Tuesday, August 21, 2012

monkey biz

A while back I read a post by Sarah Manguso on the FSG blog: How to Have a Career: Advice to Young Writers.  There were points that could have been made which it seemed best not to make...

Today I came across this clip from a TED talk by Fans de Wall, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay. HT MR, HT Greg Mankiw.

This does not really encapsulate the challenges that face you as a writer.  The problem is not that you get a cucumber while the other monkey gets a grape for the same work.  You write a book from scratch of 80,000+ words; you'll be lucky to get a cucumber.  Your agent/lawyer/accountant/other, meanwhile, is OUTRAGED if the book can't be crammed into a boilerplate - and lives on a lovely steady diet of grapes. If you are one of the lucky sods who got a cucumber, they will also be OUTRAGED if you fling that cucumber away and shake the walls of your cage.

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