Recommended Resource: Living off of your Writing

So this is less a recommended resource then just really interesting, but this reddit discussion thread popped up last week that I know will be quite an eye opener for some. It draws attention to a lot of the opinions we wanna-bes have about writing fantasy books as a profession. I don’t think we’re as starry eyed naive about it as the general public. Most of us realize that the George RR Martins and the JK Rowlings are the exceptions, and writing isn’t really the place to make big money. That’s only for a lucky few. But most people eventually hope to see it as a viable profession, meaning you can eventually build a back list and quit your day job.

And well, the discussion indicates that even that is something left to the lucky few. It’s interesting to read the diverse opinions you get from people. There are quite a few who have made the jump to writing full time, but they are unmarried, child-free folks with no major expenses. There are many more who work full time and write, either for the income or just the health insurance the comes along with the job. There was one poor self published writer who’s not making anything, and a traditional writer who had a pretty idyllic start completely derailed by the crap economy.

It’s a fascinating, albeit sobering read that shows that you should write because you love it, not because you want to make money. It’s just not the greatest way to make a living. Aren’t I fortunate that I enjoy my day jobs!

Previous Recommended Resources:
Recommended Resource: How to Find a (Real) Literary Agent
Recommended Resource: On Survivorship Bias
Recommended Resource: On Proper Manuscript Format


3 thoughts on “Recommended Resource: Living off of your Writing

  1. Calico

    It’s one of the things I’ve struggled with in terms of looking at how much one really gets out of writing: because if you take what you’re paid in the end for a project and divy that up between all the hours put into that project? I’d be surprised if you made more than a dollar an hour, which sucks, and it’s something I’m particularly cognizant of, given my need to pay off student debt and not go into panic-mode if something breaks down we have to fix (hello, HVAC unit….).

    But you’re right: you have to love writing. You have to love what you’re doing. If you don’t, it’s so not worth pursuing. For me, it’s a given that I’ll still be working a full-time job, even if/when I get published, and I think that’s one of the reasons I’m not in a hurry to get published: I don’t want to work 8 hours a day and then come home and work MORE, does that make sense?

    In my case, we’ll see. 🙂

    1. nancyotoole Post author

      Makes sense to me! Since I want kids, it’s actually looks like it’s going to get MORE complicated in the future, so it seems better to get my foot in the door now instead of later.

  2. Pingback: Recommended Resources: Successful Queries | Picking Up the Pen

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