The dangerous thing about a day job is that you can very quickly become suspicious that you are not a writer. Because you are a letter carrier. Or a waiter, which I also was for 15 years. For the longest time, I was a working-class person who thought of herself, privately, as a writer. When I was around my working class colleagues I was ashamed to say I wanted to be a writer, and when I was around writers or artists I was ashamed to say I was a waiter. Now I am a writer who’s ashamed to not know how to make money as a writer.
Because no matter how you do it, no one is paying you to write. They may pay you for something you wrote, or promise to pay you for something you have promised to write. They may pay your room and board for a month or two at a residency. They may pay you to teach, or to edit something someone else has written. They may pay you to come to a university and talk to people about writing. None of this is the same as being paid to write.
I would like to be paid to write.
Merritt Tierce on pay.
To be fair, I do technically get “paid to write”, but it certainly would be nice to get “paid to write fiction“…