The Writers' Union of Canada has changed its membership requirements and I am still not allowed in.
For a few weeks there , I feared I might be.
I am still not allowed in , but it is not because I am female or black or gay --- writers' organizations have never been accused of arresting anyone for DWB (driving while black) .
No, it is because I have committed the ultimate taboo in the Union's eyes : I try to do good, as a writer, for others without expecting a reward in return.
I write without commercial intent.
WWCI : 'writing without commercial intent'
Oh , the horror of it all !
As a writer, I am , as Samuel Johnson famously noted , a blockhead : I do not write for money.
I do not copyright my writing (I release it fully into the Public Domain without any sort of reservations) and I give my works away as either e-books or as downloadable print books.
Regard my comparatively short works as Tracts or Pamphlets and thus not real books - call me a Tractarian or Pamphleteer - as Eva Tanguay sang , "I don't care, I don't care, I don't care !"
How could I even think about selling my work for self gain when my books (Tracts/Pamphlets) are all about Agape selflessness ?
Did Dr Martin Henry Dawson or Philip Bent VC give up their lives, just for the money ?
So why should I write about their selflessness, for my selfish gain ?
The Writers' Union decision was widely reported and commented upon, in Canada and abroad.
But not once so far have I come across a negative comment on the Union's continued need for their potential members to want to make money off their writing.
Negative comments aplenty for sure from many independent authors.
But only over the Union deciding it had to vet the self published for quality control while letting in those published with someone else's money without any need to meet quality standards.
No one seems to think that working hard and skillfully at your occupation without expecting financial gain - much like the medical professionals in 'Doctors Without Borders' - is a worthy human activity.
Indeed since very few people these days agree to head up a 'professional' charity without being very well paid for doing good , why should professional writers feel any different ?
Right then - as an amateur (someone who does something out of love ) - it seems only appropriate that I call myself a proud amateur writer - and a 'blockhead writer' to boot ...