View Full Version : Comfortable living

06-12-2007, 10:11 PM
This is just a question from general curiosity. Who in the AW community is making a comfortable living solely from writing? And who is scraping by financially, but still able to support themselves solely from writing? And who is doing everything they can to join one of those two groups?

Tish Davidson
06-12-2007, 11:56 PM
I'm making enough to pay all my children's college expenses, one at a state university and one at a private university, but our daily living expenses and health care benefits come from my husband's salary. Writing is my only job and I specialize in medical writing, which pays better than some other forms of writing.

Kate Thornton
06-13-2007, 12:02 AM
I am making a comfortable living doing something else. But this year I will be forced to retire, so I'll see what full time writing brings. I make a very modest amount from my writing, but I write short stories, not a particularly lucrative form.

Will Lavender
06-13-2007, 12:16 AM
I earned a large enough advance in the US and from other countries that my wife and I will be able to live comfortably for at least a year. We both, for what it's worth, quit our day jobs.

We'll see what happens after this year.

06-13-2007, 12:19 AM
I am doing everything in my power to get to the point where I will no longer have to teach. I only think about writing fiction. Someday it will happen, by God.

06-13-2007, 02:16 AM
Well, I used to earn a comfortable living strictly from writing. Does that count? But I just went through a period where my health was so bad writing, or anything else, was impossible. But I seem to be getting my feet under me again, and money is once more beginning to flow.

Now, if if I can just avoid going into another coma.

06-13-2007, 02:45 AM
It's great to hear things are on the upswing, James. :)

As for my writing-related earnings, I probably make less in a month from writing my column than the average plumber makes in a couple of hours. Obviously I, like Gerry, am in the 'dreaming about writing full time' camp.

06-13-2007, 02:55 AM
I'm still in the "I wish" category. :(

06-13-2007, 03:03 AM
I don't know?

Er. My day job is freelance writing. But it's not like that. It's copywriting, see, and I have to work with clients and fight for approval from them (and my boss) every step of the process. I also do freelance editing.

So, I guess I make a living (a very small one, I wouldn't call it comfortable, but at least they only shut my power off once so far this year)... and, well, I'd rather be writing fiction.

That should be my bumper sticker. Heh.

06-13-2007, 03:06 AM
If bloody only.

I am trying to do everything in my power to live off my writing, and looking around for more power to apply.

06-13-2007, 01:26 PM
I work on the basis that I'll never be able to support myself by writing. Just the thought of making the attempt makes me sweaty. Too much pressure. I'd crumble, and my writing would suffer.

Better not. I'll just write, and go to regular work, and write some more, and let what happens happen.

I'm quite content.

06-14-2007, 02:33 AM
I'm in the third group. I do make a comfortable living at my day job (relatively, at least) but it's monumentally aggravating to only be able to dribble out my writing at the pace of a page or two a day.

Things are rolling along creatively/inspirationally with my WIP; I just can't find enought time to get the words down as fast as I want to.

So, since I do now make decent money, I'm saving as much as I can and in six months to a year I will be quitting my day job to devote myself full-time to writing, at least for awhile. If things go well, I will be able to transition to at least scraping by on writing income alone.

I'm very excited about this plan, even though the night I talked to my partner about it and we committed to making it happen I sat up in bed for quite awhile in the grip of an all-consuming terror.

06-14-2007, 02:39 AM
I'm making some money from substitute teaching and tutoring, neither of which I will be doing during the summer. I also have made a little bit from freelance writing and will try to make more during the summer. My husband has an income also so I am lucky that way.

06-14-2007, 02:41 AM
I am definitely in the third category as well. I'd dearly love to be earning any money at all off writing. Hopefully this will happen some day!

I think I'd really like to be able to work a (very) part time job right where I am now, and write the rest of the time. Writing full time sounds fabulous, but I'm not sure it's a lifestyle I'd truly be comfortable with. My attention span is about ten years behind my age, and for some insane reason I do my best work when I'm pressed for time and have about a thousand other things to do.

Plus, if I wrote full time I'm pretty sure I would never see other humans. I tend to forget there's a world outside my office when I get going. :D

06-14-2007, 03:34 AM
I'm in the third category. At the moment my writing income goes into savings for a laptop. I make a (reasonably) comfortable living in my day job, but I hate it so monumentally it gives me extra incentive to improve my writing.

What am I doing here? I'm in the middle of revisions!

06-14-2007, 03:50 AM
I made a comfortable living (most of the time) for a couple of decades, supporting myself on my writing income alone. The "comfortable living" has become a "very comfortable" living now but, as I commented on another thread, I have yet to feel particularly secure. I am betting I'll feel secure financially (working hard on that now) before I feel secure in terms of my career.

I don't lack confidence in my abilities, if anybody's wondering. But I've watched publishing up close for too many years to have any illusions that skill or talent alone can make up my safety net.

06-14-2007, 04:27 AM
I'm not there yet.

06-14-2007, 11:40 AM
As of next week I'll be a few hundred off from being able to pay all the bills with just writing. But, I slack on magazine queries. If I kept up on those I'd be making over what I need -- not just sticking around right what I need. Now, why don't I send off more mag queries??? Sigh. I'll get right on that. My goal is to be able to make a couple thousand a month over what I need to cover the bills. So I better get hopping.

~ Jennifer

06-14-2007, 03:58 PM
I'm with Willowmound. I have resigned myself to the fact that my day job and my writing are separate entities, and I will never be able to support myself with the writing.

The time issue can be a problem, but ultimately I'm not under any pressure to produce anything because I don't earn a living writing.

Every once in a while I entertain fantasies about what would happen if I sold a novel that because a best-seller, but then I go to work because I try to stay grounded in reality!


06-14-2007, 04:30 PM
I'm hoping to sell a novel for the extra pocket money. That would be nice.

JJ Cooper
06-14-2007, 04:31 PM
I have been here only a couple of months and have got some rep points just for plugging away at the computer and helping out in SYW where I can. The rep points may not mean much to some people but the important ones to me are the ones that say 'thank you for helping' and for me knowing that I can help someone else achieve their dream.

For me, I am comfortable with my day job and my family life. I am working hard at my WIP that one day I would like to publish. Reality is that I haven't got that gift that will allow me to write fuul time. But the one thing I have is determination. If I eventually finish my novel and get published, my dream is to take some time off and write for a while. Thing is though, I am a realist. I have taken calculated risks in the past and the future won't be any different. Won't stop me dreaming. If at the end of the day someone I have helped along their journey gets published and makes a motza - I will be just as happy.


Claudia Gray
06-14-2007, 07:29 PM
Do you mean "creative writing" or any kind of writing? If the latter, I do that now -- I am a writer/editor in my day job, which pays reasonably well and has good benefits. But it's legal writing, which is just as fascinating as you're thinking, so I don't tend to count it. My goal is to be able to work as a full-time writer sometime in the next 3-5 years, but I am going to have to bust my butt (and get a few breaks) to make that happen.

06-14-2007, 07:59 PM
Ha!! I still live off my parents :e2tongue:

Soccer Mom
06-14-2007, 09:16 PM
:trips Dama:

Me? I'm in the third. I live comfortably off my day job and write on the side. But I dream of being able to write full time and just lawyer on the side instead of the other way around.

And I don't have a clue who did that to Dama.

06-14-2007, 09:43 PM
My husband and I have our own business. It's doing well, but it's a lot of work. Which of course makes DH question the wisdom of me writing about domesticated zombies for no money when I could be packaging shoulder slings. La la la, I can't hear you over the zombie moans!!

Soccer Mom
06-15-2007, 12:08 AM
:moooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaan: Need more braaaaaaaaaains.

ETA: The only way this post makes sense is if you read the last post on page 1.

Shady Lane
06-15-2007, 12:26 AM
Ha!! I still live off my parents :e2tongue:

Meee too.

06-15-2007, 01:22 AM
I sold my first article in August of last year, so I consider that the start of my writing career. My plan is to be self sufficient within two years of that date. I make more money each month than the previous, so I'm fairly confident I can do it.

If I'm not self sufficent by August 2008...then I guess I'll give myself another two years. There is no way I could ever go back to being a 9-to-5 corporate cog.

06-15-2007, 02:43 PM
1099s supplement an already solid retirement income.

06-15-2007, 03:03 PM
At this stage, I'm in the 'comfortable with day job, writing on the side' camp. While I would like to write full time, it isn't for me.