Kind of thinking about: https://www.financialsamurai.com/the-ri ... iety-rage/
I suppose other ERErs run into this issue, that people think you're genuinely poor. It's my own fault for joking that I'm poor, and there's a lot to unpack there because I grew up in a place which skewed my ideas of what "poor" and "rich" are. Rich = over $X million in investable assets while poor = anything less than that. "What about the middle class?" you say. Middle class = poor. As of 2014, the median income was around $35,000 per year.
https://www.salon.com/2014/12/21/why_so ... s_partner/
The Millionaire Next Door is a classic FI book, although a bit dry for my taste. I do like flipping through it, though, because it shows how ordinary people save over time while living normal lives (instead of lives full of lentil soup ROFL that still cracks me up).
Almost nobody understands what it means to be a full-time author unless you are one. I think it's kind of a first-world problem. I was re-reading akratic's journal where he said this:
I'm not fully FI but obviously I have control over my working hours. It means that I have the time and freedom to do some things that normal 9-to-5 people put off or can't do. It also means that I'll stay up until 3 AM working out a particularly thorny problem although TBH I did not have the healthiest working hours when I had a corporate job and some people regularly pulled all-nighters at work.akratic wrote: ↑Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:15 amI also believe becoming FI has made it increasingly difficult to relate to the average person.
As an example, my wife and I sometimes attend a New Parents Group, where kids aged 0-12 months play in a circle while parents talk about the highs and lows of the past week. A typical mom might rant about how her husband is working 70 hours a week to make money for the family, but the apartment is still too small for the three of them, and neither the exhausted mom who has been with a newborn all day nor the exhausted dad who has been working all day has the strength to make it through another sleepless night of crying from their daughter. Meanwhile here's my wife and I *both* attending an optional activity from 1pm - 2:30pm on a weekday. One or both of us have been to this weekly group about 12 times now, and while there are some stay at home dads, not once has both parents of another kid shown up together.
Although my family and close friends know that I'm financially independent, I rarely evangelize or get into it with strangers. Strangers and acquaintances (like at the New Parents Group) sometimes pry, however, and in doing so seem to just about bend over backwards to assume the worst. I can almost see the gears spinning in their head while they conclude that I have some hidden trust fund or income stream from my parents or the government, or that my wife is supporting me, or just about any explanation other than that I earned my freedom myself. I can see the story they are spinning to themselves through the questions they ask, but they almost never come right out with it, and I find these exchanges exhausting.
My freedom seems almost impossible to accept for others
I've had to field weird questions and been exposed to weird assumptions. A lot of people ask me if I've ever published a book right after I tell them that I'm a full-time author. I have a lot of books out, and honestly the exact number eludes me because writing books is a hamster wheel where as soon as you've finished a book, you're right back to the start and writing yet another one. I remember back when I was starting this journal when I hadn't even finished one novel. It feels like a long time ago, but it has only been 4 years.
I waited until I was earning a full-time income before I went full throttle. A bunch of people seriously do not understand that. It's as if I'm an 18-year-old kid who has announced to his/her family that he/she will become an internationally traveling painter and the family members roll their eyes at one another and ask, "And with what money?" As if painters never make any money and the 18-year-old kid is too young and broke to travel solo and doesn't even have a passport. A very large number of people are extremely condescending when you tell them you are a full-time author.
Someone asked me if I wrote every day, and I wondered if the same people who walk up to a plumber and ask them, "Do you plumb every day?" Maybe plumbers don't go out to job sites every day, but it's unlikely that the same question would be posed to another person in a different profession. Do people walk up to accountants and ask them if they work with numbers every day? Is it because being an author is a creative profession? If someone said, "I'm a professional, full-time sketch artist," would they be asked, "Do you sketch every day?"
Honestly people who are full-time musicians, painters, or sculptors seem to understand my position better than the average person can. Because they make their living off of art, they know what it's like. There are other creative professions, of course, but those categories include the professional artists to whom I've spoken after becoming one.
https://publishingperspectives.com/2011 ... ish-books/According to writer Joseph Epstein, “81 percent of Americans feel that they have a book in them — and should write it.”
If people have stories to tell, I'm not here to stop them. I've been approached by random strangers who want me to write screenplays, which I don't even do. A very large number of people want to write a book, and that's awesome. But writing the book of your heart or your memoirs would not be the same as writing for a living for the VAST majority of authors. There are notable exceptions but it's survivorship bias, because most memoirs and books of the heart sink into quiet obscurity. When you write your memoirs, they are often for you (and your family and friends) and not to plant yourself at the #1 NYT nonfiction hardcovers slot for all time.
I don't write masterpieces. I don't spend decades agonizing over a 20k novella. I am cooking par-boiled pasta, slapping sauce on it, throwing it on a plate, and going to the next dish. That's not to say that I'm not proud of my work at all because writing is a highly individual thing. Of course my books have my voice and the sauce reflects how I think sauce should be. It's kind of like how some Starbucks baristas will make little heart patterns in the foam. Will the heart pattern in commoditized sugary burnt coffee matter? Not really. But it made the barista happy to do, and that's why it's there. The heart patterns don't fundamentally change the experience or the taste. Starbucks baristas get ongoing training, and I'm always working on becoming better. But at the end of the day, it's still just (coffee or) pasta with sauce.