Make A Living Out of Writing?

I was reading news and trying not to think of politics and economy because for the past few days, we have been stuffed with those kind of news. Clearly, with NEM is still cloudy and mixed yet confusing reactions made by opposition, I don’t have the will to comment further as for me, what has been presented is still work in progress. Be it politically or economically, it is undoubtfully ambitious yet not been addressed in a good way. Feels like reading MyTeam saying that their aim is to win Asian Champions League but no specific, measurable, accurate, reasonable and timely action can support that kind of goal. Then, I read what BERNAMA reported:

KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 (Bernama) — Government agencies should work with the industry to help writers make a career out of writing, Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said.

He said that although the Malaysian book industry had reached an annual value of RM2 billion, writers had yet to reach a stage where they can make a living out of the activity.

“Our intention is to see that one day in Malaysia, people will be able to venture full time into writing just like their counterparts abroad.

“The book industry itself can help find ways to achieve this,” he told reporters after launching a book titled “Najib Razak: A Sense of Mission” written by Ismail Noor at the National Library here Wednesday.

The 200-page hardcover, covering the period since Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak first entered politics until his appointment as the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia, is priced at RM70.

Rais suggested that the Federation of National Writers’ Associations (Gapena) and the National Library work together to help achieve the vision by encouraging libraries to buy works by local writers.

“These books should be bought so that writers will be able to make a living out of their craft,” he said.

Rais said National Library statistics showed that the number of writers in the country, including journalists and part-time and full-time writers, had increased from 2,600 in 2007 to 5,150 last year.

“It’s very seldom that writers in the country are able to make a living from writing unless if they are journalists or editors who are employed by their companies,” he said.

I’ve been wondering, from one perspective, how much can a blogger like me or anyone that loves to write can make a living out of what we write. Further, what type of publishers will want to publish writings by some of bloggers like satD, Parpukari, dinturtle, Piggy Singh, Wenger J Khairy (who is on and off opening and deleting blog) or even Husin Lempoyang. And how much can we make if we decided to compile our writings?

Clearly the hits that bloggers get in their pages per day do signal that there are readers. But how will market react to different kind of writings if once published and sold? Further, what message do some of us will bring to dear readers?

Second perspective is from the buyer. How much do we really spend on books? How much do Malaysians really find the time to read books other than to sit for exams? I seriously doubt that most of Malaysians really do spend time to read lot. Why? When an argument is put forward (either through face to face discussion, talks, blogs), some of the comments (especially being identified come from young ones), shows how well the grasp of knowlegde is. Further to such dissapointment, some already being taught in class, but they tend to forget. Perhaps the knowledge they got was in temporary mode. In simple words, just for exams.

If some of us really do, especially on the history subject, much should be able to know how we started. On religious issue, at very least, our moral values wouldn’t be that bad. For muslims, we have been taught that to consume wine and beer is probihited, but how come some of us still consume it?

Writing and reading.. how can we make a living out of it?

What say you?


Question on the street: How much do we really spent time and money on reading?



3 thoughts on “Make A Living Out of Writing?

  1. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha……………… menangis tengok nama saya ada hahahahahahaha !

    ODS: Jangan nangis din.. sebab mana tahu lepas ni boleh buat buku atau siri teenage mutant dinturtle.. hehehe

  2. By and large, Malaysians do not have the reading habit. Something is seriously wrong with our schools which do not instil the reading habit in the children. Look at the West and learn from them!

    ODS: Schools? For me, part of it.. and don’t forget parents too. Whatever it is, it is worse when some just bought books for tax exemption!

  3. This is extremely interesting…
    YES, you can make a living from it; although you might want to clearly define what/how much constitutes “a living”. From my experience, I can name three of the most important factors:
    1) ICT – the internet especially. A car, van, motorcycle, bus, lori getah aren’t anywhere near as important as access to ICT

    2) Ability to write in English – then the market is THE WORLD

    3) Friends/Contacts – This is where social networking through Facebook, blogging, LinkedIn etc come in

    Don’t limit yourself to only one client. But at the same time, don’t be too greedy by taking on everything that comes your way. When it comes to “Making money from blogging”, it might be INDIRECTLY – I don’t know how you can create revenue through a blog, except through advertisements.

    But having a blog might result in an offer to write something. By the way, I’ve had a lot more indirect income from my “Recovery” blog at WordPress than “BLOG REVIEW” at Blogspot, despite the former’s page hits being only a quarter of the latter. Oh, an unexpected `bonus’ is coming to know people..women; erm, janda, pretty…

    ODS: Mat, there’s one problem thought when it relates to political blogger.. they will be classified as paid blogger for writing (even though the writings are purely with pure concious).. Right?

You are part of people on the street. My opinion might not as good as yours. Come, please share your thoughts with us!!!

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