Many of us seasoned writers (with the exception of the Philip Roth kind) live like we did when we were in graduate school.
That Writing Life of the bare necessities may even be embedded with superstition. With good reason.
When I was in the money, my creativity was stalled. Once I was back struggling to make ends meet I re-blossomed as the writer I had been when I first started out penning columns for the Tribune-Review in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. The pay? Five bucks. Everyone talked about my reflections. I never wanted more than that.
But I did get more when I got good enough in executive communications to hang out a shingle. My skills saved organizations from having to hire a full-timer. There was a This Old House on the Gold Coast of Connecticut. There was a cottage at the Jersey Shore, five blocks from the beach. There was philanthropy to nutty causes.
I withered. In every way, not just creativity.
Luck stuck. I lost it all. I got the hang of social media. I earned recognition as a legal writer (my regulatory blog is still popular, which you can read here.) I coached displaced professionals how to create their job search materials. I became a contract blogger for AOL, Motley Fool (yeah, sizing up stocks), Pajamas Media and Wall Street Jobs Report.
The work is still going well. The question is: For how long? My revenue situation has changed. My humble little executive communications has morphed into a fire hose gushing money.
Likely, though, the Writing Life will also hold onto its graduate school ethos. C.S. Lewis observed that experience is a brutal teacher but we learn, god, we sure do.
The good part of this return to financial comfort is fewer sleepless nights about money. There could be some weekend and holiday trips. In addition to my dog Lee K. I could adopt several mature cats.
What's left over when I go to the Great Laptop in the sky will be willed to animal rescue. Money scares me.