What is a “Working Writer?”

Within the first few days of my first real Creative Writing course I said, without hesitation, my goal was to be a working writer. I wanted to make a living off telling stories. By the end of my degree, I felt that to become a “working writer” meant:

a.) “Sell out” and become one of those hated airport novelists/genre/copywriter/any non-literary, (aka not artistic) type of writer.

b.)  Give talks, do a lecture circuit. Or Teach. (Make money from not writing.)

c.) Accept that you won’t make a living. (Get a day job. Probably teaching.)

Along those same lines I also heard, “There are only hundred people who make a living off writing fiction.” I don’t know if it’s true or not but I didn’t get the sense that it is correct.

And then I read what Dean Wesley Smith had to say about it.

How do I feel now?

Well, I’m not sure. I’ve known for a while that there are genre writers who make a living writing. Which would kind of fit with “a.)” But then again, does it even matter if it’s “genre fiction?” Because when you think about it, literary fiction is just a genre.

Just a thought that spinning in my mind at the moment.

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