Considering today’s economic condition, people’s perception on writing have changed. The basic premise that one can possibly hear about writing is that it has become an effective way of conveying self-expression.
Others take writing as a discipline which requires strict rules to follow from indentions, cohesion of ideas, punctuation marks and other technical components. Some consider it as a hobby while journalists view it as a noble career.
There are few people who believe that writing is a way to inform the public and to help raise social awareness. For members of the academe, writing and publishing are more than requirements to gain tenure. It is also a way of fulfilling their extension works as educators.
With the inception of the e-media and with the fact that many people today consider the Internet as their primary option to search information, many writers and aspiring journalists today ventured with internet sites, which pay according to page views and advertisements, among others.
The Internet and these paying sites have brought another interpretation to the practice of writing, which is “writing to earn.”
According to Merriam-Webster, byline refers to a line at the beginning of a news story, magazine article or book giving the writer’s name. Thus, whoever stands on the byline takes full credit and accountability for whatever information or thought written on a certain piece of article.
There is something in the byline that compels journalists and writers to still continue writing. The glory that a byline gives to several authors is the same thing that urges them to take writing as their habitual practice. The glory of the byline, sometimes disregard the idea of gaining material benefits. For some, merely getting the byline is in itself a glorifying one, which becomes the most satisfying reason to continue writing.
The glory of the byline can also be interpreted in terms of achieving added credentials. Getting published means added mileage to one’s details of competence, most especially to the members of the academe, journalists and writers of different disciplines. This may strengthen their credibility and reputation.
The “intention” for writing gives us the reason to know why one writes. When taken as a hobby, writing can be interpreted as a way of entertaining oneself. One can transform this hobby into a more valuable thing such as writing to inform others, writing to entertain others or writing to persuade others.
Regardless of intention, some write without expecting something in return. If writing is taken as a way of liberating oneself, then the issue of whether or not one wants to get published comes into the picture. Today, there are people who still write just to keep their thoughts for their own (i.e. journals, personal diaries, etc.).
Development Studies Professor Roland G. Simbulan writes a short sketch entitled The Life of the Mind, “Thinking is at the center of the life of a professor, thinking and reading, observing and reflecting, and writing and teaching” (Diwang Palaboy, published August 2009, accessed September 2010).
Deducing this sketch, the professor addresses the function of an educator not just to think, to read, to observe and to reflect but also the role to write, aside from the principal duty to teach. Especially for the academe that is composed of different disciplines, writing can be an instrument in raising social awareness and education, most especially if an educator’s objective is not just to write to gain corresponding material benefits.
The same is true with others who write to contribute pieces of social reality to persuade others to act according to reason and social justice without taking much regard on income. Alternative journalists from “Bulatlat,” an alternative media in the Philippines can serve as the best example. For them, “to write is already to choose.”
Today, aspiring writers and journalists start their careers in website writing and other writing businesses. To many, numerous legitimate writing sites which pay can at least provide them extra income while fulfilling their desire of getting published in anyway. For some who merely enjoys the act of writing, engaging to these sites can provide them revenue while still enjoying their favorite past-time as writing.
Others choose to join writing ventures not because of income that they can get. They do this as a way of practicing their writing skills while at the same time, taking advantage of the free writing strategies and techniques being provided by websites’ editorial staff as part of maintaining professionalism, writing discipline and credence.