Don’t give up the day job: a reminder

Sometimes I almost forget how difficult it is to make a living from fiction. And then something comes along to remind me.

Most recently, the reminder came in form of an article by Sarah Sheridan in the Huffington Post, about what writer’s earn. Not much, on average, is the unsurprising conclusion. It reminded me of a talk I went to at Edinburgh University, about producing cultural product, even if the stats that Sarah quotes are a little more positive (50% of producers get 50% of the money, as opposed to 75%/25%).

Writer’s, even successful writers, don’t just write. They lecture, review, write copy, and hold down all kinds of jobs not at all related to writing to get ends to meet. You don’t write for the money, you do it because you want to. Writing, like nursing, is a calling. (On average, nursing pays better.)

One comment on “Don’t give up the day job: a reminder

  1. I was through at the writers circle last week and we were being interviewed by a student afterwards in the pub.

    She asks, “What’s it like being a writer?”
    The pros intone in unison, “Poor”.

    🙁

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