Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[process] Obligatory writing and finance post

There's been a lot posting around the intarwebs the last few days about the financial life of the writer, day jobs, and freelancing. [ETA: Plus arcaedia on first book advances.] Career stuff are good.

Reading the posts, I had an interesting insight. I've got it made, right now.

I have commented from time to time that I wish my life were organized such that I could be a full-time fiction writer. That's not happening, and probably never will no matter how well my books sell, barring a profound reform in the way American healthcare delivery is funded. I must have non-qualifying group health insurance.

But after reading comments such as ellameena saying, "I'm always kicking my fiction to the curb in order to get nonfiction work done" I've realized the gift my solid white collar job gives me.

I can write whatever I want, whenever I want. The constraints on my writing are the ones I choose — signing a book contract means accepting a deadline. Even if I were a full-time writer, I wouldn't write that much more than I do now. My time would be spent on marketing, career work, family time and hobbies. These are things I want very badly to do, but they aren't more writing.

But when I do write, I'm not compelled to write anything in particular. I'm not working for the money — my mortgage gets paid otherwise. In fact, I'm not working at all. I'm doing what I want, and doing what I love.

In that sense, the economics of being a writer are irrelevant to me. Sometimes things are ok they way they are.
Tags: personal, process, writing

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