The short answer? Of course.
Can you write something that speaks to people’s souls when you’re on the dole and living on ramen from the food bank?
But why in the hell would you want to do that?
There is no glory in poverty. The starving artist isn’t noble, he’s a joke. And his life is in shambles.
Is that the kind of life that you want for yourself?
Is that the kind of life that you believe you need to live if you want to make high art?
Sorry. I call BS.
J. K. Rowling, Cormac McCarthy, Herman Melville, Charles Dickens. I could go on. They were poor. They wrote novels that were not only compelling works, but which attracted large readerships.
But they didn’t write so well and achieve the success they did because they were poor. They achieved what they achieved because they blended innate talent with tremendous dedication.
Poverty doesn’t make a writer.
For all but the most iron-willed of writers in that condition, poverty breaks them.
What Should I Do If I’m Struggling Financially?
There are some people who say you should just give up on your writing and get a 9 to 5.
I have some family members and friends who feel that way.
They feel this way despite the fact that I have published more than 70 poems and short stories.
They feel this way despite the fact that I have a contract with a publisher for one of my coauthored books.
They feel this way despite the fact that I have a partnership on another coauthored book with someone who has a major platform.
I don’t care how they feel.
You shouldn’t care how the people in your life feel about your literary ambitions.
Although, if your life is falling apart, you do need to address that. Immediately.
For me, as I continue to pursue my writing, I earn money through other pursuits because writing does not pay the bills. Yet.
I write and edit material for Goldleaf, a company that specializes in guided notebooks and elegant print design for cannabis patients, growers, and enthusiasts.
I also provide customized resumes and cover letters for job applicants through my company, MyCareerHacker.com.
Fortunately, between these two responsibilities, I’m able to pay the bills. In my spare time, I write (and move the process forward on these two forthcoming books).
Both of my responsibilities are writing-focused.
Neither job requires creative writing skill, but every day my writing ability continues to improve as a result of this writing-related work.
The best thing is that I can perform my duties from home with both of these positions.
I found an incredible resource for other writers so that they too can write from home and make money. This is a great option for writers who are in dire financial straits and also for writers who may have a job, but either dislike it or would prefer a change to a writing-related role.
The resource is called Writing Jobs Online.
I can’t recommend this website strongly enough. No matter what’s going on in your life, now you have no excuse not to pursue your writing. You can pay your writing-induced bills while developing your writing-related skills.
Could you be the next J. K. Rowling?
Maybe. Talent matters. Hard work matters.
But there are no guarantees.
Do you really want to suffer for your art?
Do you really think suffering makes your writing better?
Do you really think suffering makes you write more?
I doubt it, but hey, it’s your life.
Now if you want to make a change, start solving your problems, earn some money, and become a better writer, again, give Writing Jobs Online a try.
After all, the only thing you have to lose is your ramen.
Did you find this post useful? Then please consider helping other writers by sharing this post on your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Thank you!