Archive for July 15th, 2008

How to Survive as a Writer

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

A post is brewing in my mind that would develop my last post about intuition and craft (or should that be intuition v. craft?) I need another few days to gestate it, so for now I’ll just direct you to this essay about writing and money by Keith Gessen from n+1 magazine, the literary publication where he is an editor and co-founder. These are uncertain economic times, and Gesson has some clear-eyed and sobering observations on the compromises that writers have to make to get by. He says:

There are four ways to survive as a writer in the US in 2006: the university; journalism; odd jobs; and independent wealth. I have tried the first three. Each has its costs.

I think this is as true in 2008 (year of posting) as it was in 2006. Hell, I think it was true in 1906 too, and is likely to hold in the future, indefinitely.

A lot of the people I work with, either as a coach, editor or teacher, state that it is their aim to make a living as a writer. (more…)