A Great Writer’s Salary History

The first year I made nothing, the second year I made nothing, the third year I made 10 dollars, the fourth year I made 40 dollars. I remember these. I got these indelibly stamped in there. The fifth year I made 80. The sixth year I made 200. The seventh year I made 800. Eighth year, 1,200. Ninth year, 2,000. Tenth year, 4,000. Eleventh year, 8,000 …

— Ray Bradbury shared what he earned in his first decade as a writer in this 1963 documentary, which you can watch online. Props to The Atlantic for finding and transcribing, and to Jack Bohrer for sharing it with us.

Also, here is Bradbury’s life credo, as shared with Sam Weller in the Paris Review: “Jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down.”