I Still Have To Pay The Bills

Just over a week ago, I sat in the breakroom at work, reading a SciFi novel.  One of my coworkers, a man in his sixties, said, “You sure do read a lot.”

“I have to if I’m going to write.”

“You write?”

“Yeah.  I’ve had two short stories published.”

“Is there a lot of money in that?”

“No,” I said.  “If there was, I wouldn’t be here.”

Let me emphasize that point further.  Writers are often happy people when they’re writing.  Unfortunately, we don’t get to write all the time.  Too often, we have to do other things to pay the bills.

I’ve worked in a bookstore.  I’ve passed out samples.  I’ve sold office supplies.  I currently ride a forklift.

After six hours on a forklift, I make more money than I made on writing last year.

I want writing to pay the bills and free me from working for someone else.  That wouldn’t just be wonderful, that would be the dream coming to life.  But I have to pay for food, gas, clothes, rent, those sorts of things.

Plus, riding a forklift can take as much as 48 to 68 hours in a given week.  It pays the bills, but it eats my writing time in the process.

This is not meant to dissuade you.  This is meant to be a reminder that there are some things that will always take a writer away from writing.  Don’t let it.  Continue writing, even if it’s only five minutes a day.


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