Asked to write blogs for other sites, some with much larger audiences, I chose to stay with the New York Review, partly out of an old loyalty and partly because they pay me better. Would I write worse if I wrote for a more popular site for less money? Or would I write better because I was excited by the larger number of people following the site? And would this larger public then lead to my making more money some other way, say, when I sold a book to an American publisher? And if that book did make more money further down the line, having used the blog as a loss leader, does that mean the next book would be better written? Or do I always write as well or as badly as I anyway do regardless of payment, so that these monetary transactions and the decisions that go with them affect my bank balance and anxiety levels, but not the quality of what I do?
Tim Parks wants to know whether or not writers will produce better writing if they’re paid more. I’m under the impression that if you’re a good writer, you’ll produce good work regardless of how much money you’re earning for your writing, although, money’s great, and yes, we’d all love to one day get rich by the words we produce (get at me, sponsors!).