This was my tithe, and the church of publishing was ravenous.

posted by mecran01 (17 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

The notion that some degrees are just for people from rich families, and for a few admitted with full funding, is never going to sit well with most people, but it kind of looks like the MFA is one of them, to me. That seems very sad. Bad for the programs, too, even more so for creative arts degrees than for other academic pursuits.
posted by thelonius at 11:55 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]

I made about AU$1500 from my "writing writing", in total, over about five years, when I was a younger man. Now I make significantly more than that as a communications guy in government, and I much prefer it this way. You can still flourish here and there, it's fine.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:42 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]

I don't want to brag or make anyone feel bad, but at age almost-55 I had my first published piece, for the Wired magazine "six word science fiction" contest, in May. If you know of a good agent, drop me a MefiMail, thanks.
posted by mecran01 at 3:03 PM on July 7 [5 favorites]

I took a crack at a freelance writing career, and probably would have gotten torpedoed out of it eventually by the sinking wages (the rate I was paid went from a dollar a week to sometimes a quarter over the span of two years; I did at least get out before anyone asked me to write for free), but even more than that what sank me was that I didn't realize going in that the writing would be the *easy* part. I wasn't prepared for or really capable of all the constant hustling; endless story pitching (and rejection), hassling people for paycheques you're owed for jobs you finished weeks or even months ago, the endless networking, etc.. In the end the only reason I managed to more or less break even during those years was due to a couple of corporate jobs thrown my way by university pals who worked at banks and video store companies.
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:36 PM on July 7

The problem with being a creative for work is that you have to be a business. But what if you suck at business?
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:10 PM on July 7 [3 favorites]

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