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Financial survival advice to writers and other freelancers

February 27, 2008

John Scalzi wrote a ripper of a piece about surviving as a writer (or any other freelancer/creative type) earlier this month. Most of it is common sense—at least, it’s common sense to me, based on my upbringing. Some of his advice you may disagree with, but overall the principles he discusses with such passion and candour are a fabulous blueprint for surviving financially when you go out on your own.

Set aside 30 minutes to read the article and some of the responses (there are nearly 200!). Then read it again and think about how you can apply some of his good advice. In my opinion, it should be required reading for almost anybody.

John’s article is here: http://scalzi.com/whatever/?p=362

If you don’t have time to read the article, here are his 10 main points:

  1. You’re a writer. Prepare to be broke.
  2. Don’t quit your day job.
  3. Marry someone sensible with money, who has a day job. [this one caused a lot of controversy!]
  4. You’re income is half what you think it is.
  5. Pay off your credit cards NOW and then use them like cash later.
  6. Don’t have the cash for it? You can’t have it.
  7. When you buy something, buy the best you can afford—then run it into the ground.
  8. Unless you have a truly compelling reason to be there, get the hell out of [big city of your choice].
  9. Know the entire writing market and place value on your own work.
  10. Writing is a business. Act like it.

One comment

  1. [...] See also: Financial survival advice to writers and other freelancers [...]



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