Via Rod Dreher’s new blog, Macroculture, comes this essay by Richard Morgan on the horrors of freelancing.
By the time that I finished it, I was thinking of Knut Hamsun’s novel Hunger. See the movie version—I saw it as a teenager, and how I ever became a writer afterwards, I do not know. Youthful optimism, I suppose.
I used to tell magazine-writing students that the first rules of successful freelancing were “Don’t quit your day job” and “Have an employed spouse/partner who thinks that being married to/living with a writer is wonderful, romantic arrangement.”
Morgan, of course, was trying for the top tier of consumer magazines. Quite a few writers do make livings—of sorts—by specializing in something less eye-catching but more lucrative than celebrity-interviewing.
Specialists in financial writing or science writing might have a better chance.