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cash flow

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1. Yesterday I decide, after consulting the little statement that comes out of the bank machine, that we’re suffering from a bit of a cash flow problem. Not an emergency, yet, but not good either.

2. Well, I like to write. I have a better byline than I used to. So I spend the day pitching places, trying to round up some work.

3. These efforts yield £100, perhaps £300, worth of work. Novels are drifting through the Royal Mail as we speak toward my office for me to review.

4. A few weeks ago, I sent in an abstract for a conference in Chichester. It was accepted today, so I am going there at the end of May. I (fucking) have to write about Ian McEwan. Though negatively, as a symptom, so it’s OK.

5. I wake up this morning still afflicted with some sort of grub street, cash and pub (publication! not public house! though, sure, that too) mania, and spend much of the day writing a column-type thing for the place that readily takes column-type things at £60 per.

6. I am still not finished with the column-type thing. I should be working on it right now.

7. If I place the column-type thing, after taxes (because my academic salary brushes me right up against the top rate in the UK – not that high mind you), I’ll yield oh about £36.

8. To take a break from writing the column-type thing, I book my train tickets (well in advance – way cheaper!) to get to the conference. They don’t cost much – £29.

9. If today wasn’t a wasted day, I will have netted all of £7 from all this work.

10. Something about Thoreau, trains, and walking to Boston occurs to me as I smoke another 25p cigarette outside.

Written by adswithoutproducts

April 30, 2010 at 12:42 am

Posted in academia, grub

8 Responses

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  1. Except you have £7 left after spending £29. Not quite the same thing.


    April 30, 2010 at 1:07 pm

  2. If Thoreau had smoked, I’m sure he would’ve rolled his own.

    Matthew Flanagan

    April 30, 2010 at 6:52 pm

  3. Ads Austerity Measures:

    1) No ciggies
    2) No alcohol
    3) No assorted junk food that people somehow manage to stock up on for no apparent reason other than to have something to nibble on between meals. Just eat a carrot fer feck sake!

    If these things don’t get the budget issues under control you may have to have a Grecian haircut. But don’t worry: prosperity is just around the corner.


    April 30, 2010 at 8:02 pm

  4. Just out of interest, how does one go about getting these Grub Street gigs?! I’m a poor Research Master’s student, and would appreciate any amount of income whatsoever!

    Daniel Hartley

    April 30, 2010 at 10:17 pm

  5. I don’t know if it makes me either glad or sad to know that young and thriving academics in GB are as devastated with nonsensical top rate taxes as we are here in BR.


    May 1, 2010 at 1:23 am

  6. Matthew,

    I’m headed to the land of the rolly, I land I last visited when I was an undergraduate. Hard times…


    Ooof. Well, I don’t really eat junk food.


    Good question. I think the best route is to try to write for smallish places, and then work your way up. Having some publication credits will lead to being taken more seriously by whatever the next rung is. Further, pitching places like all the time seems to help as well.

    But on the other hand, and this was the point of the post, it’s not really an avenue to making non-trivial sums of money. Would be better off with a part-time job or something if money is the aim.

    Antonio –

    Yeah, I mean I try not to complain about taxes. It’s actually kind of hard for an American to understand why the UK isn’t a socialist utopia given the tax structure. The top rate kicks in (if I’m not wrong) right at my salary level. Plus there’s the deeply regressive VAT on goods and services.

    If there actually was a thriving state sector in any field other than helping the Americans invade various countries and support of corrupt banks, I’d be happier to pay. OK – there’s the NHS (public health care)… But not much else…


    May 1, 2010 at 7:09 am

    • At the moment the top rate of tax is 40% for earnings over £37,400. So if anyone earns this amount exactly they’ll have a take home pay each year of £27,730.20; which works out at about £2,310.85 a month.

      In the next financial year, the top rate will be 50% for earning over £150 000 a year.

      There are also various tax credits available for married couples and those with children.

      Adam Wilkes

      May 1, 2010 at 5:16 pm

  7. The ‘thrifty’ duck vs. the ‘spendthrift’ duck…


    May 2, 2010 at 6:51 pm

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