I'm really curious about this:
1. Has anyone ever supported you financially or given you money so you could write/paint?
2. Have you had any books published?
and I hope lots of people answer in the comments, with as much or as little detail as you want. I'll post the numbers next week.
My own most productive writing time was when I had three months of severance pay from Fidelity. Being able to write without having a job OR worrying about money was amazing! I finished a book, a good book. Since then, my mother has lent and sometimes given me money a few times, and I'm grateful--but sporadic help is not the same thing as being supported! Worry about money is still underneath everything....and when you don't have enough to pay the rent, you really can't think about anything else. At least, I couldn't.
I put it in the past tense because between babysitting and freelancing, I'm making enough now to feel cautiously confident. I hope it's not bad luck to say that! And thank you Grace! (The babysitting was Grace's idea and it's worked out really well: I owe her a special thank you because the first TWO times she suggested it I thought it was a terrible idea. But she persisted.)
But authors whose autobiographies I've read have done it both ways.
Were supported financially:
*F.Scott Fitzgerald (wrote his first published novel while living at home, being supported by his parents)
*Agatha Christie (wrote her first mystery while living at home; her first PUBLISHED book while being supported financially though not emotionally by her first husband. "WEll, you really don't know much about _____, do you?" he said
*Jane Austen (though she worried about money, too, she didn't have to have a job -- and didn't write when the task of directing the servants fell to her! "I can not write when my head is full of mutton and orange wine," she wrote to her sister Cassandra, who normally took care of the housekeeping)
*Louisa May Alcott (supported her parents, starting when she was a teenager)
*Frances Hodgson Burnett (started writing to support her children after her husband died)
*E.Nesbit (started writing to support her husband and children)
Yes, all these people are in the past -- but I don't know about modern authors finances, no one talks about it. Let's hope WE (all of us who post and comment on this blog) can be frank about it!