Oh, behave. I’m talking about writing and painting and joking and photography. Thousands of tweets and postings and sharings for free here on the endless internet full of “friends.” This is supposed to be the big ass machine of business of the globe and it is, in many ways, but does it make an amateur into a professional if we’re not paid?
I’m in the Dramatists’ Guild and I’ve had productions and earned about $6,000 in prizes 30 years ago. Am I an amateur? Granted, I can now enter contests and submit to theaters via the Internet, but if I lose them all, if my submissions all fall flat, am I still a professional?
And I am 61 years old.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I get all the Rumi postings and uplifting inspiraions, but if in the course of my shit landing in the hands of a producer, am I dismissed out of hand for being too old? I don’t let it stop me, but I have to, I HAVE TO be aware of the prejudice to deal with it.
I’m on Disability and Pension and like most of us, my life doesn’t depend on the Arts or the Internet to survive. It’s fun. My friends are great and supportive and I hope I can provide a little hope and entertainment for all of you. I have friends trying to earn a living here and man, do I respect them. I try to buy a few small things when I can, but I am getting eaten alive by the medical bills that will be the only thing any of us can afford soon enough.
I don’t know. I’m just wondering. I’m just asking. It’s my job as a writer. The newspapers and magazines will HAVE to be online and not on dead wood. They will HAVE to sell ads and subscriptions. This is slowly becoming our Library and our Art Museum, although can we assume everyone will be able to always afford MACs and PCs and internet lines?