I'll give you my last 50 claps (sigh) and commend you for this sobering essay. Basically, you looked into the void that is commercialized "writing" and it looked back and you took a pass. I don't blame you.

Pretty much all the writing I do here now is in the responses section. Why put forth the effort when it it makes you feel slimy or no one reads it anyway. People read my responses to stories more than they read my stories. So there's that.

But the larger problem is one you have deduced. But as a person who started out in print journalism at 18 and is almost 59 now, I've heard the same thing for years until it became a self-fulfilling prophecy:

Too many people want to be writers

Writers are a dime a dozen

You'll never get paid enough to live on it

So be ready to go into public relations.

And in that time period:

Newspapers (my first love) died

Magazines died

Literary magazines, for the most part, died

SEO optimization has killed any online writing that may have been worthwhile.

You've been to the conferences so you should know. Look around the room and count the MFAs. Then count the ones from Ivy League or Iowa Writers Workshop. Then the ones that have the hot line to the big publishers. There are a lot of good writers out there but there only are a precious few whose parents could send them to the right schools to meet the right people and said students didn't have to wait tables to make it. Unfortunately, these are the people who will get published to the point where they can live on the proceeds. People making it out of the blue (ala Stephen King) are very, very rare.

For most of us from more plebian backgrounds, it's a Sisyphean struggle that produces nothing but frustration. The thing is, I'm just here to have fun, if possible. I'm also here to meet like-minded people and share ideas. I'm not here to make money - that's a fool's errand.

You have a deep, spiritual connection to what you write and I have a deep admiration for people like you who will not compromise your integrity. The decision you are making is the correct one. I wish you the best.

Well, one could say I’m a survivor. Former journalist at five daily newspapers and a stint as a radio talk show host. Not a conservative one either.