We Need Artists and Writers More Than Ever

Not as content farms for AI-generation

Jenna Goldsmith

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Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

As a writer who spends way too much time online, much of that time is spent on Twitter as part of the extensive writing/publishing community that exists there.

While generally an uplifting environment, where fellow writers shout about their friends’ accomplishments and share in small writerly joys, sometimes (oftentimes) things happen that cause drama.

Last month, an agent, in a now-deleted tweet, stated that agents have a “real job” while writers were simply hobbyists with a passion. While this was said in a moment of frustration between this agent and a querying author, the message was not lost on anyone.

I can understand her frustration. There’s a weird power dynamic that occurs between agents and querying authors that sometimes causes friction.

But, most often, the power dynamic favours agents and writers asking for a bit of transparency doesn’t seem like that big of an ask.

Anyway, that’s not the point.

The point is that people like to dismiss writers. And I could even expand this to include artists and creatives in general.

From the WGA strike to so-called authors bragging about “writing” and “illustrating” books using AI technology to random people “expanding” classic pieces of art, it doesn’t take much to realize how creativity and artistry are being devalued.

There’s this prevailing idea that one cannot live as an artist or a writer, that each and every person who writes or creates must have a day job to support themselves.

This is nothing new, as the idea of the “starving artist” has been around for hundreds of years. While the concept of someone giving up financial stability for the sake of creation isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s morphed into the unconscious bias against artists.

It leads to people complaining that artists price themselves too high or the underpayment of writers for their work.

This bias has seemingly morphed into this “anti-creativity” movement.

This shift towards anti-creativity seems to have also sprouted from this late-stage capitalistic notion that…

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