Wednesday, September 4, 2013

3 More Tips for The Starving Artist's Handbook

As much as we think it does, money doesn't show up overnight. Even when you write blogs about being a starving artist and you think somehow you've paid some metaphorical dues because you whined about the business world, there still isn't a magical email that shows up and says, "You are the most brilliant writer in the history of humankind and I would love it if you had a novel waiting to become a New York Times Bestseller..."

I mean, no one dreams of that.

So until that magical email arrives in your box (yeah, okay), here are some tips for being a Starving Artist:

1. Things take time. When the most you're making for an article is $10, you have to be very real with your expectations. You're not yet the writer who has a new car, just bought a new house, and works from home. I'm not saying this could never happen, but don't let your credit card think this is happening yet. Otherwise, you're going to underlining your starving artist title.

2. Don't feel like you're working for a company forever. Unless a company is giving you benefits, retirement, and a company car, don't feel obligated to be his or her slave -especially when he or she exhibits passive aggression. "I haven't heard from you in the last twenty minutes and I'm concerned that you're not responding to my emails immediately, even though I only pay you $7.14 a day for working 5 hours..." (Shouldn't I have a disclaimer right about now that any resemblance to actual events is coincidental?) Don't put up with that. Find a better writing job. 

3. Don't stop your creative writing. You are better than below-minimum-wage-writing. If you need to tell yourself that by embossing it on your bathroom mirror, do it. You didn't become a writer so that you could write articles about taxes or the Loch Ness monster, did you? NO! So don't let these articles about arbitration and how-to-clean-with-a-rag-mop define your life! If you want to be the Great American Novelist, be the best damn novelist you can be, even if you're not getting paid for that time investment now. I know it's tempting to write "this one article, because it'll go by super fast" but it won't, and the $7.50 you're making for it does not justify the lifeblood that has now been drained from the novel that's patiently waiting. 

Think of farmers: they wait patiently for produce and keep watering it every day, even at the risk of failure. 

Dream big, my friends, and don't take no for an answer. If you don't fight for your novel, who will?

Books I’ve Finished This Year:
-East of Eden by John Steinbeck
-Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
-Silk by Alessandro Barico
-Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores
-The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
-Animal Farm by George Orwell
-The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
-The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
 -Grimm's Fairytales by the Brothers Grimm
-Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
-The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost
-Old Man in the Sea by Hemingway
-On Paris by Hemingway
-The Kiss by Kathryn Harrison
-The Thin Man by Dashiel Hammett
-Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
-The Road by Carmac McCarthy
-More F in Exams/F for Effort by Richard Benson
-Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
-Hemingway vs. Fitzgerald by Scott Donaldson
-Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
-The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
-The Woman Who Wouldn't by Gene Wilder
-The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma
-Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster
-Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert

Currently Reading:
-The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

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