So you want to be a writer

John Scalzi is my hero. Not just because he's a kick-ass Sci-fi writer, reknown blogger, or a Buckeye, but because he is a truthteller, even when the truth is painful to hear. A recent post in his personal blog, Whatever, is sobering yet inspiring for anyone hoping to become a full-time writer.

His tips for writers (I paraphrase):

  • Prepare to be broke. I have that nailed.

  • Don't quit your day job. Oops.

  • Marry someone with a real job who knows how to handle money.

  • Your income is half what you think it is. Ouch!

  • Pay off your credit cards now and then use them like cash.

  • Don't have the cash for it? Then you can't have it. My favorite bit of advice.

  • Buy the best you can afford, then use it up. No more new cars every five years.

  • Get the hell out of NYC/SF/LA and move where the cost of living isn't burdensome. North Dakota is nice.

  • Know the entire market and accurately value your work.

  • Writing is a business. Act like it. (does that mean I have to wear pantyhose again? Dang! -- eds)

I highly encourage you to read his entire post, and maybe pick up one of his novels. Old Man's War is a good read.