The Starving Artist

Let’s face it: like me, before your writing career takes off, you will need to support yourself somehow. This will require a lot of hard choices. What are you willing to sacrifice for your writing? If you work full-time, it’s a lot harder to write. If you don’t work full-time, it’s hard to survive, but it can be done.

First, cut down your costs. I have roommates, refuse to buy a car, live in a city with low rent, and live cheaply. Government programs help with food. No shame here; our taxes are helping the arts. I have a free bus pass (my old college ID). This brings my costs down to about $400 a month.

I also don’t have anyone to support. That helps a lot.

Next, find a part time job. If it sucks, find another one. Your happiness directly correlates to your productivity. If you are constantly thinking about your abusive boss, you won’t be able to write (except maybe a revenge fantasy). Abusive jobs are just like abusive relationships; get out as soon as you can. No excuses. The goal is to find a job that pays well, has few hours, and has low stress. Use your connections to find this job; sadly, applications only do so much.

You’ll need to save up some money to pay for copy editing and book covers, and also other random expenses you can’t see coming. Do not live paycheck to paycheck, that will end up costing you more money in the long run. Being poor can be expensive.

I’m a supervisor at a market research company and work three days a week, six hours a day. It gives me time to write. Plus I was able to see The Avengers trailer before anyone else.

Limit your drinking (and other drugs and partying). Yep, drinking, at the very least, costs money you don’t have. Note: The drunk artist is mostly just a drunk.

Other options:

1. Find someone to support you (Can you say sugar daddy?).

2. Save up money at a full time job, and then take time off to write.

3. Blaze your own path. There is always a way.

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About wesleymccraw

I’m a speculative fiction writer. My first book is The Forgiving. You can buy it at Amazon. https://selfwrite.wordpress.com/

2 responses to “The Starving Artist”

  1. megerke says :

    Your words feel very true. I am also aspiring to be a writer, having to self publish my own work. From what you have written, there are lessons to be learned. I would like to think that I am living the lessons you wrote about and learning from them. Good luck to you on your endevours.

    M.E.Gerke

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