Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"Soooo, why are you not writing again?"

After yesterday's well-received post (thanks for telling me... but you can actually leave a comment here to let me know, lol), I had a conversation with my co-worker Dawn about the field of writing. Since I do have a degree in English and have been published before, why am I not still writing as a career? Well, one reason is the increasingly unstable journalism field. The economy's downward spiral has had an affect on just about every area of employment, but journalism, particularly print, has been seriously hurting. A few newspapers have bit the dust this year, after struggling for years. Besides losing readers, newspapers are suffering a major loss in advertisement, which are really the moneymakers for publication companies. Magazines aren't faring much better. I've seen a few of my favs (remember Jane or Honey?) die sad quiet deaths. I'm not even sure if there is still a Vixen, and I liked that alot, too. Even Vibe, a mainstay in the music mag realm is obviously on rocky ground based on it's suddenly skeletally thin amount of pages (I learned as an intern at it's Manhattan offices five years ago that sales are everything; if it's getting "skinny" or has fewer pages, it's not for a lack of stories or photos, but plummeting ads). Thin magazine=life support...

The reality is many writers have day jobs. My fabulous friend Rajul is a great example. She spends her days weeding out diamond-in-the-rough manuscripts from the many submitted to a NY publishing company, and her nights covering music and entertainment events as a freelance writer for various websites and specialized mags. She even scored a coveted sit down with rapper T.I. for Rap-Up Magazine that was a cover story. My fellow poet (and former classmate) Kathy did some freelancing for the Star-Ledger (me, too!), but now relishes teaching kids as a substitute teacher- a gig that will probably lead to full time employment since she recently passed the Praxis.

Even for well-established writers/authors, big stories don't always equal big money. Writer Aliyah S. King, known for numerous magazine features, who I have followed for years, signed a book deal last year, but still finds herself counting each penny. On her website, she dedicated a story to the late King magazine (I didn't even know it was in trouble), for which she regularly contributed. Even though King has a book coming down the pipeline, for her, freelancing keeps her family budget maintained.

Sooooo, why am I not writing? Full time, professionally, because being an administrative assistant (i.e. a combination gopher/secretary) keeps our family budget maintained. Part time, in the blogosphere, I am still writing, and quite often. Even if it is for five people. And I love you all dearly for reading. Now start leaving written comments...


Anonymous said...

I Love you...anything you write I will read.
Most things you write enrich my soul and spirit. Thanks for allowing me to enter your world.


April Joy said...

i love your writings. always have..and will continue to. I was excited to discover you had a blog! ;)

Alisha De Freitas said...

Thanks Dawn! You make me feel like a star, lol. And April, it was after reading YOUR blog that I decided to stop being lazy about it and start my own. K had been telling me to write since last year- actually four months before we had our first date. It's actually been a lot of fun. Thank you both for reading!! xoxoxo

Joe said...

Wow you encapsulated everything I was thinking in that one post. I was recently trying to define the attributes of love to someone, not the emotional feeling, but the core components and I couldn’t recall the verse. Always inspiring, as always your blog rocks!!!

Alisha De Freitas said...

Thanks Joe... I'm waiting for YOUR blog now. I was talking to K about it and he's very interested, too.

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