6 Lies (and 6 Truths) About Writing

As I probably mention every time I forget I’ve already mentioned it before, I write for a living.  I write book reviews.  I ghostwrite blogs.  My web page content brings all the personal injury clients to the firm (and they’re like, “your firm’s better than theirs.”  Damn right, it’s better than theirs).  Etc.

I didn’t start out as a writer, per se.  I did get an undergraduate degree in English, but then I went to law school.  I got a J.D., and then I practiced law for a while.  And then I said “screw this, I want to be a writer,” and started my own freelance writing business.  And, in doing so, I learned that a lot of the things I was told as a kid about being a professional writer are total crap – and some of them are actually true.

So: here are Six Things That Are False About Writing for a Living (and Six Things That Are True).  

1.  You can’t make a living as a writer.

False, but with a catch, which is this: you probably can’t make a living writing nothing but novels, unless you are lucky enough to be Stephen King – and even Stephen King was not lucky enough to be Stephen King at first.  Same with J.K. Rowling – she was living in a garret with no heat and an infant when she wrote the first Harry Potter novel.   It’s not impossible to make novel-writing a significant part of your life, if that’s what you want; just don’t expect it to be your only day job. Continue reading