Thursday, February 26, 2009


Have not posted as much this week as I intended to. Midnight Picnic is out and people are buying it. While I continue to encourage all to buy it from Word Riot, let me also encourage you to review it on Amazon.

Overwhelmed, lately, with temporal demands. Torn between enthusiasm about new project(s) and indecision about job/apt/what city to live in. What kind of job do writers suggest getting these days? I'm trying to think of the published novelists I know who are my age and live in New York (or, in one or two cases, other major cities). How do they survive? (A caveat, this is anecdotal, not researched or verified; in some cases people could be lying or my impressions could be wrong.)

  • Lives entirely off income from acclaimed major-publisher literary novels and maybe grants/fellowships, definitely doesn't get money from parents.
  • Lives almost entirely off income from successful major-publisher novels and income streams that exist as a result of those novels, supplemented by some freelance work in a non-writing-related field.
  • Makes some money off acclaimed major-publisher novels but still requires somewhat stressful full-time day job to live. Also gets grant money.
  • Makes some money off major-publisher novels but is already wealthy from family money and lives according to whims and adventurous caprices.
  • Makes some money off successful indie published novels, has no real job, gets money from wealthy parents although never acknowledges doing so.
  • Makes a little money off novels, mostly freelances, somehow doesn't ever seem to have day job, may get subsidized by parents.
  • Makes very little money off indie published novels, works shitty day job.
  • Makes very little money off indie published novels, works a full-time but relatively easy/comfortable day job. Also gets grant money.

One of the above is me, but my description will soon change for any number of reasons.


Check out this talk from the TED Conference on the nature of creative genius.


alan rossi said...

funny list. i think some of them teach, too. either 'good' creative writing jobs, or sort of 'crappy' adjunct, composition jobs.

Sabra Embury said...

The bright lady's speech gave me chills and made me laugh and made me stop for a few minutes from doing a hundred things at once--to listen. I'm glad you posted the video.

I like the idea of having a day job and writing being some aspect of trying to organize a budget, but with time-versus money.

I think: I can have five hours after work until midnight, or I can write til two and sleep five hours before work and drink lots of coffee or make time for a nap; the weekend's here, I can see some friends, get cock-eyed over a few cocktails; I can lock myself in...

I don't know, I think it's good to keep it real though, working; but I haven't written a novel yet either, so there's a great chance I'm talking out of my ass.

And what I've said is nothing a kabillion other writers haven't already tried to tell themselves already, I'm sure.