Saturday, May 21, 2011

Is anybody out there?

As I was trying to fall asleep last night this thought came to me--- How do you know when you've crossed the line from positive thinking and dreaming big, to kidding yourself and becoming delusional? Common sense tells me that I should believe all those publishing professionals who say it's damn near impossible to make a living from writing fiction. So why do I cling to the fantasy that if I work really hard, and write really good stories, eventually it will happen? I suppose the answer is obvious, I've spent most of life in a make believe world where good stuff happens to nice people and bad stuff only happens to the mean icky people (nevermind that I made them up too.)
 Another thought has occurred to me. What number constitutes making a living? If all those experts are talking about fifty grand a year, then yeah, that's a bit high for most writers. I make half that working part time as a grocery clerk. (Don't take this personally grocery shoppers, but I don't want to wait on you anymore.) So here's my plan, I'll convince my husband that he needs a new  hobby, such as becoming one of those extreme couponing freaks who get a 1,000 dollars worth of groceries for free. (He'll only be allowed to go through the lines of clerks I don't like.) This would save us ten thousand a year. Then I'd only need to earn fifteen thousand a year from my writing.
This still seems a bit steep. I've got it! It's brilliant. I'll put out an ad to all the women who read my upcoming erotic story, bragging that the hero is actually my husband, and then I'll sell thousand dollar raffle tickets. The winner will get one night with him. Surely this will bring in another fourteen thousand a year. If my math is correct, I now only need to earn one thousand dollars from my writing this year. I can do this! This is great, perfect, amazing. Or am I becoming delusional?


  1. Hi Jean- I'm afraid I just want to read about it. I don't want to do it. And you've got to think what would happen if hubby didn't live up to the hero expectation. I don't think any man could live up to the heroes I write! :-)

    But seriously, can you make a living writing? Not many writers can. The biggest problem is that so many people have that dream, and are trying to fulfill it. The new self-publishing revolution has improved things for a lot of writers because they can keep their backlist working for them. And in some cases they can sell stories straight from their computer to the reader. But authors are just starting to discover it isn't as easy as they thought to do it right. So most of us will supplement our income, but we won't give up the day job.

    Yeah, you gotta really love writing to keep on doing it.

  2. Thanks for the input Delle. As for loving it, I'd continue writing even if I never got paid.I can't imagine a life without stories.

  3. jean, Funny post! I can relate. Like you, I've never made a lot of money, so my need for writing income is low. That's the first secret: start poor - the only direction to go is up! LOL

  4. Very funny post. I know I have always hoped to make a living writing. I wanted to quit my day job. Now I am, but it's not because I make so much writing. I'm quitting because I am retiring. Yeah me. The up side is that I will have more time to write.

  5. Thanks for your comments Sarah and Christine. Contratulations on retirement Christine. Writing time is what it's all about. And money is really all about time.