FOR THE MONEY! LUCKY ME!
Why do you write? Perhaps I can say “for the money” because I’m blessed that this is what I do for a living. That photo above is my latest book, which can be found in Barnes & Noble bookstores, and also the first book I wrote where I received an advance check! Coincidentally, today a check is going in the mail from another book publisher — as I just signed a contract to write my sixth book which will be about the Jersey Shore!
However, it didn’t start out that way. I was a very late bloomer. No, I didn’t write for the school newspaper. As a teen, I was a lost soul who didn’t know what I wanted in life. I just wanted to be left alone and not bullied. I somehow knew better days were coming. The month I graduated was the happiest day of my life. My younger sister Kim said something genius to me, “Now you should want the time to go really slow.” I had everything to live for because the bullies were GONE!
I didn’t go to college and began working right away. I came from a single-parent household and had to pay “room and board” to live at home. I had a temp job, then I worked as a shipping clerk at Scribner Book Company. I was around books and often had the opportunity to bring freebies home and read. I was always a reader and loved going to the library with my mom as a kid.
Back then, the drinking age was 18. Since I loved music, I went to see bands in New York City every single night and come home around 5 a.m. because life began after midnight back in the early 1980s. The next day I’d sleep in my car during my lunch break.
I had become friends with a young girl named Lisa James (RIP) — who later became TJ Ellis after transitioning to male, and we kept in touch until TJ’s death a few years ago. Out of respect, I will call “Lisa” by their name TJ. … TJ had this really cool fanzine (a self-published fan magazine) called Punk, Junk, and Pasttimes. She made me her assistant editor and I helped her write articles and conduct interviews. We had some very wild times with NYC punk musicians, which I’ll share another time. But this is what gave me the writing bug.
All this was before the internet and if you wanted to get published, you’d have to type stories on a typewriter. I didn’t get my first home computer until the 1990s. I took at home writing courses from Writer’s Digest and The Children’s Institute of Literature. Back then, I was hesitant about my talents and only submitted a few stories and received a few rejection slips. In the meantime, I wrote poetry, which was easy. I read my poetry in coffee houses, art galleries, and bars. And it was very well received. I even had a write up in the Star Ledger, which is a very popular New Jersey newspaper.
My big break came in 1995. I was hired as assistant to the publisher for Outlaw Biker Enterprises. They published magazines like Outlaw Biker, Tattoo Review, Skin Art, Art Alternatives, and In the Flesh. In the very beginning I sold ads for the magazines. I excelled and even got bonuses. But I did not want to be a sales person, I wanted to write. I became friends with the editor and by that summer, I had my first article published — worldwide!! These magazines were extremely popular with young people in the tattoo community all over the planet!
From then, I went on to write for a series of newspapers and magazines in NYC. It was like being a celebrity. I was able to get on the guest list for all theatre, free meals at restaurants, and live music. Sometimes I’d work until the wee hours of the night and get to go home in a town car! What a life!
After 9/11 I didn’t want to work in NYC anymore, and I scored a job at a local newspaper for seven years. Again, the perks were incredible. Plus this time I even got free yoga classes! I also became an award-winning journalist, exposing the Montclair police force for writing more tickets for parking violations versus moving violations.
Seven years later, I decided to work for myself and created my company Pear Tree Enterprises (the link is below) during the summer of 2008. I’ve helped countless writers edit their books and get them published. From 2013 to 2019 I wrote five books. One of those five books, “Love Cats” is in it’s second printing under my pen name Kyrstianna Mercury.
In addition to book writing, I continue working as an editor, journalist, and proofreader. (Along with public/motivational speaking, non-union acting, cat sitting, and sometimes over 50 modeling!)
I absolutely love my career as a writer and feel blessed to make a living doing so. Writing isn’t something you decide to do — writing chooses YOU. If you find yourself unhappy at your day job, not getting along with people because they are not as deep as you are, or not being able to go ONE DAY without writing, even if it’s just in your journal, this may be your calling!
And do not think, for one minute, that writers can’t make money. Yes, it’s not the same as it was decades ago, but YOU CAN make a lot of money as a writer, with a very healthy, comfortable salary. Just keep shooting those arrows. Perhaps start part-time then elevate to a career!
I wish all writers the best of luck! I am available for ZOOM coaching, as I’ve coached other writers. Email me for rates and to set up a consult: firstname.lastname@example.org …. I am a real person and less expensive than many writing scams you see out there!
If you liked this blog, feel free to buy me a kombucha: https://ko-fi.com/maryannechristianomistretta
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: email@example.com.
She is the author of the following books:
“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary
“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You
Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/
Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.
And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA/videos
Visit my business page, Pear Tree Enterprises, at: https://peartreeenterprises.wordpress.com/