Can you really make a living as a writer?

moneyWell, er, depends on the kind of living you want to do.  I can only speak about my own situation so here goes. I started writing professionally thirteen years ago. For probably eight of those thirteen years, my fiction novels earned enough to pay for the website, promotional materials, travel to conferences with a little left over. You notice I didn’t mention important things like mortgage, food and medical expenses in there? Those critical costs were absorbed by my darling Papa Bear. I’d like to say differently, but facts are facts. Lately, the writing bottom line has shifted thanks to accumulated royalties, larger advances, ebook sales and the fact that I’m now writing a minimum of three books a year. More on that in a bit.

I should mention here that I drive a fourteen year old car, we live in a modest house purchased nearly two decades ago and I think I still possess clothes that were in fashion when Eisenhower was in office. We’re not a world traveling kind of family and we saved up for five years to buy our “luxury” car which is a mini van and I do not own an iPhone. So you see, I don’t really require a very fancy lifestyle which works well with my chosen profession (s).

No, I still don’t earn enough to cover the mortgage and all the household bills. (poor Papa Bear is still in charge of that) but my income from writing has increased (see paragraph one) to the point where I earn more money from writing than I do as a 40% teacher in an elementary school. If I wrote full-time and retired from the teaching biz, the bottom line would be even better I’m sure, but I don’t teach for the money, nor do I write for the money. I do both because I believe that’s what God meant me to do. Yes, it’s a business. Yes I approach it that way and I want to sell books and it’s great to be able to fund a trip to Disneyland for the bear cubs, but there’s something more to it than dollars and cents. For me, writing doesn’t pay all the bills and it likely never will, but it’s my passion and who can put a price on that?

So what’s your passion? Do you do spend time on something that won’t result in much money in your pocket? Do share. 🙂

One response to this post.

  1. Reblogged this on Cozynookbks and commented:
    From the Stranger Than Fiction blog by Dana Mentink. Feb 2013

    Like

    Reply

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