There has been a lot of talk lately among my writer friends about whether or not you can make a living as a writer.
There are a very few lucky authors who hit it big. And a bunch who make just enough to live off of. But, few make more than spending money. It’s just how it is.
Luck seems to play more into whether someone makes it big rather than talent.
If talent were an indicator for earning, I have many friends who would be Scrooge McDuck diving into their piles of cash.
It’s not just in fiction writing, though. I heard similar complaints among writers and artists this summer at cons and in Facebook groups I belong too.
And I hear it among my nonfiction friends, although I hear it far less among them.
It seems artistic talent, whether in writing or in art is so undervalued today. Everyone wants something for free.
Some of that, I think, is due to the easy access of free stuff on the internet. Why pay for an artist’s talents if you can just view the pictures online? Why buy someone’s book if you can get an endless supply of stories for free?
I know far more writers who earn a living writing for publications or copywriting for businesses.
However, it takes a lot of work to get those assignments and a lot of patience waiting for payment.
Articles I wrote took on average a year to get paid. The pay was better than fiction writing, but it was a pain waiting.
But, the odds of making a living drastically increase with nonfiction. As long as you’re smart, work really hard and don’t accept 3rd world country pay rates, you could support yourself.
I do not support myself with my writing or any of my other talents right now. I probably could if I was more ambitious and didn’t mind living on fried potatoes. But, I like having a paycheck and leaving the house.
This year, I will have earned nearly double what I have previous years, but I’ve also spent that much and more attending cons to make connections and to learn from others.
Maybe in the future, when my novel hits the NY Times Best Seller List, I’ll change my mind.
For now, I will continue to support those poor schmucks who slave away just trying to pay the bills.