Writing through Recession

Hi Writers,
Well, I have to admit to feeling more than the usual post-Catholic-childhood guilt lately. Not only is there a global economic recession and I’m actually employed in a volatile industry; The Ultimate Cheapskate (below) yelled at me for my fondness for expensive, frothy espresso drinks.

You could argue that there’s never really been a positive economic forecast for those of us in the writing professions and perhaps the rest of the world is feeling just a taste of our everyday financial challenges.

I was wondering specifically how the recession is affecting writers, and I want to hear from you. Are you getting fewer bites on your queries? Spending less time at your favorite writing cafe because you’re financially embarrassed? Going to fewer writing conferences? Get it out, it’s good to share.

As for me, I’m thinking about switching back to plain old drip coffee just to make The Ultimate Cheapskate happy.

Keep Writing,

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10 thoughts on “Writing through Recession

  1. The Writer Mama

    I think that the economy is not affecting me because I look at my writing as a business, not a hobby. Therefore I’m fairly diversified in various arenas. I create my own contexts for success as well as allying with others (like Writer’s Digest Books, for example).

    I think once I got past the "us" and "them" mentality of me vs. the industry (which is quite a David vs. Goliath proposition, really), everything shifted into drive.

    Also, as a writer who makes the most of the Internet, I can respond pretty quickly to what’s true in the world and that helps me evolve as a professional writer living in accelerated times.

  2. Tom

    The thought has occurred to me lately that it’s starting to be financially ludicrous to keep my lattes comin’ while I’m at the coffee shop writing. Six hours at a cost of around eighteen bucks? Right. I don’t even get paid for what I’m writing while I’m imbibing the fruits of the dark bean. I’m building a negative financial writing curve with each sip!

  3. Sheri

    Maria, I’ve been a stay-at-home mom/writer for 27 years, so I’ve always had to watch my pennies. Like you and Ann, I have switched from a more expensive drink to plain ol’ coffee.(At YouKnowWhere.) No more soy chai lattes til things begin looking up. But I have to get out of the house to get any writing done, so I look at the money I spend as a business expense. I don’t actually claim it, of course. Just wish I could.

    When I get a chance I make a bit of mad money by editing for others. A buck here and there to help with college papers or websites, that sort of thing. Ya do what ya gotta do.

  4. Ann

    Good morning Maria, Sadly I am not in a position of getting paid for any writing at this time. I am an early retiree and have been counting on office temp assignments, but currently the short term assignments are not there due to the recession. And as I currently have my house for sale and will be relocating to a wonderful place I have found that I truly feel at home, AND when there feel inspired, energized, motivated, and sense of endless possibilities creatively, I am not taking any long term temp to perm assignments because I feel it would be unethical to do so. The agencies I am signed with are grateful for my honesty because it would make them look bad if they put someone in a position like that who knows they will be relocating when house sells. Please note, that where I am located is considered one of the best places for sellers and buyers right now, even in this current recession.
    I am now going to be concentrating on trying to find other means of income to keep me going as money is dwindling fast, and I continue to pray for house sale and finding job in new location soon. Then I will be able to focus more on my writing life 🙂

    I know what you mean about post-Catholic-childhood guilt as I am a cradle Catholic. However, even though I have given up a lot and continue to find more ways not to spend what little money i have, once in awhile I will treat myself to a Starbucks, but not my preferred Cafe Americano (the expresso drink). I just get the coffee of the day whichever is the strongest. But even that is a rare occasion these days.

    I wish everyone happier better days ahead. I do know this will all turn around at some point, and pray all of us will make it through better than just ok.

  5. Lori Widmer

    Actually, I’ve got more work than ever. I think the recession has a reverse effect on we writers – companies seem to be outsourcing more. I’ve never been busier. Publications in particular have scaled back their pay, but they’re still calling.

    The real question seems to be what will happen when the recession lifts.

  6. Nettie Hartsock

    Hi maria,

    Great question! What I’m doing as a writer is what I always do, "pitch and swerve" – in that I’m not focusing on only one niche to write in and doing both features, business writing and ghostwriting to keep the bottom line healthy.

    nettie hartsock

  7. Seth

    Not really noticing a lack of query bites; just more uptight about my ability to earn a living in this profession. Definitely not going to any conferences anytime soon, even though I’m in NYC and they’re available. But that was also before the recession. Just got to sit, polish, and hope for the best, I guess…


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