The job market for philosophy professors is appalling bad. It has been for a long time, and only has gotten worse in recent years. For any given job, it is not unusual for 200+ people to apply. These are very smart people (well, for the most part) who spent 5+ years in graduate school, reading very difficult books, grappling with very difficult arguments, interacting with (not infrequently) very difficult advisors, and eating very difficult Raman noodles. So I feel incredibly lucky to have a job doing what I love, in a supportive and stimulating department (even if the location is not ideal, given the location of my partner, friends, and family).
I’m also grateful that I didn’t try to pursue a career in my other great love: fantasy role-playing games and literature. As soul crushing as a career in academia can be in the 21st century, it seems to be considerably less dreadful than pursuing a career as a freelance RPG or fiction writer.
Don’t take my word for it. A recent post by Robert Schwalb – entitled, appropriately enough, ‘Crapping on Your Dream: Freelancing 101’ – explains how suicidal it would be for someone to try to make a living as a freelance writer, either for RPGs or fantasy fiction, in this day and age.