Making a Buck as a Writer

I would like to make money off of my writing.

This is hardly a revolutionary statement. I mean, most writers would right?

Here’s the thing, for me it’s optional. I don’t write full time, and I don’t rely on it to pay my mortgage. That’s probably a good thing, since I’m not exactly pulling in the mega-bucks with my writing. To date I’ve made somewhere between five and six dollars. Yes, seriously, dollars. Not hundreds, not thousands, less than ten bucks to date.

I hear from other writers, and it’s clear they are relying on writing to pay the bills. Now, for a few, that’s a reasonable thing to rely on. If you are Dean Wesley Smith you can rely on self publishing income and not be homeless. If you are, well, me… that’s not really the case.

It is a bit of a catch 22. You need to have enough completed work to be able to make a living as a writer, and you need that work to be selling, which typically means you have pay attention to the marketing end of things, and all of that takes time, which your day job typically doesn’t allow for.

I feel like you need to pick a job that works with writing, and don’t expect to be raking in the dollars. It takes years of building an audience to become financially solid ad a writer. If you are willing to put in the years, great, you can do it… but you have to be willing to put in that time. The overnight successes are extremely rare – we’re talking all-star NBA player or pop star level of rare.

My approach won’t work for a lot of people. It’s rare to have a job that affords you the flexibility mine does, so don’t count on that being an option (and some days it’s a challenge for me as well). By all means, keep writing, but make sure you have a backup income source until you have enough money coming in to at least cover the basics.

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