Thursday, July 18, 2013

The High Cost Of Writing

I’m Back.
Heeer’s Johhnny!
 I’d like to apologize for ignoring my blog for so long, but as the title infers, one makes little money from writing so one must work for a living. I’m too old to sell my body so it’s trudge, trudge, trudge to the office and work, work, work.

"Work-Work-Work."

I’ve been busy putting together a collection of short stories about death which will probably cost more to produce than the pitiful income it brings in. Here’s the cover so far and when it comes out it will be available both digitally and in paperback on Amazon, B&N etc. So stay tuned and prepare to fork over four bucks for the Kindle copy or maybe I’ll price it at $3.99 like the gas stations do. Available now on:
               

Back to the theme. Don’t give up your day job. Not yet, anyway. The hobby of writing can be quite expensive or dear, if you’re British.  I do have other hobbies that on the surface seem like they should cost more than writing:
Golf: About $2000 a year if you don’t include the $1000 to play Pebble Beach on the Monterey Peninsula, which I’m not going to, Pam, so stop bugging me about the once in a lifetime experience! God made the Monterey Peninsula and he meant for there to be a golf course there so take it up with God! Geesh. I’d better settle down. Okay. Deep breaths. Ommmmm. There we go.
Surfing: Almost zip except for gasoline and it’s only five miles to the beach so maybe a hundred a year.
Tennis: The same. Gas and the occasional restring so about another hundred dollars.
But now-Writing: Let’s look at it from the writer’s perspective which is basically saying let’s look at it from the writer’s spouse’s perspective. Having friends who are writers and poets can be educational and exhilarating, but each time one of them comes out with a book you feel obligated to buy it. Here’s the cost of writing broken down by conferences:
Writers in Paradise-St. Petersburg, Florida -8 day workshop:

Conference---$900
Hotel----------$1000
Food-----------$200
Dali Museum-$20
Golf------------$50
Purchase cost of faculty books;
Dennis LeHane---$25
Stewart O’Nan----$18
Andre Dubus------$27
Laura Lipmann--$25
Tom Franklin------$25
Lori Roy------------$25
Total:    $ 2915

Florida Writers Conference-Lake Mary Florida:

Conference---$380
Hotel----------$400
Food-----------$60
Golf------------$50
Purchase cost of friends and faculty books;
All books---$100
Late Night Snickers Bar----$1.50
Total:    $ 991.50

Two other local conferences:
$500
Subscription to Writer -$30
Money to enter contests; $400
Money won from contests: $1000 (yay)
Grand Total:   $3836.50

Now compare that with the expenses incurred by my wife and her frivolous hobbies:
Gym- $700 year
Books-$150 year
Puzzles-$0
Bicycling-$0
Library books--$0
Grand Total--$850

One could argue that I’m a financial burden to the family but my wife never complains and I believe I know why. She has had complete control of our finances since we’ve been married and I think she is ferretting a good portion of it to an untraceable account on the Caymans, preparing for my inevitable and premature demise, to live her life on the beach, waited on by handsome cabana boys and drinking Mai Tais until she can’t walk.
Damn schemer. I think I’ll sign up for the Killer Nashville Conference in August and I think I’ll stay at the Hilton. Just in case.