Is writing your main job?

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And if so, how did you get to the point where it is your only source of income? This question is more targeted towards fiction writers as non fiction can relatively be easier to sell if you have high credentials I think. But anywho, writing is one of my hobbies that I would love to turn into a profitable career but I don't ever really seeing it replacing my main job.
 

Brian G Turner

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Over the years I've come to the realization that fiction writing is almost certainly never going to be my main source of income.

However, I'll continue to write it simply because I'm driven to. So many books I want to write! But I have to do that for the love of doing so, rather than any imagined financial rewards.
 

zmunkz

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However, I'll continue to write it simply because I'm driven to. So many books I want to write! But I have to do that for the love of doing so, rather than any imagined financial rewards.
^ this!

I enjoy writing, just as I enjoy going to the gym. I'm not entering any body building contests, and I'm not expecting to sell any books. Maybe I'll be wrong. I write because I love it as a passtime.

However, I am interested to see responses from people who do make their main income. I imagine the transition is a difficult and stressful one.
 
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-K2-

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If it was, my rump wouldn't be quite as large as it is... Starvation and all that :cautious:

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tinkerdan

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Even some of my favorite SF authors have admitted that they have to have another job to augment the dry times.
One of my favorites did say this toward the positive:
All of the three fans of my first novel have stuck with me throughout the years.
So there is always that fan-base.
 

L.L.Lotte

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I think everybody here would love to be a fulltime writer, but if they were they might well be a little too busy to respond here.

Im not a fulltime writer but my take on it is, the J. K. Rowlings of the world are far and few, and definitely an exception to the norm. Very few authors ever make enough to live off. Most it is a hobby that brings in a bit of surplus.

Take a look at GRRM for instance. One of the most famous authors atm, but his writing isnt even his main income. He is a hollywood producer first and author second.

But if you do want to live off a career as an author, from what i understand, you have to be good at promoting yourself on social media and spend more time marketing than actually writing. But you also have to be prolific - - by that I mean write a lot of high quality stories. Writing short stories is often recommended because you can get a lot out there and make your name known. The problem is those two things are a catch 22. You cant be a prolific writer if you are too busy marketing...
 

Jo Zebedee

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It can be done! I earn around a third of my (pretty meagre, let’s not overegg this) income from writing and related activities. And I’m a minnow. Take every opportunity you can and say yes and even if you don’t earn much you’ll have a blast. I’ve just been to a fabulous event - the launch of the Jaipur International Festival in Belfast - having dinner with people who I would never have dreamed of meeting who were just so interesting. Honestly. Have fun. The rest will follow :)
 

IntoTheBlack

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Sigh...if only.

I used to be an actor...I feel writing is a bit the same, there is an element of luck involved regardless of skill. Either way I wish you all the luck and keep writing regardless. If nothing else, when you send an email to your boss to protest against a fool hardy decision... they will be struck by the eloquence of the sentence. :cool:

Best,

Andy
 

CTRandall

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As others have said, few people work solely as writers, particularly if you mean working in a single genre or just as a novelist. Even the big names do other things. I think even Neil Gaiman still teaches at a university (though he probably doesn't spend a ton of time on it) while tons of authors do various types of journalism, advertising work or technical writing alongside their fiction writing.

I think a common weakness in arts education (at the university level, at least) is a failure to prepare students for the idea that they have to be creative with their careers, not just their artistic output. Anyone who wants to make a living in the arts will almost certainly end up doing three, four or five different things, often all at once. (@Jo Zebedee seems to have done a great job of figuring this out.)
 

Luiglin

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Seeing as my better half is the only one who likes my stuff, and she doesn't read it, then, no.

Would I really want it to be? No. It would take the fun out of it. Would I still want to be properly published? Yes.

My ideal job is having enough money to run a bookstore so that I could write on the side. Will I ever get there? No.

There's always the lottery.
 

Parson

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@Jo Zebedee .... No photo. I read F56A2A0C-0F34-4550-894D-6D25B8A84BA0.jpeg on the other thread but nothing comes up.
 

Steve Harrison

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Aside from the fact I enjoy writing so much that I would pay to do it if I had to, my writing intentions and hopes are, and have been for some years, focussed on becoming a fulltime writer. I don't know if I will ever be able to support myself with writing income, but the fulltime bit will become a reality when I retire in a few years.

There are a number of disadvantages to getting older, but I am looking forward to transitioning to a new career!
 

chrispenycate

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I suppose that, being retired and living off my pension I could use every hour of the day and night writing, if I felt like it. Unfortunately, although I'm an adequate wordsmith and rarely lack ideas, I'm the world's worst salesman, and can cheefully use this as an excuse for writing what I want, and not requiring an editor's aid to convert my scribblings into saleable product.

However, as I wrote very little before coming to this place (and wanting to give those I'd critiqued a chance to hit back) I don't suffer from the burning need to create, merely enjoy doing so.

However, forty-five years of the best job anywhere for me - I can't complain
 
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