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Being a Writer

9 June 2019

Being a writer, writing for a living, is one long persistence game. Everyone wants you to quit. Quite often, you want to quit. You get kicked down. You come up swinging. You keep going. Either you are committed to it, or you aren’t.

~ Kameron Hurley

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9 Comments to “Being a Writer”

  1. Terrence OBrien

    Either you are committed to it, or you aren’t.

    Either you are making a living, or you aren’t.

    • Not a useful distinction. Everyone who is currently making a living writing has passed through a period of not making a living at it. Most of them will pass through at least one such period in the future.

      The implied question addressed by the OP is, ‘How do you make a living writing?’ Your reply, ‘Either you are or you aren’t,’ is an irrelevant tautology.

      • It’s not a distinction. Both the following can be true:

        1. An author is committed.
        2. An author is not making a living.

        Commitment may be a necessary condition for making a living, but it is hardly sufficient. Many committed authors never make a living from writing.

        • This author is committed – and has been since 2000; the project is coming along nicely, at MY possible speed.

          I would not be able to write what I write if my family depended on my writing income.

          We’ll see what happens when the second and third books come out; I do expect the possibility of commercial success.

          But I have the luxury of doing it right, and I appreciate that.

  2. I suggest that:

    * Becoming a writer, writing for a living, is one long persistence game

    and

    * Being a writer, writing for a living, is one long persistence game

    can both be true statements for some authors, as can either statement if you substitute “writing to provide some extra money from time to time” in the place of “writing for a living”.

  3. Or you are simply committed …

  4. Terrence OBrien

    It would be interesting to know what percentage of all novel dollar sales are for books written by authors who make a living from writing.

    The part-time writer has a competitive advantage in an environment where prices continue to fall.

    • The part-time writer has a competitive advantage in an environment where prices continue to fall.

      No, the part-time writer is generally writing part-time in the first place because he needs another source of income to overcome his competitive disadvantage.

      And only an idiot thinks that falling unit prices necessarily mean falling sales or falling profits.

      • Terrence OBrien

        Part-time writers write for lots of reasons. Many people write and don’t need the money. They are financially well off. Others are destitute. Most full-time writers start as part-timers. Writing is a terrible way to earn money if one really needs it and has no record of commercial writing success..

        Idiots know price elasticity determines if total revenue increases or decreases with price decreases. They do indeed know the index can be higher or lower then -1. Total revenue can go up or down, and does not necessarily move in one direction.

        Anyone remember the howls from writers about the race to the bottom and KU. Idiots?

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