Monday, December 13, 2010

He wants to write for a living. What should he know?

Read it if you haven't.
Tomorrow morning at this time, I'll be talking to a young writer. I have no idea what I can say to him that might be of use about writing as an occupation. It's called job-shadowing, and I imagine it makes more sense in some trades than others. Doing a ride along with paramedics--a person could see something doing that.

I used to teach writing. Every once in a while, one of my students would decide that they wanted to be a writer instead of a soil scientist or a computer programmer. My job teaching those students was over at that point, since my mission was to make sure they could succeed in science or technology. I had no expertise to offer regarding making a living as a writer. I have to admit that I always derived satisfaction in those cases. They proved I was a good teacher. They had learned enough from me that the subject I taught had actually become interesting.

So I wonder, what should I show to a seventeen year old guy who wants to write? How can I be of use as an example?

Since I don't know, I'm asking you. What does he need to know about writing for a living? Please leave a comment for Dietrich.
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