Tuesday, October 7, 2014

$410.63 as of June 30 2014

Writing fiction is the road to riches, kids.

12 comments:

  1. This will be no balm for your writer's soul but consider this: Many great writers in history were dirt poor.

    Moreover, if you want to make even less money, become a teacher.

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    1. Tim, I am in no way complaining about money. I've just never actually added it up before, so for a variety of reasons I thought I'd just do the math. The number is amusing enough that I posted it. Nobody gets into art (or teaching) to become rich.

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    2. Tell that to Charles Dickens who was definitely in the game for the money, and include him among all the prolific (good, bad, and ugly) writers who cranked things out at a frantic pace to keep up with demands from editors and publishers of those new-fangled periodicals in the 19th century. Dickens, in fact, was pathologically terrified of ever being poor again. So the money mattered a great deal to him. For that matter -- and here comes the minor bombshell of sorts -- Shakespeare was also in the racket for the money; it was the only way he could be the life of a comfortable gentleman that had eluded his father. Sometimes, though, art and wealth come to be comfortable bedfellows. And on that note, with the utmost sincerity, I wish you greater success in all of your future writing endeavors. May you do as well as Shakespeare and Dickens.

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    3. Well Dickens did it for a job. Shakespeare worked in the theater. Chekhov sold short stories to newspapers to support his family, though he went to medical school on scholarships. Tolstoy inherited great wealth and a lot of slaves. Melville worked at a customs house. Trollope worked for the post office, I think. I work at a major American university. My fear of poverty is probably pretty significant, though maybe not quite to Dickens' level.

      What I'd like are readers. I'm okay for money.

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  2. So, you work but do not teach at a major university. I'm curious, so say more.

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    1. I do budget and policy stuff, very dull indeed. Spreadsheets, databases, millions of dollars of public money, a lot of email and meetings. "New initiatives." Nothing exceedingly high level. Very very dull indeed. Most days I wear one of my black suits, but rarely a tie, which is a shame because I have a lot of ties.

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    2. When I was a kid, I thought I was going to be either a painter or a famous rock musician. I am no good at either of those jobs, though.

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  3. I shall never again paint with a broad brush by criticizing the administrators and others (those who are not teachers) at universities. I shall be more careful. However, in my neck of the woods, too many administrators and others are pains in the neck.

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    1. I have nothing--NOTHING--to do with curriculum! I'm a white hat, honest.

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  4. Locally -- in the panhandle of Florida where I have worked at two state schools -- the budget people cause plenty of headaches because they are bearers of bad news from the state. Even though the news is not their fault, the budget people explain patiently why the school must now operate with 5-to-10% less each year for the foreseeable future because of lower enrollment projections and statewide funding reductions (i.e., translation: there will never be another pay raise for as long as I live). But as we have noted, anyone who goes into either teaching or art with an expectation of filthy lucre will live a disappointed and empty life. I am fortunate that I have a nice stipend (for living expenses) from my 25 year Navy career, so I can teach as a "hobby" of sorts without being concerned about the terrible compensation. If I were to tell you the pay rate for part time teachers here, you would think anyone would have to be insane to work for such an insulting amount. I am, I confess, a bit insane. 25 years in the Navy will cause that condition. So will 68 years of life. So be it.

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  5. Scott, you can count on at least one more sale later this month. I've been reading your blog for a while, and it's silly that I haven't yet made time for your book.

    When you published The Astrologer, did that thing happen where people who ought to know better asked you if you were going to quit your day job?

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    1. My coworkers were all expecting me to hand in my notice and move to Tuscany.

      The Tale of Charlemagne and Ralph really looks like my sort of thing.

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