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Unasked-For Advice to New Writers About Money
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18Rabbit



Joined: 21 May 2008
Posts: 1734
Location: WTF is wrong with you?
Unasked-For Advice to New Writers About Money  Reply with quote  

Cory Doctorow on BoingBoing.net linked to this article back in February where John Scalzi offers 10 financial tips for new writers. Even though I'm not a writer, I've been an independent contractor (1099 vs W-2) in the past and most of the advice is similar to what I tell people who are thinking about trying that route too. Even if you don't agree with the things he says, it's still an interesting read. What do you think about it?

http://scalzi.com/whatever/?p=362

Post Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:19 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Sephonae



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 5218
Location: New York
 Reply with quote  

That article was a steaming cup of wake-up-and-smell-reality. However, I found his suggestion of marrying/shacking up with someone who can help financially support you as a writer a bit obnoxious--it's lovely that he's been so blessed with a wife who can provide a steady income and health benefits, but to lay it out there as he did made me want to find out where he lives so I can go TP his house. Also, why's he trippin' on bass players?
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Post Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:57 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
chris
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The article sounded right to me. On all points. And if it's only about money.

But I wouldnt' write just anything for the right price. And remember, I have very low standards when it comes to what I'll put on the page. What I don't agree with, is that one should be willing to do any kind of writing. I'd rather work a real job for money and write something I can put my back and heart into. Writing advertising and whatnot saps you of what it takes to write fiction. At least it did me. So, if you just want to write for a living, by all means, take any work you can get paid for. But what worked for me was to get a day job that didn't take require me to think much, yet wasn't so mind-numbingly boring that I wasn't so exhausted from trying to stay interested. That doesn't invalidate any of this guy's other points. I'm sort of speaking to the creative part of writing, and he's not.

Post Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:39 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
zendao42



Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 13570
Location: Somewhere in a galaxy near you
 Reply with quote  

There's ways to get by with low fundage
but no amount of money is worth having your soul sucked out, just saying...

Sephonae wrote:

Also, why's he trippin' on bass players?


Without having read the article, let me just say that bass players are fucking nuts-
& I mean that in the nicest possible way... Wink

Post Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:50 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Lauren



Joined: 07 Mar 2004
Posts: 1582
Location: Massachusetts
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Scalzi caught some flack on the Whatever for the marrying/shacking up statement and responded to it/clarified it here: http://scalzi.com/whatever/?p=371

And I don't think he meant one should whore oneself out and just write anything that comes to mind for cash. He's saying to think outside your genre but within your personal area of expertise - do you know a lot about something that isn't part of your novel? Can you write coherently about it and enjoy doing so? Then why not supplement your income with it? He's written a few technical manuals, because that's what his former day job was. So he can freelance here and there and get paid for his knowledge. He also writes a weekly column about SF movies over at AMC. That sort of thing.

(Why, yes, I do lurk over there, why do you ask? XD )
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Post Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:24 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address ICQ Number
18Rabbit



Joined: 21 May 2008
Posts: 1734
Location: WTF is wrong with you?
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The most important point I thought was the part about 'You have half as much money as you think you have'. Having no taxes withheld is terrible for me and unfortunately I didn't marry an accountant/financial wiz. Smile

Post Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:13 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Sephonae



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
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Location: New York
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Lauren wrote:
Scalzi caught some flack on the Whatever for the marrying/shacking up statement and responded to it/clarified it here: http://scalzi.com/whatever/?p=371


Yep, I'd read that as well. I can't quite put my finger on it, but the whole tone of his response put me in mind of someone who can't stop digging the hole for himself. He just came off as insufferably smug to me.

And Zen; hey, lay off the bassists! *Grrrr* Very Happy
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<=== Dressing in dismal chic and maintaining her detached aura of aristocratic chill since 1985.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"You can't wipe your ass with empty promises." - thread title, by walk

Post Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:45 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
urhangovergirl



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
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zendao42 wrote:

Sephonae wrote:

Also, why's he trippin' on bass players?


Without having read the article, let me just say that bass players are fucking nuts-
& I mean that in the nicest possible way... Wink



sooo true. But it's still better than dating the drummer Shocked Laughing
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Post Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:47 am   View user's profile Send private message
zendao42



Joined: 05 Sep 2006
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urhangovergirl wrote:
zendao42 wrote:
Sephonae wrote:

Also, why's he trippin' on bass players?

Without having read the article, let me just say that bass players are fucking nuts-
& I mean that in the nicest possible way... Wink

sooo true. But it's still better than dating the drummer Shocked Laughing

<======= repeat offender on rhythm sections Cool

But hey, somebody's gotta give the drummer some! Wink

Sephonae wrote:

And Zen; hey, lay off the bassists! *Grrrr* Very Happy


Riiight, like you wouldn't lay a hot, psycho transvestite bass player... Razz

Post Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:47 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Sephonae



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zendao42 wrote:
Sephonae wrote:

And Zen; hey, lay off the bassists! *Grrrr* Very Happy


Riiight, like you wouldn't lay a hot, psycho transvestite bass player... Razz


Uh...que? Confused
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<=== Dressing in dismal chic and maintaining her detached aura of aristocratic chill since 1985.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"You can't wipe your ass with empty promises." - thread title, by walk

Post Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:58 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Taco Bob



Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 1201
Location: Palm Falls, Florida
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Sephonae wrote:
He just came off as insufferably smug to me.


Smug is a good word. I couldn't get through the whole article since I feel like I managed to figure all that out for myself long ago. (shrug)
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Post Fri Aug 22, 2008 7:43 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
sugarraydodge



Joined: 27 Nov 2007
Posts: 647
Location: Utah
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I read this article, and I think a lot of this advice can apply to just about anybody, at least as far as the "don't blow money you don't have", the "stop wasting all your time playing XBOX and actually write" parts and the "get out of NY/LA/SF" parts. ...not that there's anything wrong with those places, don't get me wrong.

I especially liked his advice about dating and marrying someone who is a lot smarter and more responsible than you. I have a friend who just graduated law school and we have been seriously flirting with for the last three years. Maybe now is the time to make my move... maybe.
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Post Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:25 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
zendao42



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 Reply with quote  

Shocked Dude, you looking for a sugar mama?

Post Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:45 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Wonko



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
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zendao42 wrote:
Shocked Dude, you looking for a sugar mama?


I could use one of those... But I'm too old to get one.
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Post Sat Aug 23, 2008 1:28 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Poofiemus



Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 91
Location: Education Camp--I mean, college.
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I agree, a lot of this is pretty general financial advice. And judging by his list, I'm surprisingly money-savvy. O.o (Yeah, what the fuck?) Anyway, what I found particularly interesting was in someone's comment at the end of the article: the naming of a literary executor in the will. I didn't even know that was a role that needed to be specified. Something to remember, for sure.
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Post Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:18 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
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