The problems is that people who never were in graduate school see the products of graduate school as people who did something stupid with their lives and do not see them as competent researchers, much less as potential management (we’ve all been supervisors to a certain extent if we’ve directed student work. Being an adjunct in academia doesn’t open up much in the way of alternative employment — tech writing tends to be the fall back for MFAs/MAs in English and that’s generally a dead-end placement even if the money is better. I made more money in 4 months of technical writing and collecting unemployment than I did my last year as an adjunct with half an advance on a novel in the same year.
The problem with having been a writer who wasn’t commercially successful on top of that (books out from places like Harper Collins and Tor Books, but only a few of those earned out) really makes it quite difficult to find someone willing to see you as competent do do anything other than being a rather decently paid proof reader and Word Smith. I had a year and some as a technical writer, which was very useful financially, but frustrating otherwise.
I took early retirement at 62 and moved to Nicaragua.
This is Rebecca Ore, one of the better SF writers of the 90s in my opinion. I was browsing a Slashdot thread that led me to here, and was shocked to see her reply. Rebecca wrote the Becoming Alien series, and wasn’t an obscure writer.
I really worry sometimes about a future where it seems any humanities job will become a part-time, low-paid hobby if pursued at all. A sobering quote for a very sobering future.