Copyright © 1982 by Stephen Goldin. All Rights Reserved.
Cover image copyright © Paul Moore.
NOTE: The Business of Being a Writer was originally published in 1982, before the widespread use of personal computers, the Internet, and electronic publishing. While this excerpt has been updated, it is still largely oriented toward publishing in the print media. I hope you’ll find it useful anyway.
The general public has two conflicting images of what a “writer” is like. The first is Writer-as-Celebrity. This is the writer who wears expensive clothes, appears on TV talk shows, is invited to all those fabulous society parties, is the soul of urbanity, smokes either a pipe or a cigarette in a long holder—and who works perhaps an hour or two a week, genteelly turning out a best-seller once every two or three years.
The second image is Writer-as-Artist. This is the writer who wears faded jeans and old sweat shirts, who sits hunched in a one-room apartment day after day behind an outdated computer surrounded by books and stacks of paper, who drinks, smokes, or takes drugs to keep going and is totally oblivious to the material comforts of the outside world—and who works in artistic spurts, slave to the Muse and unconcerned with popular approval.