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You can be a writer. (At least, that's what all the other writers keep telling me.)

One of the funnier things I’ve noticed in life is that the people who are wealthy and successful often sell the “secret” to that success in a way that makes me wonder how much of that prolonged success is simply due to the speakers fees and passive income flowing from website resources.

In the same way, so it is with writers.

Some writers, at least.

I used to spend a silly amount of money each year sniffing buying books about writing from the local Barnes and Noble.

How To Write Great Stories.

How To Create Great Characters.

How To Be A Productive Writer.

How To Turn Your Words Into Dollars.

How To Set Up Clever Plots.

How To Do A Better Job Using The Hero’s Journey Structure Than George Lucas Did In His Blatant Beat-For-Beat Star Wars Rip-Off.

I think you understand the kind of books I’m talking about. Stephen King’s book On Writing is a kind of classic, and it’s pretty good and he’s actually a successful writer, though King has a sick mind and probably despises everything about people like me judging by his Twitter/X activity, but the point is that his book probably has some writerly value.

I mean, I could certainly use some help with my run-on sentences, for sure.

But often, when I’m reading an article online—on the Forbes website, for example—I will click the author's website link at the end and be transported to the magical realm of a Real Writer Website where they’re selling some downloadable digital ebook PDF on You Can Write! and additional online class sessions that you get fed, via email, on a regular basis once you sign up. I wonder if I should take the advice of a writer who makes a living off of other writers by telling them how to make a living as a writer.

It’s all too circular.

I’ve made a living as a lot of things. Right now it happens actually to be writing, but if people ask what I do for a living, I tend to hem and haw and say not that I am a Writer (or an Artist, which is even more pretentious) but that “I write stuff for people.”

Am I a Writer, or a person who happens to do some writing?

Apparently the latter, in my head.

Which is probably why I don’t have a book and program to sell you.

My best advice, regarding careers and making a living, whether writer or artist or philosophy major, involves never considering yourself too good to clean toilets or work food service for a living.


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