PDA

View Full Version : Are you in writing to make money? Do you think you will make a lot?



Atlantis
01-21-2015, 02:02 PM
I had an interesting conversation with a person on the internet today who thinks that self-publishing on Amazon is easy and you can make a "fuckton of money" from it. Maybe. If you create lightning in a bottle and enter the market at the right time with the right book and then market it like a madwoman.

But it is not as easy as he makes it out to be. It takes time to learn how to write a story and then even more time to create something of a publishable standard. And then you have to market it. And even after all that there is still no guarantee that it will be successful. You might sell a couple of hundred copies if you're lucky. It's a tough business. It's not a get rich quick scheme.

I don't think you should go into writing with the dream of raking in millions. It's unrealistic. That would be like going into acting convinced that one day you will win an Oscar. Yeah it COULD happen but not without a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and tears.

I would love to make money from my stories but in between working full time and looking after my baby and finishing university I don't have the time to devote to it anymore. I've started another one but God only knows when I will finish. I used to have dreams of "making it big" one day but I gave those up years ago and kept on writing for the enjoyment of it. Any money I earn is a nice little extra.

Do you think that if you do publish a book but it does not take off that something is wrong with your writing? That the characters did not "pop"? I don't think publication is a sign of talent or a sign that the book itself is well written. I think a lot of garbage gets published like Fifty Shades of Grey...God that was badly written.

Brutal Mustang
01-21-2015, 02:43 PM
I write because I love it. But being paid for it would make doing it more often affordable, and not something I sneak in while firing my sculptures.

For example, I paint and sculpt morning, day, and night. It's my full-time job. It earns me money, so I do it. Other people I know can paint and sculpt pretty damn well. But it's a weekend hobby for them, if that. They'd love to paint and sculpt more. But they can't afford it. Their loved ones catch them sculpting or painting and say, "Again? Shouldn't you be doing something else?" My loved ones see me sculpting or painting and say, "Thank God, you're working."

chompers
01-21-2015, 02:50 PM
I do it for the money, although I know I'm not likely to get filthy rich off of it. I have a day job and writing is just on the side. My job is actually where my passion lies (lays?). I don't enjoy writing enough to want to do it for the sheer enjoyment of it. I want to turn off the stupid voices in my head. Oh, but to stop their incessant talking!

Ravioli
01-21-2015, 02:55 PM
With my current WIP, I'm running after the "50 Shades of Grey" bandwagon to hop on and make me some money on the side. I definitely do not expect to make millions. Just enough to be able to treat myself to a new pair of pants here, overpriced lipstick there, and perhaps, a Kermit puppet after feeding my 7 cats. Or even just an Amazon review about how messed up I am :snoopy:

But I also love writing, putting surreal real life anecdotes into fictional stories, and putting and following lovingly thought-up characters through weird adventures. So I'm not feeling like I'm working or doing it for the money at all. I like where it's headed, and it's definitely not all about tits and asses.

Fruitbat
01-21-2015, 03:03 PM
I think about it the same way you do, Atlantis. To me, writing is "for the love." Of course I'm happy when I get money too but I'd do it anyway.

Maze Runner
01-21-2015, 03:08 PM
definitely not in it for the money. Doubt very much that I'll make a lot. I think the odds are very long for that. I've just completed my second novel and think it's much better than the first, but I won't be quitting my day job any time soon. My day job that is sometimes an early morning job, which is why I'm up in the middle of the night, my time. Sometimes it's very hard to find the time and energy to write.

dpaterso
01-21-2015, 03:43 PM
Are you in writing to make money? Do you think you will make a lot?
YES and I HOPE SO.

-Derek

Becky Black
01-21-2015, 03:58 PM
Getting money is nice, but I'm not likely to be able to give up the day job any time soon. But I'd still be writing if I wasn't publishing for money, so I obviously feel a need to do it whether I make money from it or not.

Is the person you were talking to on the net making this fuckton of money publishing on Amazon? Because otherwise we all know what their advice is worth, don't we?

lizmonster
01-21-2015, 03:59 PM
The percentage of authors who make a killing on Amazon is pretty small. The percentage of authors who make a killing in trade publishing is pretty small. A living wage is less uncommon, but still not the norm, AFAIK. I ran into a couple of articles a few years back suggesting about 5% of authors make day-job money at it. Anecdotally, based on my own circle of acquaintances, that feels about right (maybe a little high).

Some people may be able to just sit down and type and churn out quality, finished stuff with little effort, but I suspect those people are rare. I did pretty well selling my first book, but if I sat down and figured out the hourly wage for the thing, it would be laughable.

Seems to me if you're writing because you love it, you might as well see if you can make money off of it. But someone on the Internet saying "Hey! I'll self-pub on Amazon and get rich!" is playing some long odds, and most likely vastly underestimating the effort involved.

But best of luck to this person. I love a good success story. :)

Cathy C
01-21-2015, 04:30 PM
I'm in it for the money, although I enjoy talking with other authors and fans and creating the books. I do pretty well, so I stay with it. :)

PeteMC
01-21-2015, 04:41 PM
I think this person anticipating a "fuckton" of money needs to re-set their expectations to maybe a "handjob-ounce" at best.

RikWriter
01-21-2015, 04:49 PM
I write because I love writing and in particular love writing science fiction. I publish it because I want to make money.
To be honest, if I hadn't made a nice little bit of cash on the first two books I self-published on Amazon, I would likely have never written any more. Not because I write for money, but because I was getting tired of writing stuff that no one else was reading. The fact that other people wanted to read my work and were willing to pay to do it was encouraging enough to light a fire under my butt to write some more.

Kylabelle
01-21-2015, 04:52 PM
With my current WIP, I'm running after the "50 Shades of Grey/Cheap pseudo-erotic crap that's really just glorified sexual abuse but people love that shit" bandwagon to hop on and make me some money on the side. I definitely do not expect to make millions. Just enough to be able to treat myself to a new pair of pants here, overpriced lipstick there, and perhaps, a Kermit puppet after feeding my 7 cats. Or even just an Amazon review about how messed up I am :snoopy:

But I also love writing, putting surreal real life anecdotes into fictional stories, and putting and following lovingly thought-up characters through weird adventures. So I'm not feeling like I'm working or doing it for the money at all. I like where it's headed, and it's definitely not all about tits and asses.

Personally, I've never read 50 Shades of Grey, though I know people love to talk it down. However, regardless of anyone's opinion of its worth, it's the product of another writer, who deserves respect.

As well, if one aspires to hitch onto a bandwagon, talking trash about where it goes doesn't seem very wise.

In any case, let's not deride the work of other writers. Criticism and critical reading don't require rudeness or insulting language. Yes, I do know there is an ancient tradition of writers speaking rudely of each other's work, but we don't do that here.

RYFW.

KTC
01-21-2015, 05:00 PM
Sorry. Laughing. Just wait a sec. Laughing. Laughing. Laughing.

Okay. Got it under control, now. What's the question? Oh yeah. Laughing...


I am in writing basically for my sanity. I know some people say they write to survive...but it's probably literally the case for me. I say probably because, I think, at this point I'm probably doing well enough to stand on my own two feet without the crutch of writing to buoy me up.

Do I write for money. NO. And I'm not making a fuckton of it either. So all is well. When I was doing readings across the city and selling my handmade poetry chapbooks I was probably making more than what I make now with 5 published novels on the market. 5 much praised never negatively reviewed published novels. With poetry chapbooks and entering poetry contests I was making some nice spending money. One year--I think 2006 (or 7)--I made almost $4,000 on poetry alone. I laughed at that, because poets don't make money.

But my novels are not--as of yet--going to allow me to quite my day job. But who knows, it could very well be my negative attitude about the whole thing that is holding me down. I don't think I should get money for my writing. I just feel shame, guilt and anxiety if I hear it through the grapevine that someone might happen to be reading one of my novels. I feel sick to my stomach because I know they're going to hate it. Then they don't and I hear that someone else is reading it and the whole thing starts over again.

I am making money. I can't say I'm not. But I'm not IN IT for the money. I need to write. I need to write. I need to write. I need to write. I need to write. I need to write. I need to write...

kuwisdelu
01-21-2015, 05:00 PM
No but I hope I do.

KTC
01-21-2015, 05:01 PM
I think this person anticipating a "fuckton" of money needs to re-set their expectations to maybe a "handjob-ounce" at best.


+1

Ravioli
01-21-2015, 05:41 PM
In any case, let's not deride the work of other writers. Criticism and critical reading don't require rudeness or insulting language. Yes, I do know there is an ancient tradition of writers speaking rudely of each other's work, but we don't do that here.

RYFW.

Sorry. Edited it out. Though you should definitely read it.

slashedkaze
01-21-2015, 06:03 PM
Can't I be in it for the money AND the passion? Because I totally am. If I weren't getting paid, I'd still be writing, but much less.

Kylabelle
01-21-2015, 06:05 PM
Slashedkaze, of course you can be in it for both!

And Naeim, as for reading 50 Shades, probably not this lifetime. Too many other "should definitely reads" in front of it on the list.

:D

Mr Flibble
01-21-2015, 06:14 PM
I think this person anticipating a "fuckton" of money needs to re-set their expectations to maybe a "handjob-ounce" at best.


Lol yup

Personally I'm in it for the groupies.

waylander
01-21-2015, 06:23 PM
I make more out of pub quizzes

JimmyB27
01-21-2015, 06:23 PM
I fully intend to make Rowling look like a pauper by comparison.

morngnstar
01-21-2015, 06:29 PM
Other way around. I'd like to make money so I can write. I make decent money in my day job. I'd only like to be able to make comparable money at writing, so I could justify doing more writing.

My writing goal is actually more ambitious than making a fuckton of money. I want to be a legend. I want schoolchildren to read my Cliff's Notes for centuries. Of course that probably won't happen, so luckily I enjoy doing it even if I never get published.

Marlys
01-21-2015, 06:32 PM
If I were in it for the money, I'd write something more commercial. Even in my best year, I couldn't have supported myself on what I made--but that royalty check was enough to cover the cost of our new furnace, so at least every time I turn up the heat I can consider that I did add something to the household.

Maggie Maxwell
01-21-2015, 06:45 PM
I'm mostly in it because I don't feel like myself if I'm not writing or plotting or collecting plotbunnies. Of course I dream about the "big break," the five to six digit auction-ending that starts with me quitting my day job and ends with me sitting in a movie theater watching how Hollywood destroyed my vision. Realistically, I just want to make enough to supplement my husband's income with my writings and to hear one person say, "Mrs. Maxwell, I love your books."

veinglory
01-21-2015, 07:17 PM
I first got into writing to close the gap between my pitiful salary at the time and what I needed to get by. I was 100% successful at doing that.

Ravioli
01-21-2015, 07:24 PM
Slashedkaze, of course you can be in it for both!

And Naeim, as for reading 50 Shades, probably not this lifetime. Too many other "should definitely reads" in front of it on the list.

:D

Oh, I was just recommending it as a "See? SEE?!" read anyway ;)

Jamesaritchie
01-21-2015, 07:25 PM
I never planned on making millions, but I sat down and wrote my first short story solely because I wanted to make some badly needed money. I read where Robert Heinlein did the same, and figured if he could do it, I could at least try it. That first story sold, and paid slightly more than my day job did in a month, so I quit my day job.

As it turned out, I found I really enjoyed the process of writing, so this was part of the decision, but I've always been in it for the money. Fun and money. Take a way either, and I'd find some other way of earning a living.

I haven't made millions, but I haven't had to go back to a nine to five job, either. Making money from writing is not like lightning in a bottle. Thousands of writers earn a good living from writing, even if they don't make the kind of money King or Rowling bring in.

My feeling is that making money from writing is either fairly easy, or darned near impossible, depending on the individual. If you have the talent, the work ethic, the smarts to understand the business, and don't make excuses for why you aren't writing enough, there's no reason at all that you can't earn good money. If you lack any of these things, there's no reason why you will earn any money at all.

I've turned down at least as much money as I've made, primarily because of the enjoyment factor. The money is out there. It really is. You don't get it through luck, or through lightning in a bottle, you get it through talent, dedication, and smarts.

The person you know will likely fall into one of these camps. It probably won't take very long before he learns which camp it is.

I don't mean the following quote for anyone else, but for me it holds true. "No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." --Samuel Johnson

KTC
01-21-2015, 07:33 PM
As I sit and watch the novel that released on Monday rise to the top of Kobo's ranking, I wonder if my first post in this thread was all a big fat lie. But it's not money that makes me hope it goes from #23 in young adult paranormal to #1. Seriously, I just never really cared much for monetary gain in anything I do. But if I have to take the money along with the sales...I will. Insert evil laugh here?

Jamesaritchie
01-21-2015, 07:33 PM
The percentage of authors who make a killing on Amazon is pretty small. The percentage of authors who make a killing in trade publishing is pretty small. A living wage is less uncommon, but still not the norm, AFAIK. I ran into a couple of articles a few years back suggesting about 5% of authors make day-job money at it. Anecdotally, based on my own circle of acquaintances, that feels about right (maybe a little high).

:)

That's probably about right, but this still means thousand of writers are making a living. It's also about the same percentage as almost any new enterprise. The only sure way of earning a living is to get a job for someone else who was successful in his choices.

And there really are no odds. There's talent, work ethic, and business smarts. It really should not take a writer very long to learn whether he has all three of these things.

When I started writing, the widely held belief was that if you weren't having a reasonable amount of success after five years, you almost certainly never would.

There are always exceptions because of extenuating circumstances, but I think this is still an excellent rule of thumb. Any write will certain know whether they have the work ethic long before this.

heza
01-21-2015, 08:04 PM
There are always exceptions because of extenuating circumstances, but I think this is still an excellent rule of thumb. Any write will certain know whether they have the work ethic long before this.

I don't know. I like to think you can flail around for several years and then realize your problem and get your act together. Kids do it after college all the time. That's my plan, anyway. 2015 is the year of getting my act together.



As for the OP, I'm not sure how to answer. My day job is technical writing... so yes, I do that for the money. But I assume we're talking about fiction here...

I think it's a two part answer. First, I really enjoy writing, so I've always written and will always write in some capacity... but there are a lot of avenues to take in writing, and not all of them are intended to lead to publication. I decided to write with publication in mind mostly for the money. I have a good day job, but I don't like my career. I'd really like to transition to a fiction writing career so I can work from home. Is that likely? I don't know. I don't bank on making a living wage from it, but I still look to it as a goal I pretend is somewhat achievable. But I still understand that there's a good chance I won't be able to quit my day job.

But if I spent a lot of real effort and time trying to get published, and it never seems to work out, I would probably stop writing for publication. Instead, I'd go back to collaborative writing or fan fiction. Those things let me write and world build and be creative and still give me the satisfaction of having readers. It's also very social and something I can do with friends. If writing for publication yields neither money nor readers at any point, then I'm not sure why I would force myself to stay on that particular writing avenue when I'm not getting what I want out of it.

Motley
01-21-2015, 08:09 PM
I'm doing it for the money because I can't think of any way to make a living that would be more interesting than writing. Making a living to me, however, is nowhere close to millions. That would be nice, but certainly not an expectation.

My expectation is that if I keep at it and keep getting better and keep working really hard to be the best writer I can be, I can earn a decent income eventually.

kuwisdelu
01-21-2015, 08:22 PM
There's talent, work ethic, and business smarts. It really should not take a writer very long to learn whether he has all three of these things.

Well, I already know "business" is anathema to me, so I guess I'm screwed.

Bryan Methods
01-21-2015, 08:44 PM
I'm another one who would like to make enough money through writing to be able to do nothing but write. Well, write and travel - my ideal is to just drift around the world writing wherever I like and not have to do anything else to survive.

WriterBN
01-21-2015, 09:12 PM
For the money. It's beer money at the moment, but I'd like to move up at least to 18-year-old, single-malt Scotch money.

Although I should probably stop writing for a fraction of 3% of the market.

Jamesaritchie
01-21-2015, 09:16 PM
I don't know. I like to think you can flail around for several years and then realize your problem and get your act together. Kids do it after college all the time. That's my plan, anyway. 2015 is the year of getting my act together.



.

There are always exceptions, but I think they're pretty rare. It doesn't matter when the five years start, but I think most writers know by then whether they really have a chance,

heza
01-21-2015, 09:42 PM
There are always exceptions, but I think they're pretty rare. It doesn't matter when the five years start, but I think most writers know by then whether they really have a chance,

Well, you are free to think that. But I'm free to intend to prove you wrong. ;)

brainstorm77
01-21-2015, 09:51 PM
Yes. I make a good second income from my writing, but I never have any set expectations because the amount I make can vary a lot quarterly.

Myrealana
01-21-2015, 09:58 PM
I write for money.

I'm not expecting to get rich, though I wouldn't turn my nose up at it.

I'm hoping to, over time, build a writing career that will supplement my retirement income sufficiently to allow my husband and I to travel and enjoy ourselves for many years after we leave the work-a-day world.

Parametric
01-21-2015, 10:20 PM
When I started writing, the widely held belief was that if you weren't having a reasonable amount of success after five years, you almost certainly never would.

Ah, my daily kick in the teeth.

Shadow_Ferret
01-21-2015, 10:25 PM
Well, I got into this because I thought telling stories seemed a fun way to make a living, unfortunately, the reality is over the years I've only earned enough to buy a couple pizzas.

gothicangel
01-21-2015, 11:12 PM
No. I write as a creative outlet, to create another world so I can escape this one for a few hours.

I earn more in one year in my day job that 99% of authors get paid in that same year. When I was younger, hell yeah I would have agreed with you. Then I lived a bit and I realized that all it was, was an escape fantasy. Now I have a job I love I don't need the fantasy.

Chasing the Horizon
01-21-2015, 11:14 PM
I write because I love doing it. If I was independently wealthy, I doubt I would even try for publication. As it is, I hope to make a living off writing simply because I want to make a living doing something I love. I don't think this is an unlikely dream as I've developed the ability to write a good novel very quickly. I think it's only a matter of time before I hit on a story that will be to the liking of a reputable trade publisher, and I intend to spread my career over several different publishers in different genres, which is the only logical thing to do when you write really quickly.

And I think putting any time limit on success is silly. I spent a lot of my first five years as a 'writer' screwing around with other things and not writing. I started very young (age 18) and didn't have the maturity or discipline to write a publishable novel then.

kuwisdelu
01-21-2015, 11:42 PM
There are always exceptions, but I think they're pretty rare. It doesn't matter when the five years start, but I think most writers know by then whether they really have a chance,

I started writing when I was around 4. Does that mean my lack of success at age 9 is damning?

lizmonster
01-21-2015, 11:57 PM
That's probably about right, but this still means thousand of writers are making a living. It's also about the same percentage as almost any new enterprise. The only sure way of earning a living is to get a job for someone else who was successful in his choices.

Yes, it means thousands of writers. But as professions go, it's pretty bleak. My day job is in software. I'm guessing well over 90% of people in the software business make a living wage.


And there really are no odds. There's talent, work ethic, and business smarts. It really should not take a writer very long to learn whether he has all three of these things.

I can't completely agree with this. Talent is a big thing, sure; but so, I think, is genre. The odds of selling can vary widely by genre, and markets shift dramatically all the time. A story that has no market today may be part of a hot category in a few years.

If by "business smarts" you mean the ability to write to market, then I'll give you that one. But I think a lot of writers don't write to market; they write the stories they want to tell, and then look to see where their market is.


When I started writing, the widely held belief was that if you weren't having a reasonable amount of success after five years, you almost certainly never would.

I won't dispute what was conventional wisdom, but this seems like a very short amount of time to me, especially if you're a novelist. Another old chestnut (which is also not always true) is that the first novel never sells; and since the first novel can take years to produce (it sure did in my case!), five years seems hardly sufficient to evaluate the potential for future success.

Regardless - and back on topic - I suppose my response to the OP was mostly because any time I see someone saying "Oh, I could do that and get rich!" it's usually someone who has a) never done that; and b) realistically would never stick with it if they even tried. Like all the people who say "Oh, I've always thought of writing a book!" when I tell them I write. Most of them have never written a piece of fiction in their lives.

But if they can get rich the first time out of the gate - yay, them. :D

morngnstar
01-22-2015, 12:02 AM
I write because I love doing it. If I was independently wealthy, I doubt I would even try for publication.

Really? If you think what you have is any good, wouldn't you want to give people the chance to read it? I don't want fame, but I do want people to enjoy my stories as much as I do.


And I think putting any time limit on success is silly. I spent a lot of my first five years as a 'writer' screwing around with other things and not writing. I started very young (age 18) and didn't have the maturity or discipline to write a publishable novel then.

I think your mileage has to vary. Maybe five years is fine, if you start the clock the first time you have an idea worth publishing, and work at it full time. To be fair, I think I'd start the clock for myself about one year ago, although I've been writing fiction without intending to publish for about a decade. I don't think many people would make the decision to try for a career in creative writing without having experimented with it at all. People will have different amounts of experience when they make that decision, so regardless of natural talent some will take off quicker.

I'll probably give myself ten years, starting now, and then maybe I'll quit trying to write a complete polished novel for publication and just write whatever unedited extended short stories I feel like for my own entertainment.

buz
01-22-2015, 12:11 AM
Ah, my daily kick in the teeth.


A belief that was widely held is not necessarily a sensible one. If that helps. :p

Shadow_Ferret
01-22-2015, 12:20 AM
Hmm. I wasn't aware there was a writer's timeline. 5 years, you say? Huh. I'm not exactly sure when I started writing, but I know I was collecting rejection slips when I was 15. Forty plus years later I'm still collecting rejections and I have no intention of giving up until they pry the fountain pen from my cold, dead, Ink-stained fingers.

Parametric
01-22-2015, 12:25 AM
I write because I love doing it. If I was independently wealthy, I doubt I would even try for publication.


Really? If you think what you have is any good, wouldn't you want to give people the chance to read it?

No. Publishing takes all the joy out of writing.

Shadow_Ferret
01-22-2015, 12:30 AM
No, rejections take the joy out. Being published increases the joy ten fold.

buz
01-22-2015, 12:30 AM
No, rejections take the joy out. Being published increases the joy ten fold.

Not for everyone. :)

ETA: I actually don't know if anyone was speaking in generalities. Nvm :p

Parametric
01-22-2015, 12:34 AM
No, rejections take the joy out. Being published increases the joy ten fold.

Getting published only alters the nature of the rejection. Instead of form rejections to queries, it's Barnes and Noble refusing to carry your book or your publisher turning down a sequel. I don't see the tenfold joy in that.

Xelebes
01-22-2015, 12:38 AM
I don't write for money. It's an amusement I have. I'm an amateur and I would rather not be published.

Shadow_Ferret
01-22-2015, 12:39 AM
I've only had short stories published so I can't address those issues. All I know is that one acceptance erases all the rejections and gives me an emotional kick start to keep going.

Polenth
01-22-2015, 12:55 AM
What I'd like to do is suddenly get given lots of money so I could only do things I wanted to do. Then there'd be no pressure and I could write things as I feel like writing them. But in the real world, getting a day job hasn't worked out, so writing is the only income I have. It's currently a terrible income, and I couldn't survive on it without others helping me out, but I don't have a lot of other options. So yes, I'm hoping one day I can earn more.

LJD
01-22-2015, 02:00 AM
Partly, yes.

greendragon
01-22-2015, 02:23 AM
Getting money is nice, but I'm doing it because it's fun. Also, it's something that will (hopefully) live on after I am dead. I have no children, so books and art are my way of contributing to the universe. It may be a poor contribution, but it's still a contribution (and some kids are brats) :)

I long ago learned that you don't need to get all your income from one source. I work full time as an accountant. On the side I do the following:
Prepare tax returns for about 60 clients
Make beaded jewelry which I sell at art shows
Take photos which I sell at art shows
Paint in Photoshop with a mouse which I sell at art shows
Write travel books (which I have begun to make a couple hundred a quarter at)
Write historical novels - I've written four in the last year, but none are published yet.

I do all the above because it's fun and interesting!

Atlantis
01-22-2015, 02:31 AM
I don't agree that there is a timeline for a writer's success. Writing is something that takes a long time to perfect and learn. Some writers go their whole lives learning and then publish one fantastic book before tossing in the towel. Some of us have one good book in us some have more. Some of us will write a couple of bombs before writing the one that will give us our big break. We shouldn't give up if we aren't successful right away because our next book could be the one.

Atlantis
01-22-2015, 02:33 AM
YES and I HOPE SO.

-Derek

Great. There's nothing wrong with that. I just think it's wrong to tell others that writing is a quick and simple way to make a lot of money. Most do not make a living wage.

Kayley
01-22-2015, 03:01 AM
I looked at your avatar and was like "wait a minute...that looks familiar." :tongue

I don't currently get paid for my writing, but I hope to someday. It's definitely not an easy way to make money. It's just nice to get paid money for something about which you are already passionate.

Mr Flibble
01-22-2015, 03:04 AM
So yes, I'm hoping one day I can earn more.

If that short is anything to go by, you will. I am certain of it.

Kylabelle
01-22-2015, 03:07 AM
Great. There's nothing wrong with that. I just think it's wrong to tell others that writing is a quick and simple way to make a lot of money. Most do not make a living wage.

I agree with you. Well, "wrong" in the sense of "incorrect".

When I lost my last job several of my friends pushed me to write something and sell it (you know, self-publish a book, yay) as a way to make money fast.

Ha.

More recently, my own sister sent me some kind of online blog/success story about someone who had made a lot of money with a self-published book of essays, and said to me "you could do this!"

It's sad because these people in my example are all well-meaning and intend to be supportive and they have no clue at all about the realities of publishing as a business and as a livelihood.

For those who have a good business sense, and are not working down to their last dime as I was, I imagine it is possible to bootstrap into something more or less sustainable, and I know many have made a success out of it. It sure wasn't the road for me, though, as I have about as much business sense as a soap bubble. :D

Dave.C.Robinson
01-22-2015, 04:21 AM
I made money writing today, I'll make money writing tomorrow. There's a check on its way from Amazon. I'm not making a ton of money, and 95% of what I do make comes from writing copy for various clients rather than fiction.

Having said that, all of my income does come from writing, so I guess I must be doing something right.

Ken
01-22-2015, 04:52 AM
Whatever your goals I want to take this opportunity to wish you all luck in achieving them in addition to enjoying the process itself. Writing is a fine thing and I admire you all just for participating !

Brutal Mustang
01-22-2015, 05:42 AM
I long ago learned that you don't need to get all your income from one source. I work full time as an accountant. On the side I do the following:
Prepare tax returns for about 60 clients
Make beaded jewelry which I sell at art shows
Take photos which I sell at art shows
Paint in Photoshop with a mouse which I sell at art shows
Write travel books (which I have begun to make a couple hundred a quarter at)
Write historical novels - I've written four in the last year, but none are published yet.


You sound like me! Art is my bread and butter, but I make money in any little way I can. Like giving horse riding lessons. Flipping gold and silver. Designing websites. Fixing websites. And I'm hoping for my writing to become a serious part of my income this year (largely so I'll get to do it more often, as I explained in my initial post in this thread).

C.bronco
01-22-2015, 06:04 AM
I will be published, sell the movie rights and market, market market! Yes. It will be good.

Emermouse
01-22-2015, 06:29 AM
I don't know. Right now, I haven't made a dime, which does disappoint me a little. But at the same time, I can't seem to stop. There's something in me that needs to write. If someday I get published and wind up JK Rowling-level rich, you damn well better believe I won't object to it, but at this point, I think even if I never make a red cent, I'll still look back and feel it was time well-spent.

RightHoJeeves
01-22-2015, 07:27 AM
I don't make any money yet, but I aim to. I guess I'm really lucky because I also really like my day job and have time outside of work to write heaps.

blacbird
01-22-2015, 07:31 AM
It's fine to aspire, to fantasize, about making money on your writing, but if you got into writing IN ORDER to make money, I recommend you switch fields. Go into investment banking, or drug dealing. Much higher likelihood of financial success. Hell, become a really skilled plumber or auto mechanic.

Chances are good that anything produced by a "writer" who got into the field solely in order to make a lot of money is not something I'm likely to read.

caw

Hapax Legomenon
01-22-2015, 07:38 AM
I made three whole dollars from my writing last year! I'm hoping to double my profits this year :D

Chasing the Horizon
01-22-2015, 07:39 AM
Really? If you think what you have is any good, wouldn't you want to give people the chance to read it? I don't want fame, but I do want people to enjoy my stories as much as I do.
I could let other people enjoy it by giving away the stories for free online (there are websites devoted to this, and some of the stuff on them is surprisingly good). That's what I would do if I won the lottery. No need to go through the massive hassle of publishing to let people read a story these days.

morngnstar
01-22-2015, 08:46 AM
I could let other people enjoy it by giving away the stories for free online (there are websites devoted to this, and some of the stuff on them is surprisingly good). That's what I would do if I won the lottery. No need to go through the massive hassle of publishing to let people read a story these days.

Honestly, yes you do. If you post a story for free on a website, maybe on a good day 100,000 people will read it. If you want everybody and their mother to read your book, you need to get it on big box bookshelves. You need to get an ad on everybody's web browser three times a day. Now if you were independently wealthy, maybe you could bankroll all that, but I wouldn't bother unless the book was good enough anyway to convince a major publisher to make the same investment.

Okay maybe I want fame a little.

quicklime
01-22-2015, 09:08 AM
I had an interesting conversation with a person on the internet today who thinks that

1)self-publishing on Amazon is easy

and


2)you can make a "fuckton of money" from it.


...

ok

1) (part 1) your friend is absolutely right about

2) he or she is a bit more full of shit on. Yes, one "can" make that fuck-ton....they could in designer shoes or crystal meth as well. A lot depends on if this was a truly open-ended "if" (I doubt it was) or the implication "being rich is fucking easy...." which is far less certain than the vague assertion that riches remain within the grasp of possibility.

If you're having a "serious argument," and they can construct a coherent sentence, you might ask why THEY aren't, yanno, writing a story or two, buying an Escalade, writing two more, accepting their O-fucking-Henry, and then, for kicks, writing two more, so over like 5-10 years they could just buy their own island. retire, and be unanimously ignored.....oddly, most of the folks claiming writing is "easy money" continue with their sporadic rants, vague proclamations, and shitty jobs instead. Almost, oddly, like there IS no formula and they CAN'T just fucking cash in....but who knows; maybe this is serendipity?

Bottom line: Writing is hard. How hard depends upon the person, but it is hard. Especially at a "commercial" level. And very few of the folks who talk about it and make money, and god knows how few fewer of the armchair quarterbacks, has a fucking clue how hard it truly is......so ignore your friend. Write for yourself, an audience, or both. But they clearly know about as much about lit as my mom, who offered to help me get a new job as a PhD biologist, by "talking to your second cousin who has a podiatry clinic......"



I always find it amusing how many folks just know there is this black and white formula to riches, and yet refuse to pursue it themselves....maybe they're the folks people like McConnel and Boehner talk about who refuse to try because of the graduated tax code????????

DancingMaenid
01-22-2015, 09:27 AM
No and no.

I write because I enjoy it, and focusing too much on making a job out of it ruins it for me (as I know from experience). I also know that I could never write full-time or write efficiently and quickly enough to do what it would take to have a successful writing career. The only way I could ever "make it big" is if I managed to luck out and end up writing one book/series that becomes a phenomenal hit, like J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter books. And I'm not waiting around for that to happen.

I have started trying my hand at self-publishing, and am open to submitting some of my original fiction. Mainly because I like being read, and if I can make a little extra money, then all the better. I'm hoping I can build a small audience through self-publishing and earn enough to give me a little extra disposable income (if I can make enough to go out to eat occasionally or justify buying some video games I've been wanting, I'll be happy). But really, I'm more concerned about having my stuff read, period.

cylemmulo
01-22-2015, 10:05 AM
I don't think I'll make much money at all on my stories. I mostly want just to get things out there that people actually enjoy reading. It's therapeutic for me, and when someone gives a compliment it makes everything worth it.

They say you should have something that makes you money, something that keeps you healthy, and something that keeps you creative. If you can mix the creativity and the money that is great, but I don't think very many of us have those aspirations.

Chasing the Horizon
01-22-2015, 10:53 AM
Honestly, yes you do. If you post a story for free on a website, maybe on a good day 100,000 people will read it. If you want everybody and their mother to read your book, you need to get it on big box bookshelves. You need to get an ad on everybody's web browser three times a day. Now if you were independently wealthy, maybe you could bankroll all that, but I wouldn't bother unless the book was good enough anyway to convince a major publisher to make the same investment.

Okay maybe I want fame a little.
I don't want fame. The only reason I would post the story for people to read for free is because it would seem selfish and silly not to. I'm quite content if my mother, husband, and best friend end up being the only people in the world who read my stories.

dpaterso
01-22-2015, 11:23 AM
I made three whole dollars from my writing last year! I'm hoping to double my profits this year :D
Now success stories like these, I can get behind! Well done, and good luck for this year!

-Derek

Putputt
01-22-2015, 01:23 PM
I used to write because YEAH MONEY! Three unpublished books later, I feel like it should be time to give up, but then I've gotten into the habit of writing, so now I just write because apparently my life is sad enough that writing is something I do for fun.

Dmbeucler
01-22-2015, 04:54 PM
I am hoping to make enough money writing, so that I am able to pay for a partial day care, like a couple of half days a week, for my sons (4 and -3months). The partial daycare, will allow me to write more... so it's a vicious circle. ;-)

Lhowling
01-22-2015, 04:57 PM
What I'd like to do is suddenly get given lots of money so I could only do things I wanted to do. Then there'd be no pressure and I could write things as I feel like writing them. But in the real world, getting a day job hasn't worked out, so writing is the only income I have. It's currently a terrible income, and I couldn't survive on it without others helping me out, but I don't have a lot of other options. So yes, I'm hoping one day I can earn more.

This all up and down! I'm publishing my first novels this year, but I have self-published some erotica shorts already. That was a guinea pig attempt to see if I could sell anything as I learn how to market and promote. I didn't do too well with marketing and promotion; it was a random strategy that allowed me to learn from my mistakes. Since publishing my first book in May, I've made around $150! That's not a success for me, but heck it's something. It helped me pay a phone bill and enough money to buy me some food (and my cat too!).

This time around I've planned my year, with longer works but less of them so I can focus on getting them into peoples' hands and ensuring that each is of the highest quality on a non-existent budget. Hopefully I can make more money, but who knows? It's exciting to watch a book grow from a draft into a worthy product. And I love getting people to read it. Lots of people. If I can translate that parasitic notion of getting one of my books on an ereader into profit, then awesome!

KTC
01-22-2015, 05:06 PM
There was one year, actually, when I thought, "I could do this for money". I did freelancing, just to see if I could. I put my daughter through university that year on the freelance money that came in. I am fortunate enough to be well-connected in my community to people who edit magazines, newspapers, and the like. I got jobs left, right and centre. I was writing articles for newspapers, magazines, radio ads, company newsletters...everything...a real smorgasbord. Interior design, slice of life, infomercial type looks like an article ads, jingles, parenting, hockey, career, everything. And I was well paid per word.

And I hating every soul-sucking living hell minute of it...I can't even find the words to describe my misery. Even the two regular columns I landed. I hated it all! I decided I would never attempt to write for money again. I'm happy with my day job. I will write to keep my sanity and to simply play with words, thank you very much. (-:

Jamesaritchie
01-22-2015, 06:09 PM
There was one year, actually, when I thought, "I could do this for money". I did freelancing, just to see if I could. I put my daughter through university that year on the freelance money that came in. I am fortunate enough to be well-connected in my community to people who edit magazines, newspapers, and the like. I got jobs left, right and centre. I was writing articles for newspapers, magazines, radio ads, company newsletters...everything...a real smorgasbord. Interior design, slice of life, infomercial type looks like an article ads, jingles, parenting, hockey, career, everything. And I was well paid per word.

And I hating every soul-sucking living hell minute of it...I can't even find the words to describe my misery. Even the two regular columns I landed. I hated it all! I decided I would never attempt to write for money again. I'm happy with my day job. I will write to keep my sanity and to simply play with words, thank you very much. (-:

My experience has been much the same. Or was. Freelance writing is a very easy way to make money, if you have any writing skill at all. Even if you don't have the connections, they're easy to make, if you can deliver the goods.

I did this, and i did a lot of ghostwriting. I made very good money, but I was not at all happy with the kind of writing I was doing.

I needed that money when I had three kids at home, but they're grown and living very fruitful lives on their own, and I can make a more than good enough living for two from fiction not to have to do that, so I quit.

But as much as I disliked it, the worst day I had freelancing or ghostwriting was ten times better than working for anyone else.

Jamesaritchie
01-22-2015, 06:11 PM
Getting published only alters the nature of the rejection. Instead of form rejections to queries, it's Barnes and Noble refusing to carry your book or your publisher turning down a sequel. I don't see the tenfold joy in that.

I see no joy in that, either, but I also know there is no reason for it to happen.

Parametric
01-22-2015, 06:30 PM
I see no joy in that, either, but I also know there is no reason for it to happen.

There was no "reason" for it to happen to many dedicated, talented writers I know, but it did.

Pkmatrix
01-22-2015, 06:44 PM
Yes and no.

No, because the biggest reason I write is for my own personal enjoyment and satisfaction. That's pretty much the same reason I've published: just to have the satisfaction of seeing my story in print, available for anyone who stumbles across it and is interested to give it a try. Plus, both the writing and the publishing are fun! :)

Yes, because if you weren't interested in making some money why would you go through the trouble of publishing? Either traditional or self-publishing are huge hassles, you could just as easily start a blog and post your story for free if all you were interested in was sharing your work. I'd like to make money off of my work, maybe make this a full-time gig someday - not counting on that or ever expecting it, but it's a nice dream that I wouldn't be able to pursue without trying to publish in some capacity.

nighttimer
01-22-2015, 07:45 PM
I don't think you should go into writing with the dream of raking in millions. It's unrealistic. That would be like going into acting convinced that one day you will win an Oscar. Yeah it COULD happen but not without a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and tears.

People like your friend have seemingly put a great deal of thought into what they will do with the money they will make from writing, but little thought to what it will require to earn it.

They have reversed the process. The Work comes first and the Profit second. If ever it does.

Writing for money is not a bad idea as ideas go, but as Henry Miller said, "writing is its own reward."


No. Publishing takes all the joy out of writing.


No, rejections take the joy out. Being published increases the joy ten fold.

I enjoy the publishing more than the writing and if there's some $$$ in the mix afterwards, that is an additional reward.

Jamesaritchie
01-22-2015, 08:44 PM
There was no "reason" for it to happen to many dedicated, talented writers I know, but it did.

There's a always a reason. Always. No publisher makes such a move without very good reason, and the reason is almost always that the writer isn't writing anything that enough readers want to read.

Parametric
01-22-2015, 09:06 PM
There's a always a reason. Always. No publisher makes such a move without very good reason, and the reason is almost always that the writer isn't writing anything that enough readers want to read.

You're right! Anything bad that happens to a writer's career is entirely their own fault.

Shadow_Ferret
01-22-2015, 09:17 PM
That's what you took from that?

RedWombat
01-23-2015, 12:14 AM
I write because it's a job and pays the bills--it just happens to be a job that I love!

If I were wealthy, I'd still write, but slower. Y'know. In between lazing around a beach in Bali sipping froofy cocktails and watching birds.

Parametric
01-23-2015, 12:20 AM
That's what you took from that?

I've witnessed many talented, hard-working writers whose books and/or careers were tanked because of factors that were 100% out of their control. So yes, I'm a little baffled that it's apparently their fault.

AshleyEpidemic
01-23-2015, 03:26 AM
I often find myself dreaming of getting a deal and paying off some of my student loans. It's not dreaming big, but it's enough. It's still a goal.

I write because I enjoy it. However, I have no intention of keeping them to myself. I want them to make money if at all possible.

rscullison
01-23-2015, 04:26 AM
I've never made a dime writing, but I'd certainly like to. Taking my (minor) expenses into account, I'm in the red a little. I'd like to turn that around. I feel like I would only be partially fulfilled as a person if I write but never sell.

I look at my finances and I realize my threshold for what I consider success is quite low. A couple hundred bucks a month would be pitiful if that was my only income, but in addition to it? Magic.

harmonyisarine
01-23-2015, 07:36 AM
I write because I like to write, and currently I write just for fun. I've lately taken a big hit in my "real" life goals, in that it looks like they're not going to happen. I got a job I don't necessarily love to pay the bills, and I've finally started looking into trying to publish. I'll write whether I publish or not, but it'd be nice to have a little extra money coming in.

blacbird
01-23-2015, 08:40 AM
There's a always a reason. Always. No publisher makes such a move without very good reason, and the reason is almost always that the writer isn't writing anything that enough readers want to read.

A decade+ ago Harper Collins famously cancelled something like 100 contracts with writers because they had given Johnny Cochrane's tell-all book about the O.J. Simpson trial a massive advance that it failed to sell more than about 1/4 of.

Yeah, publishers never make mistakes. And writers never suffer except that it's their own damn fault.

caw

Dave Williams
01-24-2015, 06:08 PM
I wrote two books back in the 1980s. They were conventionally published. One was programming, one was for some utility software.

Those were boom years for computer books. Firguring my time, I made a bit better than minimum wage. But they were worth another $20K/yr in salary next time I changed employers, and even today they're useful credentials.

For fiction... I dunno. I'm trying to beat some of my old stuff into publishable shape, but fiction is a lot harder than nonfiction.

bearilou
01-24-2015, 06:27 PM
I'm writing because I like to write. It's fun. It's stress-reducing. It gives my fantastical mind a creative outlet.

I'm publishing for the money. And yes, I do plan on making fabulous amounts of money.

Fabulous amounts of money = what my personal goal is, a metric that is different for everyone.

Unhappy
01-24-2015, 06:39 PM
Yes. If I make sandwiches and set them out on a shelf and claim I have not done so to sell them - earn money - then I will either look like a liar or crazy. So I write to sell what I write. And I sell what I write.

Kylabelle
01-24-2015, 11:26 PM
Sandwiches.... I keep having thoughts of Emily Dickinson stitching up sandwiches in her little packets, and laying them away in her trunk....

:)

MagicWriter
01-24-2015, 11:53 PM
My MS feeds my bills. My writing feeds my soul. :Sun:

Captcha
01-25-2015, 12:52 AM
I started writing for fun, then started writing for money, and it stopped being quite as much fun, but, you know, there was money!

I don't know if I could reverse the process. Like, if my books stopped selling, could I go back to writing just for fun?

I don't think I could, really. My expectations for myself, my standards, I guess, have changed - that's what turned writing into more work than fun. But I don't think I could give up on those higher expectations and go back to just slapping words down willy-nilly and enjoying the ride.

endearing
01-25-2015, 01:11 AM
Such an interesting question (and a perennial one). I honestly have no idea where I fit.

Clearly, right now, I write, and am not making money off of it. And I do it because I do love stories, and I find them compelling. But at the same time, I don't feel like I'm one of those people who can say, "The stories, they force me!" Honestly, it requires a good amount of hard work and discipline to keep myself on track and writing, even though I think I enjoy doing it. So why do I keep writing? Is it because I want to make money eventually?

That idea isn't distasteful, of course, but it doesn't ring true, either. I guess I want to know that I could be capable of writing a well-structured, beautiful novel. I do worry that I have quite a long way to go, though.

kelliewallace
01-25-2015, 01:28 AM
My ultimate dream, the one I strive to succeed is to write full time as an author. People ask me all the time if that's what I want to do- of course! But I don't make enough or may never will to live off my royalties.
I work full time and spend every spare moment thinking about or writing my books. My brain doesn't stop. If my husband and I were more financially stable I would spend more money on marketing and promoting my brand.
I write because I love it, I live and breathe for it. To make money is a bonus and I'm happy my books are making money. Maybe one day I'll be able to afford to quit my job and write full time.

morngnstar
01-25-2015, 01:52 AM
Such an interesting question (and a perennial one). I honestly have no idea where I fit.

Clearly, right now, I write, and am not making money off of it. And I do it because I do love stories, and I find them compelling. But at the same time, I don't feel like I'm one of those people who can say, "The stories, they force me!" Honestly, it requires a good amount of hard work and discipline to keep myself on track and writing, even though I think I enjoy doing it. So why do I keep writing? Is it because I want to make money eventually?

That idea isn't distasteful, of course, but it doesn't ring true, either. I guess I want to know that I could be capable of writing a well-structured, beautiful novel. I do worry that I have quite a long way to go, though.

That's pretty much how I feel. I do feel like stories come to me and I'm drawn to explore them. I have to push the story a little, though, to get it to the point where it's complete and polished enough to be presentable. The thought of publishing motivates me to do so, and it's probably good practice even if I'm not successful.

Ken
01-25-2015, 03:40 AM
I write because it's a job and pays the bills--it just happens to be a job that I love!

If I were wealthy, I'd still write, but slower. Y'know. In between lazing around a beach in Bali sipping froofy cocktails and watching birds.

... crows by any chance?! :-)

Just be cautious with them. Wonderful bird, but they like shiny objects and may make off with your riches!

Fuchsia Groan
01-25-2015, 11:47 AM
When I was a kid, someone told me anyone who writes or acts for money is a fool and should do something, anything else. It stuck. I always planned to have a day job and write on the side, so I didn't bother with writing courses or learning about the market.

I'm sorry about that now. My secure, lucrative tenured day job never came to pass (I have a different one), and I waited decades to research the market and learn to write a novel someone might actually want to read. Sometimes I wish I'd gotten an MFA and said, "This is my freaking career" and just gone for it. Maybe I'd be writing fulltime now.

But that's OK. I've never stopped loving writing fiction for its own sake. I got a day job that allows me to do fun nonfiction writing. And recently I got my first advance check for a novel, which means more to me than I can express. I do write with the market in mind now, which I have mixed feelings about, but it hasn't ruined writing for me. Yet, anyway.

My biggest problem so far is that, as writing becomes another sort-of-job with deadlines and commitments, I have no time to enjoy the money I earn. Yet if I quit my day job, I'd be terrified by the insecurity of writing as a profession.

chompers
01-25-2015, 12:01 PM
I don't think you need a writing degree in order to write, or even write well. Writing is one of those things that is best learned through experience. And as long as you don't need a license for it, why spend that money for a "formal" education that you can get through experience?

aruna
01-25-2015, 02:49 PM
Well -- I spent ten years writing four novels and two memoirs and one non-fiction book without making a cent. Yet still I wrote.

Now I'm making money from those books, and it's nice!

PeteMC
01-25-2015, 04:21 PM
Yet if I quit my day job, I'd be terrified by the insecurity of writing as a profession.

There's this - writing full time is effectively being self employed. I'm not sure I'd ever dare give up the day job (unless I was making silly money) that pays my pension plan, my sick pay, my medical insurance, my paid holidays, my national insurance etc etc

Dennis E. Taylor
01-25-2015, 07:05 PM
I went into it for the filthy lucre, and now I'm a multi-tenaire!

kuwisdelu
01-25-2015, 08:22 PM
When I was a kid, someone told me anyone who writes or acts for money is a fool and should do something, anything else. It stuck. I always planned to have a day job and write on the side, so I didn't bother with writing courses or learning about the market.

I'm sorry about that now. My secure, lucrative tenured day job never came to pass (I have a different one), and I waited decades to research the market and learn to write a novel someone might actually want to read. Sometimes I wish I'd gotten an MFA and said, "This is my freaking career" and just gone for it. Maybe I'd be writing fulltime now.

Same here. I was planning on getting a job in industry, but I've been getting increasingly disillusioned with my career plan.

I've decided when I'm done with my PhD, I'm doing something for myself, and applying to MFA programs so I can focus on writing for a couple years.

Not sure what I'll do after that, and that's kind of an exciting feeling.

nighttimer
01-25-2015, 09:32 PM
Writing isn't generally a lucrative source of income; only a few, exceptional writers reach the income levels associated with the best-sellers. Rather, most of us write because we can make a modest living, or even supplement our day jobs, doing something about which we feel passionately. Even at the worst of times, when nothing goes right, when the prose is clumsy and the ideas feel stale, at least we're doing something that we genuinely love. There's no other reason to work this hard, except that love.
Melissa Scott


Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money.
Jules Renard



I never had any doubts about my abilities. I knew I could write. I just had to figure out how to eat while doing this.
Cormac McCarthy


link :e2BIC: (http://pasikarppanen.net/quotes/q-writ.htm)

ap123
01-25-2015, 10:18 PM
I always wanted to earn a dollar from my writing. Never expected to make a lot, don't expect to make a lot, but I'm still looking for that dollar.

buz
01-25-2015, 11:01 PM
I am "in writing" to make money. Sort of.

I don't count on it. I'm not expecting that anything should happen.

But right now, it is my open window.

I've gone down a few corridors, opening and closing doors to myself, my future. I've chosen a room. I've re-enrolled in school, new program, new degree, new career. I have a mentor, who will train me for absolutely no reward other than knowing she helped me get there, once I've gotten there. So I damn well better get there. This is my room.

I feel like the door is locked behind me.

This is my job now; what I'm doing. It is not a bad job, certainly, it's just the idea of living in one room scares me, makes me kind of depressed...I just don't know how to do anything else.

But there's an open window. Writing is the window. I will probably not be stupid successful, but there's always a chance; no one including myself can say there isn't one as long as I keep doing it. And if I made money, I wouldn't be tethered to a job or a place or other people; I'd be free.

Cuz traveling is what I *really* want to do. (And every so often I can briefly defenestrate myself, but it's short and temporary, and I always have to crawl back in...:D )

I realize how unrealistic this is. So I keep at what I'm doing. But I can look out the window. As long as I can look out the window, I can stay sane. Mostly. ;)

Not saying it will always be this way, or that it *should* be this way; it just is what it is, right now. :)

It also serves a purpose in giving me something to do that engages my brain. This is important to me. There are other things that could fill that function, yeah, but I tend not to stick with them. Writing is changeable enough, challenging enough, and yet still doable enough that I've kept doing it. And I've met a lot of wonderful people in the process.

I don't know if I enjoy it or not, but I don't think it is a waste of time, in any case. ;) (At least when the Happy Gremlin is ruling my brain instead of Bosch Bird Gremlin...)

morngnstar
01-25-2015, 11:22 PM
I like to travel too. I consider that if I were a bestselling author, I would have money to travel, be able to do my job from anywhere, and have a justification for traveling (research). But there are probably easier careers to get it to with opportunities for travel. I'm in it to get my words heard, but money and travel would be nice perks.

Fuchsia Groan
01-26-2015, 01:11 AM
I don't think you need a writing degree in order to write, or even write well. Writing is one of those things that is best learned through experience. And as long as you don't need a license for it, why spend that money for a "formal" education that you can get through experience?

Agreed, for writing in almost all genres. In YA, I've never experienced the lack of an MFA as a problem. But if you want to publish literary fiction, the right MFA program can offer contacts and open a few doors. It's no guarantee, of course, but what is? I've heard that certain journal editors only consider submissions from MFAs or graduates of Bread Loaf and the like which may or may not be true, but it's something to consider if you go the hard-core literary route.

I already spent eight years getting a PhD I don't use, though, and years teaching after that, so I'm done with classrooms. On-the-job training from now on!

I also use writing as a "window," buzhidao. Not so much a window of opportunity as a window onto another world that distracts me from my daily routine, whether that's my imaginary world or the world of NYC publishing. Which is nice and all, but I'd like to find time to step through the window and use my writing as the pretext for some travel.

I gave up on writers' workshops and conferences and research trips a long time ago when my job became really demanding. Now I can't find my way out of that bind.

kuwisdelu
01-26-2015, 01:29 AM
I don't think you need a writing degree in order to write, or even write well. Writing is one of those things that is best learned through experience. And as long as you don't need a license for it, why spend that money for a "formal" education that you can get through experience?

Definitely not. But the cool thing about an MFA is you can get other people to pay for it. ;)

I want to do an MFA for the time and community. I don't really care about the degree.

JustSarah
01-28-2015, 06:23 AM
You can write to make money, but it takes work to do it like everything. Whether your going Trade or Self-publishing. Now in Self-publishing there is the advantage of higher royalties, but you also have to wear many hats if you don't want to pay an editor or cover designer.

Each side has it's advantages and disadvantages.