One of the most touching stories from literary history is the one of Nathaniel Hawthorne who had suffered at a job at the customs house for years and was finally fired. He went home to his wife in tears, but she went to a drawer and pulled out a packet of money she had been saving little by little for years. It was a year’s salary.
“Here,” she said, “write your novel.” From there Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter and the rest is history.
Writers from history and continuing to present day have always struggled to find a way to survive while they have written. In an expensive city to live like Vancouver we do what we can. Many take in airbnb people, make do with part time jobs, but there are also some programs you can take advantage of to keep your rent reasonable like:
Artist Residential Tenancy Studio (ARTS) Units
A set of brand new live/work studios available for rent as part of The City of Richmond’s Affordable Housing Strategy. This opportunity is open specifically to professional artists who can demonstrate financial need. Artists must complete the application form below to pre-qualify.
Vancouver Public Library’s Writer in Residence Program
VPL’s Writer in residence program promotes Canadian writing and literature to Vancouver citizens. During the four-month residency, the writer spends 75% of his or her time working on their own project and 25% of his or her time mentoring emerging writers, conducting workshops and participating in other activities and programs to share their experience with the community.
You can find other programs and other ways. The important thing is don’t give up and know that you are not alone. All writers have had to figure this one out, whether it is a supportive spouse or family member, entrepreneurial efforts, or just plain scrimping. You are not alone. Do some research to find out and take advantage of as many support possibilities as you can. Where there is a will there is a way.