If you looked at Third-Act Trouble starting with the word “skyrocket,” you already know that after getting a pay-the-bills job and trying to become a writer on my own in West Berlin, I took a job at a newspaper in New York. It was a dreary little trade paper for commercial and industrial energy managers, but it was a job that required me to put nouns against verbs. Even better, it gave me a taste for journalism and a desire to continue upwards from where I was: the very bottom of the newspaper food chain. I had a lot of fun over the next five years, and doing so ultimately led me to the freelancer’s life, and, even better, to Margaret.
So, three paths from college graduation to writing for a living: The solo high-wire act, grad school, and getting a reporter’s job, however lowly.