History tells us that great authors can experience financial difficulties. There are some significant exceptions – both Proust and Tolstoy, for instance, were born into very wealthy families. But for those of a less privileged background, here are some tips to avoid debt when writing a book.
Take an unusual job and write about that.
Work is a great literary theme, and some writers have taken enormous inspiration from their day job. Joseph Conrad was a sailor, and his nautical experiences supplied him with rich and compelling subject matter for his novels. Primo Levi constantly reflected on his career as a chemist. This pattern suggests it could be worth looking for an unusual job and using this as raw material for fiction.
Get paid to write.
Joseph Heller and Salman Rushdie worked as copywriters in the advertising industry. For a short period of time, Milan Kundera produced horoscopes. Roald Dahl wrote the screenplay for the early James Bond film ‘You Only Live Twice’. The working world needs people who can write, and this will naturally provide opportunities for the writer.
Write about being poor.
All impoverished writers have a debt to George Orwell, as poverty was a dominant and recurring preoccupation of his work. Most famously, he once assumed the lifestyle of a London tramp and then wrote about his experience in ‘Down And Out In Paris And London’.
On the one hand, writers may find it difficult to avoid financial hardship. On the other hand, the above cases show that this predicament can be used as an opportunity to develop writing skills, or to acquire experience that can be subsequently recycled within fiction. Perhaps the clearest example of this is the case of Dostoevsky and his novella ‘The Gambler’, which according to literary folklore was itself written to pay off a gambling debt.
If you are a budding author, you shouldn’t let going into financial difficulty put you off your dream as you need to purely focus on writing your book first. If at a later date finance does become a problem for you, then we advise you visit http://www.moneynet.co.uk/Debt-Help. There are a lot of comprehensive articles on there to guide you as well as ways of getting help from specialist companies should you go into difficulty.