_

Pages

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Full-time Writer?


Is it true that there are very few full-time writers actually writing full-time?

If you're a journalist or work in media or education, then you could be classed as a full-time writer. However, you aren't writing your own stuff are you?

Those writers who are writing their own stuff, and getting it published here and there, often have a full-time job, doing something else to make enough money to pay bills and put a roof over their heads.

However, there are writers who earn a living through writing - they give talks, deliver workshops or sit on panels to make enough income to survive, or hey write articles for popular blogs and magazines.

And then there are a few writers who sell millions of books, and don't write every day anymore because they are past that stage, they have done the slog, and are still doing the slog, but these writers are very rare. If Stephen King gave up writing tomorrow, he'd continue to make a very good living from his writing.

The truth is that most writers don't make a full-time living from writing, but that's okay because they are following their passion, and doing what makes them feel happy and contented, and possibly they are making enough money to enjoy a happy work/life balance. Or the aim is to have a better life, and only work part-time hours.

Writing stuff is hard. You have to love what you're doing, and you have to do a lot of other things besides the writing. There's social media for a start, and marketing and keeping accounts.

Where do you see yourself? I'd love to hear about your journey, and how ambitious you are?
Are you aiming for a full-time income, doing part time hours, or is it more like full time hours for a part-time income? Or are you somewhere in between?

16 comments:

  1. I'd love a regular income from writing, that's the dream I think. I do feel like I'm right at the beginning of it all though, and it isn't easy. I like to think that no matter how many other jobs I might end up doing, I'll never give up. CJ xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi CJ, thank you for sharing.
      You've started and are on the journey.
      Keep going. :-)

      Delete
  2. A very interesting post, Maria. I gave up my full-time job four years ago to pursue my dream of becoming a publishing author. I invested a lot of time and money and YAY I did accomplish that, and my début crime novel Ultimate Principle - The first DCI Lane Rivers Case is available on Amazon. BUT, how naiive was I? As I've been successful throughout my career and earned a good living, I assumed that this new ambition would reap financial rewards too. But noooooo :) Now I'm in the position where I'm going to have to find a paid job in order to finance my writing career. Nevertheless, I am a firm believer in fate and so if fate is telling me to do that (as well as the bank balance) then that's what I will do. I am also thinking positively, and going out to work will vastly improve social contact, which has been lacking. I am currently working on my second novel, which WILL NOT take three years to write (laughing out loud)- I've already booked the editor so there's no way out :) I'm sure the day will come when I can live comfortably from my novel writing, but I have to persevere and have patience.
    Have a lovely week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Nicola, you have accomplished loads! And you know the way I look at this is that we all have different ideas of what is acceptable to earn from your writing. For example, I would be happy earning a few hundred pounds a month right now, but instead I earn a big fat zero!
      You must do what is calling out to you. I look at it like this, when I was sixteen I wanted to be a nurse, but things happened and I didn't follow that path, and ended up in sales. I would never have chosen that path when I was a t school, not in a million years.
      I thought I'd be suited as a novelist, but quite honestly, I can't hack it! And apart from the writing, I don't want to commit to all the marketing and social media stuff. However, I still want to write, and I'm trying to find my way to what I want to do...
      Thank you for sharing and good luck with your quest to find employment that fits with your writing.

      Delete
  3. You know, I only pushed to be published because my husband insisted. He said, "If you're going to spend so much time creating awesome stories, you really have to put them out there where people can read them." Well there you go, hubby. Hope you're happy. =) Of course, once you're out the door, it's hard to just back off, eh?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well done you, and fair play to hubby for making you take the leap.

      Delete
  4. This is a constant conflict in my life as I work full time in a demanding job (hopefully soon to be a little less demanding as I end a promoted role) and I struggle to find enough head space to write. Since being published I often have to use annual leave to do school events and sometimes attend other writing related networking events, so it's a real balancing act! My ideal would be to go part time in my day job but unfortunately at the moment my employer isn't supportive of that. I'm determined to re-focus just now on the writing as it's where my true passion lies

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vikki, I feel your pain and completely sympathise with you.
      It's hard trying to balance working full-time with writing, and I'm sorry your employer can't accommodate what you want to do. Don't give up though, things are constantly shifting in industry, so who knows you might get your wish sooner than you think. Thank you for sharing.

      Delete
  5. I'm sorry, Maria, but I must take issue with your assertion: "If you're a journalist . . . you could be classed as a full-time writer. However, you aren't writing your own stuff are you?" Does that mean that all those articles I write don't count?! Every time I write it is my 'own stuff', regardless of its intended destination. It comes from my mind and is the product of my industry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not offended, Maria. I was only semi-serious. Nevertheless, it is galling when I tell people I write mainly non-fiction and they imply (or I infer) that they think this is somehow easier than fiction and second-best. Just wait until I get my novel published...!

      Delete
    2. I'm eager to try my hand at non-fiction and don't think it's going to be easy at all...

      Delete
  6. Ah Julia, apologies, that wasn't in my mind when I wrote it. I was thinking of tabloid journalists, because I know one who is paid to stir things up politically, so that the public come back with comments on the website. He insists 'it's not me talking.' He takes the job so he can put a roof over his head whilst he writes his science fiction novel.

    I was also thinking of a lady in my writers group who writes educational books, and advised me it is procedural, and again, pays the bills, and it isn't her passion.

    I know an article writer who writes very technical stuff for electronics magazines, he refers to it as a chore that pays well, and allows him to write his historical novel at weekends.

    And yes I see your point, it's your voice and your words. I should of referenced it to people I know, and not assumed everyone is the same. I did not intend to offend, and thank you for commenting and pointing out my error.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's not true that every journalist wants to be an author but, having tried both jobs, I've found them to be complex and rewarding in equal measures. My late father used to edit the Football League Review in the late nineteen sixties and early seventies and someone once asked me 'What does he do for the rest of week?' ;) Other people's jobs are not always as easy as they may seem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah Marilyn that made me smile. I could just see you clenching your teeth when asked what you dad did for the rest of the week.

      Delete
  8. I don't know what happened to my writing ambitions. I used to have so many, but they've all fallen by the wayside over the years and my mojo seems to have vanished. It's not just writing - I feel somewhat flat about everything - except baking cakes. I'm still making (and eating oops) lots of cakes. We have tins piled high in the kitchen full of all sorts. Maybe I should open a bakery :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh how I wished you lived nearer, I'm a totally addicted to cake! My favourite is currently Chocolate and Beetroot cake. I don't bake, but I still manage to eat lots, too much if I'm honest...
      As for writing ambitions, maybe you should write a book about baking, and have a short story to go with each recipe?

      Delete

I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment, and I try to reply to every one. Many thanks!