I have neglected my poor blog. But, not my writing.
I have just a couple of months left before I will be done with my MFA. It is so good to be almost done! TAing is a different experience. I like molding the young minds of future psychos (Long Shall We March!). I can see doing it in my future because it is rock star to have kids come up to you and say you are the coolest teacher they've ever had.
After having dedicated the last 4 years to the writing thing, I think I'm at a point where I've developed the drive and can say I have the developed the skills to give this professional writing thing a go.
For those with background in such things, here is the life of a pro writer as I know it:
First, you have limited choices and unfortunately many of them will be predetermined for you anyhow, so no need to fret over them; that's the good news.
It would appear that the world of the writer is far more complex than the average Joe might think. Let me dispel the first and biggest myth:
Writers do not make money.
We are artists and like all artists there are those that wipe their asses with cold hard cash and those that can't afford asses.
Most supplement their incomes by teaching; these are not always the most badass among us, but they certainly don't get the credit they deserve.
Many of us make it because of our benefactors and those who believe in our work; Sadly, there are too few these days who believe The Arts must be supported above all other things, but their contributions are invaluable; their example thankfully ignores pragmatism and they keep our Art from totally dying. Then there are whores who take and take and take and deserve to be fed to hungry wolves.
Ultimately, writers are the masters of our own universe and that's because we live in our heads. That's about the only great thing about being a writer; getting to live off grid. Most people toil and crack their sinews and hate the lives they lead. Most can't stand getting up in the morning and deal with their stress in unhealthy ways. My life is a constant roll of the dice; I like it this way, not for the gamble; the expectation of rolling a hard six. I like it this way, because it's as close as I can get to being a bum without being homeless. That's not to say writers don't work. I put in at least 4 hours a day of writing. Yes, I know, most of you out there work 8, 10 , 12 hours days and still can't pay your bills. But, at the end of 4 hours my brain hurts; No, really it fucking hurts.
It's almost over now and I'll have to see what the future brings. Things are pretty shitty in our economy and the last thing anyone gives a shit about is buying books written by shitheads. But, me, I'll be glad when I'm done. Unemployed or not; with or without a contract with a publishing house; regardless of having an agent or a production deal; this is what I will do until I die. Or until I open a bar.