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Life is very short. Few people do what they truly love. In the nineteenth century authors like Dickens, Twain and Dostoevsky wrote serials and made (sometimes) decent money. It was, back then, a respectable craft. It was even taken fairly seriously. Even when Nabokov was serializing his memoir, Speak, Memory in the 1950s this was still largely true.
This was of course before the internet, cell phones, social media. It seems to me that, in a way, Substack is bringing those older times back. Not precisely those times, of course. You can’t ever hit the rewind button. But in some sense this is the goal. The contemporary (traditional) writing market is flooded. Most conventionally published authors make very little money. Everyone reads things 24/7 on their phones now. Literature has sort of gone the way of the dinosaur, generally speaking.
But Substack is opening up an ancient, yet very new door. An opportunity. Writers can genuinely make a decent living on here. I’ve seen it. It takes time. But it’s doable. All my life I’ve been passionate about writing. My mom’s an author. Ditto my uncle. Oh, and two cousins. It’s in my DNA. My blood. I’ve always known in my core this was my calling. Sure I got the writing degree. And the life experience. And the author mother who read to me as a child. But the traditional route never worked for me, despite some success in that area. (A few dozen published short stories including one nominated for the Pushcart Prize.)
There’s nothing wrong with developmental book editing, which I do for bread. But I really, really want to make writing my full time Thing. This is an appeal to your passionate spirit. It feels scary to ask, but then again: What is life if not vulnerability, risk and experimentation?
I work hard on my posts. They take time. I write as honestly as I possibly can, even when it’s controversial. Despite being a people-pleaser, I’m simultaneously driven to tell the Truth to the best of my ability.
I appreciate all my subscribers, free and paid. But if you can afford it, and you value good work from a serious writer: Please, consider helping out. And if you choose not to or can’t afford to pay, please consider *recommending* my Substack for free :)
Now only $5/month or $35/year. Authentic, gritty, gutsy writing about culture, politics, identity, personal struggles, fiction, memoir, novels, book reviews, even poetry.
Consider it, that’s all I ask. I have a lot of paywalled posts. Paying gains you access to all of them.
With great appreciation and genuine gratitude 🙏