what in the dump-him hell is this
A new villain has entered the discourse
Flashing gif at the end of message
Last week I brought you Pilot Cosplay Man, a dude with a personality so rancid it made me consider joining a convent. Mere days after his appearance this guy showed up:
The post has since been deleted from AmITheAsshole but, like the title says, the internet is forever. In this post, OP’s husband won’t call her an author because she doesn’t do it for a living. OP is traditionally published, with four publishers in Canada and actual-facts royalty checks from $2k to $5k a year.
To be clear: that is more than most published authors make. Most books never earn out their advances. I don’t know how long ago these books were published, but it sounds like they have a nice long tail in her market. And her husband says if someone finds out she isn’t a full-time writer, they might feel “upset” to learn it was “just a hobby.”
Pardon me while I go scream into the chilly morning air of Dekalb Avenue.
“Just” a hobby. “Just” a hobby that brings two to five thousand dollars a year into their presumably-shared finances. “Just” something that four Canadian publishers and multiple book fairs and schools have her attend. “Just!” Listen, buddy, I have a number of hobbies and not a single one has brought a single dollar into my wallet. Quite the opposite, actually. To belittle his wife’s artistic work because it isn’t her entire income/work life is ludicrous.
It seems to me to be the weird converse of Pilot Cosplay Man. Pilot Cosplay Man wanted all the credit for doing none of the work—he wanted to be acknowledged as a pilot without ever having flown a plane. And on this other end of the spectrum, despite the fact OP has done the work of writing and publishing six books, Unsupportive Husband doesn’t consider it real work because it’s somehow not her full-time job. Way to set the goalposts on fire, there, buddy!
At some point, the bar for being a success with an artistic endeavor got moved to “you do it full time and it’s 100% of your income.” That hasn’t been possible for decades. If your rent was $100 a month, a $10,000 advance was enough money to live on for the year. If your rent is $2500 and you also have student loans, $10,000 soon becomes a drop in the bucket.
The idea that OP is somehow deceiving people because she what, makes money off her writing but doesn’t do it as a full-time job? That’s ludicrous. OP should be proud of herself and what she’s accomplished, and her husband should, too. She’s done something that thousands of people aspire to every year: been published traditionally and made money at it. I hope her second husband appreciates her artistic work and is proud to call her an author.
WHAT I’M READING
Honestly, nothing at the moment. My sister and I are redoing our kitchen, which has meant a lot of time spent with construction noise—less helpful for being able to concentrate. I have Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon and Uprooted by Naomi Novik on my nightstand, so hopefully I can start one of those this weekend during the (relative) quiet. As part of this renovation we are getting a dishwasher: words cannot express how excited I am about this.
Phew, an unexpectedly angry newsletter this week! I didn’t realize until I sat down to write this that I was still angry at this Canadian man I’ll never meet. I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled jocular nonsense next week, with some news about my romance novel!
THIS WEEK IN HOCKEY
For the first time in a million years, Alex Ovechkin didn’t skip the All-Star Game to go hang out in Miami with his hot wife, giving us this fun moment:
That is all.
READING: who knows
WATCHING: The Last Of Us
LISTENING: Heartbreak Feels So Good by Fall Out Boy
This has been A Faster No, a dispatch on publishing, writing, books, and beyond. Is there something you’d like me to talk about? Leave it in the comments or reply to the email! You can support the newsletter here. If you purchase a book from any of the links to Bookshop.org I get a small commission at no cost to you. I am available for developmental editing and editorial assessment services via Reedsy.