By Erik Hane
I think that at this point, the question of how I came to the writing life—whether that means my own work or helping other authors with theirs—is less worthwhile than questioning why I keep choosing it. How I got here is the same way it feels like everyone else did: a mix of various tenuous jobs here and there that never pay enough and offer no security, all the while finding writing time whenever possible at desks strewn across apartments that change every time the rent goes up. We all have some version of that story. Mine’s no more interesting than yours.
The reason I keep choosing this, though, instead of electing for some other job that offers a bit more peace of mind, is that eventually you spend enough time within something that you start to need it.
It turns out that all this continual moving and choosing a certain way of living (even when it doesn’t really make sense) leads to caring very deeply about it. There’s no other way. I am tremendously lucky to be able to do the things I do all day in service of projects and people I really care about.
It’s still about the art—I go to sleep thinking about the novels I get to work on, which remains the best feeling in the world—but it’s also about people, now. Because one joy of the writing life is that anyone else doing it got there the same way you did, by moving and searching for the small pockets of opportunity that let them keep doing the thing they cared about.
It’s incredibly rewarding to have some small part in helping writers find those opportunities, and that’s why I’m here, still. It’s why I can’t really envision ever doing anything but this.