What’s really interesting is that Bukowski only worked at the post office for 12 years. Somehow, through his first novel, and a number of short stories, he made it seem much longer. That he wrote without expecting remuneration is the tale of many writers, including Jack Kerouac (On the Road took nine years to publish). At least once a month I’m asked “Are you making any money?” I’ve written for 45 years, made good money for 38 of those years in advertising, and I did get published in 2014 (publisher, agent and everything). Guess what? I’m still not making any money. Does it upset me? Not really. I love writing. I love getting better and better. Would I give it up to go back to advertising? Not without a very strong hook. I don’t like waking up screaming. I’d rather write for the love of it. Being poor isn’t so bad. In some respects, it makes me work harder—and wiser.

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I did a poor imitation of Don Draper for 40 years before writing my first novel. I'm currently in the final stages of a children's book. Lucky me.

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