The economy has hit everyone hard. Well, everyone who hasn't lost track of how many houses they own, anyhow. It's particularly hard on freelancers. I'm on a bunch of writers' lists; one woman lamented that, as a full-time writer, she's paying out $17,000 per year on health insurance. Not health care, mind you, just insurance. She's done the math and the alternative would be much worse. For every author raking in the mad cash like Stephen King or Stephenie Meyer, there are 1,000 more novelists praying that the 4-months-late royalty check or story payment will arrive and the electricity won't get turned off.
So, the vast majority of us have day jobs. I'm in the particularly weird situation that my day job, although it has excellent health insurance, doesn't pay for a frugal adult lifestyle. One of my coworkers lamented he hasn't been able to find a second job, and the bills keep piling up. He's smart, educated, very pleasant, conscientious, dedicated, married, his wife works, and his kids have left the nest. He always brown-bags his lunch, and he has a 10-year-old car. He's been at the university for probably twenty years now, and has hit the magical age where he's experiencing age discrimination in any job he applies for.
A guy like him shouldn't be in this position.
I directed him to the tutoring service (thanks, Lometa!) that I've had as my third job for the past year. It doesn't pay that well, but it does pay, and at least I have the sense that I'm helping someone. So between my full-time job during the week and my 10-hours-if-I-can-get-'em tutoring job on the weekend, I write. I need to write at least three pages a day to comfortably meet my next novel deadline, and I also pick up nonfiction freelance (thanks, smartalix!) when I can. Gary writes his ass off and also stays up late reading manuscripts and writing critiques.
So with 6 different jobs between the two of us, our heads are above water, but just. Things are going well, until they suddenly aren't. So I work as much as I can. Which is why y'all probably won't be seeing much but sporadic daylogs from me. Sorry.
For those that are interested, Spellbent will be out in probably the fall of 2009. I'll let y'all know, even though a few of you have made it clear that you see such announcements as some kind of unseemly bragging. Sorry, but it's my life.