The Writer and the Dollar

I’m at the most financially stressful part of the pay period. At any moment, my property manager will cash my rent check, draining my bank account of all but five dollars. I’m hoping that it won’t happen until tomorrow, when my paycheck clears, but there’s no way to know for sure. For now, I live on the edge.

It is this ongoing struggle to pay the bills that makes me nervous to take on writing professionally. I love it, but I know that it is not profitable and embarking on a career of words inevitably leads to a continuation of this cycle.

Sure, some writers break out and sell millions of copies of their books. But for every Stephen King, there are hundreds of writers you’ll never hear of. Maybe my hang-up about diving straight into the world of short stories and novels springs from my fear that I’m not good enough. What if I can’t sell my work? What if I can’t pay to keep the water running? What if I find myself in the same financial rut in 10 years?

It all comes down to doing what you love. I love to tell stories. It’s true, I may not make money doing it, but the money isn’t the point. The point is to express myself and make my contribution to the ongoing human experience. That’s what is most important. I’ll find some way to balance my checkbook.

I don’t have any answers for the more practical questions, but what else is new? All I can do for now is keep working, keep writing and wait for payday.

— 30 —

I’m a writer holding down multiple “real” jobs in Flagstaff, AZ. Are you supporting yourself doing what you love? Tell me how you do it! Leave a comment or find me on Twitter: @jonnyeberle.

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