The economic trajectory of writing today is “a classic race to the bottom,” according to Morrison, who has become a leading voice of the growing counter-revolution – writers fighting fiercely to preserve the traditional ways. “It looks like a lot of fun for the consumer. You get all this stuff for very, very cheap,” he says. But the result will be the destruction of vital institutions that have supported “the highest achievements in culture in the past 60 years.”
In short, he predicts, “There will be no more professional writers in the future.”
I'm not sure the exaggeration helps. Fundamentally, this is about a few fairly well-paid professionals, working mostly for the established media, a handful of big names like Jon Krakauer and the like, and the 99% of the rest of us. Professional writers in Canada's union for writers make about $11,000, on average. That's pretty pathetic, and right on the mark, in my experience.
It's a bit like acting. According to Screen Actors Guild stats, about 95% of actors in movies make less than $5000 a year. A tiny percentage -- less than 1% -- make over 100k a year.
How hard would you work for virtually nothing? What if your identity was part of your work?