So you want to be a writer

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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.


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