money? Hellooooooooo…

Morgan le Fay looking puzzled by government actions
The problem with most stimulus spending is they target it at the rich, who take the money and save an equivalent amount elsewhere. They’re better off, but the economy hasn’t benefited. If you want to get people to spend more money, simply give money to people who really need it—they’ll go out and spend it the next day. Better, find people who will spend more than you’ll give them. People, who if given a dollar will spend two – that’s what keeps our economy running. And who better fits that category than writers – my financial numbers are certainly not unique.

During the Great Depression the Federal Government through the Work Projects Administration (the WPA) paid a number of writers to collect oral histories and forklore. This work resulted in a few paychecks and 2900 documents in the Library of Congress. This may have made a few people feel good, but it certainly didn’t put a dent in unemployment.

I suggest something a bit grander for the government to provide needed stimulus to our economy. Give a couple of billion dollars to aspiring writers from sea to shining sea. For example, $2,000,000,000 divvied up at $500 a pop will cover 4 million would-be-writers, which is only a small fraction of the 300 million or so people who claim to have written, be writing or plan to write the next Great American novel, but have yet to be published.

You would have to apply for the money, of course. To win a grant you need to (1) demonstrate you have paid more for your writing career than you have taken in, and (2) promise to spend the $500 attending a writers’ conference outside of your region, and (3) promise all the money will be spent in the next three months. I would certainly qualify; however preference points should be awarded to those just starting on their first fiction writing endeavors. Why them and not me? Read on.

What with conference registration, travel expenses, hotels, restaurants, bar bills (trying to get to talk to agents somewhere other than the restroom or tossing down a few drinks to ease the pain after an agent looks at you as though you have two heads when you try to wow them with your hook), paying for extra critiques and one-on-one agent interviews, your would-be-writer will easily go through the $500 and probably spend twice the amount, or more—and that’s just going to the conference.

But like gamblers having won early in the evening and lost three times as much because they continued to play with “house” money long after the money was gone, these would-be-writers will come home all charged up bearing tons of information about how-to books they need to buy, editors they should employ, online classes to polish their first five pages, their hook, their query, their synopsis, the sex scenes, the suspense, pacing – well my fingers tire at the run on sentence, but you can see the needs are endless. That’s why new writers are so precious; they have all that knowledge to accumulate—and all of it will cost hard dollars. So, for a mere $2 billion investment, the government will create multiple billions of additional spending (those who took Economics will recognize we have not even talked about the additional benefits brought on by the multiplier effect.)

Gosh, by the time these enthusiastic writers fill their shelves and their minds, the economy will have expanded by at least ten times the $2 billion investment –enough to generate taxes to pay for all the original $2 billion and probably more.

Well that’s how I envision it working, but you should keep in mind that unlike politicians, I admit to writing fiction.

~ Jim

7 comments:

E. B. Davis said...

So, when do the checks start coming, Jim? And let me know when Morgan Le Fay stops looking puzzled. It will help me sleep at night.

evleroux said...

Even Morgan Le Fay seems knows how much fiction exists in the world.

Susan Schreyer said...

Jim, I'm screaming! Although the excessive hilarity on my part is because I do believe you are right! This is a brilliant plan--are you certain Morgan le Fay's expression isn't one of encouragement to email your stimulus plan to Obama?

Donnell said...

Jim, I can't understand why Susan's screaming with laughter at this. What part of your brilliant grant writing scheme wouldn't work. Sign me up!

Warren Bull said...

You aren't thinking of running for office are you?

Ramona said...

I dare you to send this proposal to your state senator. Stranger things have happened, you know.

Pauline Alldred said...

Even if you don't lobby for this plan, I'm hoping other writers will. Enthusiasm might be waning in the Democratic party but writers, who turn the other cheek after over one hundred rejections, never give up hope.