Thursday, November 19, 2009

Second Quote From Pico Iyer:
The Dark Side of Being a Travel Writer



From an interview with Pico Iyer published in Travel Writing by Don George:

As a travel writer, how do you get the numbers to add up in terms of an income?

Quite simply, you don't -- and you never will. If you're going to try to write about place, I think you have to surrender at the outset any idea of doing it for the money; all the rewards will be internal ones. There was a boom in the publishing of "travel literature" a few years ago, and there will always be a market for travel pieces in magazines and newspapers, but really it can only be something on the side. To take an example, I have to write 10 pieces a month (on subjects other than travel) just to pay the bills; and although I've published eight books now, I can still only afford to live in a two-room flat in the countryside in Japan, paying rent as when I was a student, without bicycle or car or printer or almost anything. And I will get as much income from three weeks of covering the Olympics as from writing a book that almost kills me over a period of two years.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Peter's Beard said...

Peter, I beg you to shave me off.

2:08 AM  
Anonymous Hater said...

The "internal ones." Fuck him.

4:14 PM  
Blogger PKL said...

Generally speaking, you have to pick your poison.

You can work a boring (but secure or lucrative) job as someone's slave and feel your soul dribble away.

Or you can live a freelance life of experiences, aesthetics and intellect without a lot of money or material.

Iyer choose Curtain Number Two, and I'm glad he did. He and his books will be remembered after he's dead. No one will remember the Men in the Grey Flannel Suits.

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Iyer is a tool. If you doubt it, watch this interview:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlUNlJEU6xI&feature=player_embedded

9:10 PM  

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