Awesome weekend with nopseud
visiting. We inspected the brand new Viking exhibit at the castle, and had Afternoon Tea at Biddy's for lunch on Sunday (which was excellent) as well as succumbing to the lure of leather jackets and a triceratops skull. Really, Norwich is an excellent place.
Fluffy was kept busy chasing the feathers-onna-fishing-line toy. Sable showed unexpected smarts by visibly connecting the little red dot she had been chasing with the small laser pointer chalcopyrite
was holding, but she was otherwise unsociable unless there was cheese on offer.
And a great deal of tea was drunk. I had purchased Yorkshire Tea's Breakfast Blend, to make quite sure that nopseud
could wake in the mornings and not suffer from caffeine withdrawal.
There have been various contributions to a more-or-less debate about making money from fanworks, so it's something I've been thinking about lately. In general, I think the argument about monetising fandom activities doesn't actually apply to fanfic, and indeed, when someone manages to parlay fanfic-writing into a paid publishing career, we mostly cheer; I'm not really talking about being paid for fanfic, but about how it feels. And in my mind, it's connected with knitting.
No, wait a sec.
I knit things I want to knit, and offer them to people I think will like them, or else keep them for myself. Occasionally I'll be asked for something - my niblings have expressed a gratifying eagerness to receive aunt-knitted garments, and I have obliged.
But I don't take commissions. I don't want somebody to pay me for my knitting because it would undervalue it. The cost of the lovely yarn is as nothing to the cost of my labour even at minimum wage*. Nobody would pay that. And I don't want to be underpaid - I don't want to say cost of yarn plus £20 or something, because that's ridiculous and insulting, even though it would be £20 that I wouldn't otherwise have for doing something that I'd be doing anyway. Except that if someone's paying me, even if they're not paying me a reasonable amount, there's extra pressure to produce something perfect. It's not 'something I'd be doing anyway' with that amount of extra pressure, or indeed with the extra pressure of someone else being involved in the decisions - which pattern to use, which colours, what kind of yarn. No, thanks. I'll do it for love and keep it or give it away as I choose.
Now, writing fanfic is different in quite a lot of ways. But.
A friend of mine used to be involved with professional publishing, and I well remember talking to her about how things worked, and being glad that I was not involved with all that. No hard, necessary commercial deadlines for me. (I like deadlines, but missing anything except a SeSa deadline is forgiveable.) No word limits - I can write the story until it is done, and then stop, without caring if it is the right size to fit the space available. No requirement to make editorially-requested changes—if I don't like my beta's suggestions, I don't have to follow them. All that.
It kinda feels like knitting on commission. Do you see what I mean? At the moment, I don't want to monetise my writing, I want to do it for love. That could change, but then the writing would also change.
I'm not sure I've made the argument very well, or entirely sure that it's even valid, but in my head (or possibly in my heart) it makes sense.
* 'by the yard' is probably a better way to pay, but I'm a slow knitter so my *time* would still be rated very cheap