Blog: Everyone Can Write

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BMI Music License has the following ad campaign to encourage people to pay for licensing:

All Of Us Could Write It.

The point of the campaign is to get their artists paid so they have the ability to make more music we all enjoy.

While I agree with their intent, I am going to disagree with the actual statement. Everyone can write music, make music, draw, or – for my purposes of this blog – write fiction and non-fiction.

Not everyone can do it well.

Think. Every child sings and bangs on pans. They try to whistle and come up with jokes. They fib creating their first stories and draw pictures for the refrigerator. As adults, we’ve all listen to someone tell a story … badly, sing happy birthday off-key, looked at photos and selfies which scared us, and read memos with only passing resemble to the English grammar structure.

That is the free stuff. Children (and students of all ages)  learning if they can do an art (or sports or science or whatever their talents turn out to be). 

The children grow, the students get better – working on their art in all their free time – until, at last – the stuff they make SHOULDN’T be free. Because they are devoting their lives to it – they are spending their time testing, learning, and becoming better. The art – audio, visual, or written – is their day job. If a person needs to spend four to six hours a day – every day – on something, to create the things other people want to hear, see, or read – well then, they need to be paid for the things being created so they have those four to six hours a day to devote to the craft instead having their time devoted to, say, working as a cashier.

And that is what we pay for when we buy books instead of pirate them, pay for licensed music to enhance our videos instead of “borrow”, or any other means to send money toward the artist. We are paying for (1) talent and (2) practice to get and remain good.

Because remember … not everyone can do it well.

If you want someone to do it well on a continuing basis, they need to be paid for it.

With luck the person can find a patron. Historically royalty would support various artists: composers, portraiture painters, and calligraphy houses. The results produced were shared with entire nations and prosperity.

Now-a-days we call it “an audience”, buying the art in a commercial setting. 

(ASIDE: Or – where individuals can be sign up to support artists they love. I’ve picked up a vlogger, a couple webcomics artists, and an author to support. Why? Because I love their stuff and I want them to make more.)

In the meantime, remember music is free – ask any child to play pots and pans for you. Fictional writing is free – just read the last political tweet.

Good music … good writing … pay for it so the artist can make more.

(That includes me – go to my books section. I get the most benefit from my personal stuff. But under the “things I’ve edited” are books I get a royalty for – so if my stuff isn’t your cup of tea, look under the edited books.

New this year. I’ve added a patreon as well. If you get a benefit from my editing advice or writing examples, you can also support me through: