I personally find his analysis largely convincing: it is possible to make money writing but only if you don't rely on it as your main source of income and/or if you cast your net widely as to what sort of writing you are prepared to do.
This leaves a lot of positive and feasible life choices, for those who don't win the million-to-one lottery of becoming the next Rowling or King. You can do the kind of writing you love, and be published and read, so long as you don't expect to make much money from it. You can make a reasonable living as a writer, if you are prepared to write to commercial demand (for example trade press journalism - there are loads of others). You can work out a personal accommodation between these two options. These are all good lifestyles, and they are within your grasp, if you want them, despite the pessimistic overall picture.
Which brings me to my second point. When I said 'you' in the last paragraph I was addressing a certain kind of person. The person who has a clue about writing: comparable to a competent musician, or a trained artist. I was talking to those who know the range and difficulty of the work involved in writing, and want to apply themselves to it in a determined manner. These are not trivial or widespread characteristics. You aren't a fool or an incompetent if you aren't in that game.
Perhaps there are a hundred aspiring writers for every one who reaches publication. But most of those aspiring aren't really in the running. They are probably very good people, but they can't write to a professional standard. Not only can't they, but they haven't got much of an idea about what is involved. It is as if I decided to become a session musician or a pilot. I would stand no chance.
There are many examples of this type of aspiring writer in the comments to the post I linked to above. I'm not sneering at these people, and I know my typing is a bit hasty sometimes too.
Hello all. My name is Adeel and i wish to write a novel. I am 18 years old and was wandering if you guys can give me advices as to how i should approach this project. thanx a bunck
i need info on how to get my storys published?
I have a job( financial gain although always welcomed)is not my motivation. Lots of childrens books out there. Basically my question to some who have commented. Where does one start???? Do I start with publishing companies? Who can you trust???? Some old fashion personal experience and maybe even a break would help. If it is good will someone steal my story. This story may have cartoon potential.
There are a huge number of comments. I spent some time browsing them - they were windows onto a fascinating range of personalities, but they were not portraits of writers.