Editor’s note: Nelson’s “In it for the Money” opinion column appears regularly in The Chronicle, roughly around the third Wednesday of the month.
Because I live in a college town, I’m periodically asked to speak to undergrads about “careers in publishing.” Despite my discomfort with human beings in general, I tend to jump at these opportunities. First and foremost, it’s nice to seem important.
And undergrads are pretty easy to trick into thinking you’re worth listening to (just ask any Lecturer III).
Beyond that, launching a writing career is a really straightforward process, and I feel it’s more or less my duty (as a former educator) to demystify whenever possible.
I think that folks outside the university systems might also be interested in this process. So, for the benefit of anyone looking to make a terrible career move, I offer this roadmap. It starts with getting a baby.