Emergencies Happen to Writers, Too By C. Hope Clark

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Writers and authors seem to fall in an all or nothing category financially. Either we’re limping along between checks, or we’re basking in a new contract and royalty advance. Even those with advances often backslide when the money’s gone and the book is still at the printer. But rich or poor, famous or obscure, writers live a roller coaster existence in their choice to pen words for a living. And catastrophe affects us all.

Legal atrocities run the gamut. From copyright concerns to income tax complexities, writers can suddenly find themselves locked in a legal issue without a cushion in the bank to pay attorneys’ fees.

The well runs dry and the rent comes due. The magazine that promises $1/word goes bankrupt. The day job you despise lays off a hundred people and that 9-to-5 you used to hate becomes one you wish you still had.

Nobody plans poor health, especially when it comes to accidents or debilitating illness. And stringent health care plans usually rule out pre-existing conditions. We love our freedom and liberty to write at whim and ponder the world in well-honed phrases, but how quickly that rug gets yanked when a drunk driver broadsides the car or pneumonia catches you off-guard.

As a writer, you need assurance and insurance that hard times do not do you in. The best solutions are subsidies in the form of an inheritance, the lottery, a significant other with income, or a job with benefits. In that order. I’ll give you a moment to laugh