Okay if you read my last post, you know that I’m rearranging my hustle so I can work. TL:DR version is I’m very tired of providing a whole lot of free content and getting little material support regardless of what I ask for.
So first thing was a lot of sympathy. Messages, notes etc all expressing utmost sadness. I do appreciate it. The writing life is a hard fuckin hustle. Especially for someone like me for LOTS of intersecting simple and complex reasons.
What did not happen?
Engagement with material I’ve offered for free and for paid medium users. Nothin. Nada. Fuck all. My current super check from Medium is a whopping zero cents. Between this here lil doohicky, followers at Medium, tweeter etc there are a good few thousand of y’all so honestly sometimes seeing all those juicy zeroes is just…..disheartening.
That said, I do find it dryly (bitterly) entertaining that instead of the free to do shares of shit I get a lot of advice.
Some of it is really bad.
First one, someone I’ve known for literal years suggested I take an internship that is for newbies who need to learn how to get published.
I say this with love. PLS DO NOT GODDAMN DO THIS. Ahem….
I am in fact a professional. I know I am not slinging big dollar bylines but, I do my thing. I’ve been doing it since the late 1990s. I AM AN OLD. I SUBMITTED SELF ADDRESSED STAMPED ENVELOPED WITH TYPED ON A FUCKIN NON HIPSTER TYPEWRITER. I skipped eating to buy stamps and paper. I know how to do publishing.
Yes, wanting to share an opportunity with me is great. However if it comes and it is very clearly not for me, yeah Imma feel some type of way. If it involves moving to NYC on a stipend, NAH I have a tiny family to care for and have a job, if it involves travel I can’t afford it.
Y’alls. I am very very open about my life. I work full time. Yes some stuff has changed since we moved.
Previously, my work days were basically up at 4:45 AM, out the door at six PM, in the door between 5:30-6PM. Food and bathing and household shit until about 8 or so then attempts at sleep. On a good day I had maybe 2 hours of writing at home before I got too tired.
Currently, I have more time so I’m writing more stuff.
BUT I am still poor. I still have a full time job and a disabled partner to care for. This precludes me doing a lot of things because they cost money, don’t pay and cost time.
I don’t like capitalism but like everybody else I gotta play so I don’t starve to death and die.
Next thing. Do NOT approach me like we’re friends and try to sell me your super best seller marketing secrets. Do. Not. Do.
Look I’m not gunning for sympathy when I talk about these things. I’m open about them because it is a part of the writing life that is hard and just like every other broke fucker with a pen, I’m doing the best I can.
I face obstacles that I want to be open about. Some of them are of my own making. I say that because I have a big goddamn mouth and I acknowledge that my habit of talking about uncomfortable things especially in the context of the lit biz, turns some folks off. That’s fine. I’m not a universally loved flavor of human. Some of the obstacles are because I move around in the body I’m in, with the skin I’m in and that’s just how shit works.
I’m too old to believe that if I just find the magic formula, ALL THE CASH SHALL FOLLOW. I also don’t really want that.
Here’s what I want.
- Write what the fuck I want.
- Freelance a little bit with people I trust with my work.
- Sometimes buy new underpants.
- Read books.
- Drink hot beverages.
Thing is, what’s important beyond just wanting to help is taking the extra second to think before you give someone something gross. Don’t insult folks who are in the shit, and know some shit. And yes, you might not mean it but sometimes offering up things that are not possible for people sucks.
Small lit life updates-
- Ten subs/pitches out.
- Two non response, one form rejection, one warm rejection.
- One solicited essay assignment turned in.
- MAKE THAT ELEVEN out, I just sent another poetry submission.
I have to go back in time so I can find some stuff to talk to editors I like about. This is the life, I ain’t mad.