Mug shot of author and editor Manjula Martin see her website at

Scratch – Writers and Money – Bite-Sized Reviews #1

The end of the year always make me reflect on my writing, including the “business end” of the process. I wanted to share a brief summary of suggestions that come from the book by Manjula Martin, author of a series of interviews in Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living.

This review is a quick peek at one chapter of a book that is an entertaining read with interviews of 33 writers. Scratch covers most aspects a working writer needs to know, or at least consider, about the writing business.

Today, I’m going to share a quick review of just one of these authors. Others will follow later. This piece, written by Manjula Martin, who edited this collection of essays, has some important things to say about writers’ “day jobs” and the ever-present dream of quitting and doing nothing but writing. The nine pages of this chapter trace Martin’s first jobs to her current–at the time of the book–ways of earning her daily bread. She admits to wishing she could focus on nothig but her own writing, but also concludes that the jobs she has had–and she details many interesting ones–enlarged her view of the world and informed, in specific and vivid ways, her writing.

My favorite quotes from this chapter are: “Any artist who produces work for public consumption must navigate a tenuous balance of ambition and pragmatism.” Later, she reflects on her own fits-and-starts progress in writing and realized, she says, that “work wasn’t what was holding me back; the ideal of the ‘Writer’s Life’ was.”

Obviously, I’m holding back other fine insights and compelling beats to her life. I don’t want to spoil this for you or keep you from finding this piece and reading it for yourself. You’ll find it, in the print edition, on page 111 with a chapter title “The Best Work in Literature.” You can learn more about her on her website,

I’ll be sharing other bits of insight from this book soon. But I wanted to keep this bite-sized and tempt you to seek this work out for yourself, and soon. Here’s my associate link to see the book’s reviews and, if you’re inclined, explore the publishers blurb and buy this informative and helpful book on Amazon.

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