when you take your laptop into the coffeeshop.”
Now available for Kindle! Or, you know, by clicking the “writing” tag on his blog. Something like that. Basically it’s a collection of his posts on writing up to 2006. An entertaining read of short essays that are also blog posts.
What I got out of reading this book is that I could totally become a free-lance writer. I have the skill-set. I could go through the build-up process. I can handle frequent rejection (after all, I am an academic). I have no problem with thinking my writing is precious and uneditable. I even have a few contacts I could tap.
But… I really don’t want to. I just don’t think the amount of effort is worthwhile for me right now. I just like my current job more.
I do do some free-lance writing, but only when it falls into my lap and is related to my research area. Right now my time is too precious to seek out additional opportunities or to build up my portfolio for less than what I make now with my infrequent policy briefs and news articles and etc. (Though, I did have to chuckle when Scalzi said that the NYTimes gets away with having people like me write for them for free in exchange for the prestige… because the NYTimes has done exactly that with me! On an incredibly short deadline too. Laura Vanderkam would not be impressed. But hey, my department liked me having the byline.)
And I could be more like Betsy Stevenson (who is one of my personal heroes) and be a public academic for my area of research expertise, but I fear that would require having twitter and there’s other stuff I’d rather do with my time.
So I dunno, maybe if I go through a career crisis and we move to the SF bay area… but not any time soon.
p.s. We were an editor’s pick in this week’s carnival of personal finance!
Have you ever thought about doing a second job but decided it wasn’t worth the time and effort?