Mama Hen’s Scratchings: E & F = Editing Fiction

A line in the movie Serialized struck me like a snake on a mouse. Three set-up lines first, then the zinger:

Publisher: We don’t pay advances anymore.

Author: Then how is an author supposed to make a living?

Publisher: Most of our clients teach creative writing.

Author: So in order to make up for the fact that it’s virtually impossible to make a living as an author, you want me to take money from other people by teaching them how to not make any money, too.

Ignoring the bad grammar, that is, sadly, all too true.

I know a LOT of authors. Big-name authors, even. NYT-bestselling authors.

And virtually all of them—I can think of only two exceptions—make money from other jobs in addition to their writing.

Most of them teach creative writing. Some tutor or teach related subjects like English or work as editors (as I do). Others do other things. The point is, they work at something in addition to writing.

(Or they did until retirement and now receive a pension/ss/etc. in addition to their writing income. And a few have a spouse/partner who earns enough income that the author doesn’t need to earn any.)

Want to be a writer? That’s great. Society will benefit from your voice, as it does all voices. But be prepared to work at something else as well. You might be one of the lucky exceptions, but best to be ready for the likely alternative.

‘I wrote what I know. It’s about a frustrated author being rejected all the time.’

This post is part of the A-Z challenge.

3 responses to this post.

  1. Amen. This is simply the truth. Good to be prepared if embarking on this writing journey. Loved the dialogue and the cartoons.

    Reply

  2. Seems like all the wrtiting teachers I meet have never published anything…

    Just stopping by from the A to Z Challenge. I’m one of the moderators, so if there’s anything you need, give us a shout…

    http://thesoundofonehandtyping.com

    Reply

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