Author Topic: Writing and Money...Practical Article (?) from Amy Bloom  (Read 1870 times)

BicycleB

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Writing and Money...Practical Article (?) from Amy Bloom
« on: September 15, 2019, 02:38:31 PM »
I notice there are a number of writers and want-to-be writers on this forum. Mostly it seems to be the kind of thing where people want to write, but that might not make money, so maybe reaching FI will make you more able to write. But do you wait until then to write?  If you get paid at some point to write, do you drop the other job even if you're not FI yet? And how do you write and raise a family if you're not FI yet?

This article by Amy Bloom doesn't address FI directly, but gives examples that seem to relate to these questions. Any comments welcome.

https://medium.com/s/day-job/amy-bloom-day-job-interview-writing-fac497d87bed

One quote I liked was where she contrasted her mix of jobs and writing, where she basically kept a string of day jobs until long after the writing became profitable just to make sure that ends would meet, with writers who use inherited wealth to pay the bills instead but pretend that their "hustling" is the only factor that makes it work. "Thatís unkind and unfair to make people who are scrambling think that they are simply not doing it right.Ē

Is she un-Mustachian because she didn't have a master plan to save money? Mustachian because she worked first and added art later? What lessons, if any, are worth drawing from her testimony?

I guess more importantly - writers, if anything in there is useful or interesting to you, what's the part that intrigued you?

« Last Edit: September 18, 2019, 06:33:30 PM by BicycleB »

Mellow Mallow

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Re: Writing and Money...Practical Article (?) from Amy Bloom
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2019, 03:04:54 PM »
I enjoyed that article, thanks for posting. I've never read any of her work, but I will look it out.

Kris

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Re: Writing and Money...Practical Article (?) from Amy Bloom
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2019, 07:18:37 AM »
The thing that stuck out to me is how she wished she had been less accommodating early on. I agree very much with that. Boundaries are huge. Iím very lucky in that I have a very supportive husband and I have no kids around. But when I started writing full-time, and even now three years later, I have to enforce that just because Iím at home during the week doesnít mean Iím available to run errands for everyone else. I donít answer the phone while Iím working, on principle. Because if I answer once, that person will assume Iím always available at that time. And even with all this, my husband told me just last week when he went to see my MIL on like a Tuesday, she said, ďSo, whatís Kris up to today?Ē She just cannot wrap her head around the fact that I still have a job, no matter how often it comes up. Lol

tyrannostache

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Re: Writing and Money...Practical Article (?) from Amy Bloom
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2019, 04:38:14 PM »
Thanks for sharing--that was an interesting read. I'm a writer with a writing-related day job and 2 kids. If I want to be a functional person (sleep, eat, exercise), I have roughly 45-90 minutes out of most days to devote to writing. I have to protect that time ruthlessly. Sometimes that works well, sometimes it doesn't. I have gotten pretty efficient about my writing bursts. I fantasize about quitting or cutting back on my day job to make more room for writing, but that's not going to happen unless DH magically lands a six-figure salary.

As a a complement to that article, here's an excellent cautionary tale. It's full of rookie, anti-mustachian, and just plain foolish mistakes.

https://forge.medium.com/how-to-lose-a-third-of-a-million-dollars-without-really-trying-d3c343675aca

« Last Edit: October 02, 2019, 04:40:26 PM by tyrannostache »

calimom

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Re: Writing and Money...Practical Article (?) from Amy Bloom
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2019, 06:22:30 PM »
My mind is blown by Amy Bloom working two days as a therapist, two days teaching (at Yale!), jugging kids and applying her craft in whatever time remains. That she did that while writing a book like Away truly boggles. If the article revealed she did this while learning Russian and was an accomplished woodworker and world class chef, I'd probably have to go to her house and slap her for putting the rest of us to shame :)

Looks like there are links to other stories. It's interesting to know what other artists do to sustain themselves before their work starts to pay. I know Michael Pollan once drove a cab.

TVRodriguez

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Re: Writing and Money...Practical Article (?) from Amy Bloom
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2019, 10:05:17 AM »
The thing that stuck out to me is how she wished she had been less accommodating early on. I agree very much with that. Boundaries are huge.

This jumped out at me as well.  I'm not a writer, but I'm a mother with my own law practice and a husband with his own business, and I can so relate to the sense of needing to be there to do everything.  Lots of lawyer moms I know follow the schedule Bloom describes of working around everyone else's schedule.  They stay up until 1am because they leave work at 4pm to get the kids to dance practice and don't get back to their laptops until after the kids are in bed and, often, their husbands are in bed.

As you say, boundaries are huge.

Vashy

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Re: Writing and Money...Practical Article (?) from Amy Bloom
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2019, 10:25:03 AM »
I work as in a vaguely language-related field and write books on the side - but ultimately writing is very much a side hustle that earns me maybe £500/month even though I do have readers and am pretty good at the craft. I had a very good period circa 2011-2014 when I would pull in £1,800 a month, but Kindle Unlimited pretty much killed small independents like me, so I'm glad I kept the day job. Even when selling to big publishers (ie Random House), I'd only get a couple grand as an advance and never earn out.

The issue is that there's a few stars (JK Rowling, Dan Brown, etc) - who break out and make multimillions, but those who don't break out eke out some profits (unless their agents and/or publisher shaft them - so many horror stories!) but struggle to make a decent living. The income of full-time writers in the UK is something like £10k. Enough for a mustachian lifestyle, provided you build up your 'stache doing something else. I write a lot less now (demanding job) than I used to, and hope to go back to proper levels of productivity once my 'stache allows it, but for the moment I'm just grinding.