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Never Forget How Lucky You Are to Be a Writer

A friendly pep talk for all my fellow writers

Nico Ryan
6 min readNov 27, 2019


One morning a couple of weeks ago, I sat down and did something for which I’ll soon be paid $5000+.

It took me six hours to complete, requiring no physical exertion.

It wasn’t risky to my health or safety, and I didn’t have to do anything ethically questionable.

I didn’t ask for permission before doing it nor did I see or speak to an authority figure during or after the experience.

It required no commuting, no swiping in and out of a building, and no meeting deadlines imposed from higher-ups.

All I did was type out a story and then click ‘Publish’.

This is what I produced.

I don’t have a massive audience. I’m not friends with the folks who run top-tier publications. I didn’t call in any personal favours.

I simply spent half a day thinking and writing about what I believe are meaningful experiences and interesting ideas, and my words went viral.

The response to my story has reminded me how lucky we writers are to get paid doing what we love, i.e., sharing our thoughts with the world via the written word.

Writing—both the process itself and everything that’s involved in turning a passion for words into dollars earned—is often anxiety-provoking, boring, challenging, frustrating, isolating, and overwhelming.

And yet, it remains true that those of us who are privileged enough to see ones and zeros appear in our bank accounts merely from stringing words together and presenting them to readers are some of the luckiest folks in the world.

Whether it’s a side hustle or a full-time gig, getting paid to write is remarkable.

The Struggles of Being a Writer

Writers face many of the same difficulties entrepreneurs, freelancers, and other non–9-5ers typically confront.

As a writer, unless you work for a company, there’s nobody to whom you’re directly accountable but yourself and, if you have them, your clients.



Nico Ryan

Ph.D. Candidate | Technical Writer-Editor | Philosopher | TikTok: | Website: | Newsletter: