Help for Writers in Trouble

My post today isn’t very dirty. But it is, for once, on topic. Eventually.

Writing is a difficult profession. Long hours and demanding work, without all that much pay sometimes, and we tend to think we’re completely alone in this endeavor. It’s scary to take those first steps towards making this a primary source of income, and scarier still to realize how close to the edge you might run in this quest for your dream.

As some of you may know, earlier this year, I was laid off from my day job. I don’t mourn the loss of this job, in that it was a terrible gig, one that had me so stressed out that I actually developed a heart condition in the four years I worked there. What I miss, though, is that paycheck that made paying the bills less of an exercise in torment and more of an annoyance. Still, with the support of my Spouse, I’m working toward setting myself up as a freelance editor while I continue to write. It’s going to be months before I make this work the way it should, and those months are going to be… difficult. Which brings me to PEN.

I’ve discovered, in my research, that there are countless places you can go to for help, be it grants, scholarships, of sponsorships. PEN provides an online directory of places offering grants, legal assistance, medical assistance, crisis counseling, and more for writers and editors as well as their own PEN Writers’ Fund. If you are a writer and you are in financial or legal trouble, start with PEN. Thanks to them, I found a pharmacy program that could save me $240 on 90 days of just one of the medications I’m currently stuck paying for out of pocket.

If you don’t have need of PEN and their directory, then I encourage you to consider making a donation to PEN or a similar organization this holiday season in the name of someone you love. To clarify: I am not affiliated with PEN in any way, nor have I received any support from them. My goal is merely to bring to light an organization that might be able to help a lot of people in our little community.

This time of year is difficult. The holiday pressure is on even for those of us who don’t celebrate and, for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, we see too little daylight sometimes to make the effort worthwhile. But we’re not alone in this. There is help to be had.


Liz Silver is an editor with Musa Publishing. She is also an author of two m/m erotic romance novellas available from Loose Id, and her most recent story, “Laced” is available in Best Bondage Erotica 2012, from Cleis Press. Find her here, at her web site, or on Twitter… and then yell at her to get her ass back to work.

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