Floatsam and Jetsam of Living the Dream

Peasant Woman, Art.
Peasant Woman, Art.

Last grad school residency, my cohort was required to attend a panel discussion of agents and editors. As I’m sure you can all imagine, we were chomping at the bit to impose our tendrils of ignorance on these people, the very ones we hope will help us realize our writerly publication dreams.

I have been following the publishing industry in a sometimes obsessive, but mostly casual way these past couple of years, and by all accounts, it is nothing like it was even ten years ago. Now, there are still authors who have success, but not as many, and the quality of the work has tended downward.  Porter Anderson does a weekly feature on Jane Friedman’s blog about the perils and perks of the publishing industry in all of its current iterations. It has been a helpful starting place to read all the moaning, so I was more-or-less prepared for what the Editors and Agents said.

They said that almost none of their authors are making a living from writing alone.

They told me that I’m living the dream already.

That was heartening.

Living the dream means cobbling together a living from constituent parts that allow your writing to flourish, that don’t make you miserable. That give you both enough time and money.

Tricky alchemy, that.

I write every weekday morning from sometime between 5 and 6 a.m. to sometime between 7 and 8 a.m.

Then, I teach on Mondays and Wednesdays.

I work in a restaurant on weekends.

And I do freelance writing when I can get some that doesn’t annoy me, even if it pays shit.

I take on clients. I am interested in coaching/teaching and developmental clients. I am booked through January, though, so if you are interested, gimmie a buzz and we can get you on the calendar. Not to be a wanker, but Karma’s been on my side since late March, and I’m in increasing demand.

At the end of this week,  I will have completed the first revision of my manuscript. It is twelve personal essays. About a week after that, I will have completed my second revision, and it will be “ready.” I will embark on my personal trek of hell rejection submissions. I have a list, a strategy, and a budget. That’s a future post.

I’m calling it a memoir. I have the worst ideas for titles, so if I sell it, I’ll let you know what they’re calling it.

I have my half dozen beta readers lined up. These people deserve to be sainted.

My undergrad mentor’s memoir came out last month. Here’s an interview on Bookslut.

The book is called FEAR AND WHAT FOLLOWS, it’s available for pre-order on Amazon. I’ll be reviewing it in the Sun-Gazette’s lifestyle magazine in the Fall issue.

A guest post I wrote will be on Jamie Chavez’s blog next week, on the 16th. Go subscribe to her so you’ll catch it when it goes live. Another post I wrote about creativity, that will only be on Jamie’s blog, will show up there another time soon.

Doesn’t sound too glamorous?

It’s not.

But it’s rewarding, and I am, for the first time in many, many years (maybe ever), truly content.