Writing’s my retirement grease. If I have to explain the concept to you, obviously you’re not up to date on the Simpsons. Well, come to think of it, it’s been a few years since I’ve watched it myself.
Willie, the groundskeeper at Springfield Elementary is saving the grease from the school kitchen’s traps for his retirement. Homer, on one of his get-rich-quick schemes, has been collecting spent grease to supplement his income. When he targets the school, Willie spies the truck sucking up the goo and cries out “My retirement grease!”
Daily work is not only non-satisfying, it’s also time-consuming. I sit at work thinking how there’s little to do and I could be getting so much writing done while I sit, staring at a screen, waiting for an email to pop up. I don’t make enough money to retire. My plan had been to die on the job, but then I realized, if I could make money on my writing, I’d have some grease.
Right now the lubrication is coming from non-fiction. I’ve actually got two non-fiction contracts on my desk and my poor fictional self is suffering. There’s no future in non-fiction. Agents only want clients with high profiles and university posts. Those of us who are working stiffs only get agency attention when we break through the glass walls, ceiling, and floor. Shattered glass everywhere. Retirement grease flows.
You see, I’m not making a bid to earn a living as a writer. I’m realistic enough to know that’s impossible. I would, however, like it to be my retirement grease. Otherwise it’s die in an unfulfilling job, waiting for an email to pop up. Is there anything so wrong with wanting to supplement your income a bit?
My last non-fiction book earned less than $100 in royalties. That won’t even pay for one week’s commuting bill to work. Willie is my guide. I grew up working-class, just like he did. And he knows the value of some retirement grease.