Book Report: The Wealthy Writer by Michael Meanwell (2004)

I got this book as part of the “You Get This Many Books and the Writers Market for $20 (plus shipping and handling” deal from Writer’s Digest Books, and since I’ve lost the receipt, I cannot amortize for you the exact cost of this book, but it probably wasn’t worth it to me.

The cover and blurb say it’s The Wealthy Writer: How to Earn a Six-Figure Income As a Freelance Writer (No Kidding!), but it’s really more How to Run a Successful Business Whose Product Happens to Be Writing Services. Its chapters cover the business aspects of becoming a successful business writer, providing marketing copy for corporations. While that is indeed a mechanism for making a living as a writer (and a comfortable living), it’s not really writing in the artistic sense.

Because, face it, I made a living as a technical writer at one time, and it wasn’t ultimately satisfying in the creation sense of the word. I’d hoped for some silver bullet of a book that would make me a disciplined writer who could sell stories and essays to magazines and books to publishers. Instead, it’s the same hustle to make a buck, build a clientele, and whatnot that I’ve read dozens of times over in any small business owner book, but it’s recursive in nature because you’re doing the normal promotional pitching and marketing not only for yourself, but as someone who will do the same for clients.

So perhaps it’s a good primer if you’ve not read this sort of thing before, but I have. Truth be told, I read a book in high school with a title like How to Make $17,000 a Year as a Freelance Writer ultimately geared to my particular jones which inspired me and encouraged me more than this book. I should note, however, that neither have overcome my inertia and addiction to Sid Meier video games and simply reading to turn me into a writer who earns anything a year.

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