Interesting discussion recently by sci-fi author Robert J. Sawyer about how, within a decade, no science fiction/fantasy writers–perhaps no novelists at all–will be able to write full-time. He argues that as the turf wars over e-publishing funnel less money to authors, pirating is easy and plentiful, and authors are being expected to pick up more (if not all) of their promotional costs, writers will be lucky to have that day-job lunch hour in which to churn out stories.
Will storytelling always be with us? Sure. Always has, always will.
Will storytellers be able to live on their storytelling? Sawyer says no.
Of the writers I know who are doing it full-time, most are “housewives” or “house-husbands” with a working spouse who’s willing to let them pursue their dreams.
[Must be nice. If you know of a guy willing to let me write while he works and does a hefty amount of the household duties, let me know.]
For those of us who are single (and, worse, have children or aging parents we’re trying to support on our paltry day job salaries–and write on the side), well, hell, the reality Sawyer mourns is already here. But for the next decade, I guess we can still dream.