Tuesday’s post brings me neatly onto; how on earth does one write for money?!
Certainly unless you’re JK Rowling or Stephanie Meyer, you’re not going to produce £££s until coins fall out of your ears like golden rain. That takes skill and talent (Rowling) or wild, blind luck and a fanbase of nutters (Meyer).
So for someone like me, how do I make money from writing?
So far, I’ve come up with three real, workable methods (there may be more – I hope there’s more! – but I’m still working on that).
1) Writing For Other People
There are various ways to do this. One can write for individual magazines, local newspapers and websites. One can ghost write, or one can do what the lovely Kana has done, and freelance for a company who takes on a wide array of different writing assignments.
These, if you luck in with them, can provide a steady income. It might not be enough to buy your dream boat house with all the frilly trimmings, but if its enough to pay bills, buy food and keep my roof where I want it (above my head) then that leaves more time to embrace option two.
2) Writing For My Self
Not just for this blog, but I mean novels. I’m talking about novellas and self published anthologies that I can put on the market and sell.
Again, while I would love to make buckets of money from this sort of enterprise, luck, timing and the will of the powers that watch us, have a lot to do with whether that will happen. Its not a given and its silly to depend on. But surely there’s nothing to stop me from trying? And if I make a few quid each month then that is ready pocket money that I’ve made from doing something I love. What on earth is wrong with that?
3) Helping Others To Write
Dave keeps talking about this one and I love him so much for it. He asks how I feel about giving talks and seminars and sharing my experiences and knowledge with other people. I shy away from it because I have no qualification to say I can do so, but, to be frank, do I really need one? When I can show what I’m able to do, can I not share my experiences and knowledge with people who might learn from them?
I’m learning all the time; picking up hints and tips and knowledge about social media, advertising, networking, editing, formatting for various formats of ebook. Why can’t I use that knowledge, not only to help myself grow, but others too? I’m talking about young people here; folk who, in the current climate, may be so overwhelmed by doom and gloom stories that they’ve no idea that their creative urges can still be fulfilled, so long as they’re willing to work for it. The next Charles Dickens could be hiding in a school somewhere, and we might never find them because the whole world insists that they need to be [insert generic money-making job title here] to get by in the world.
What about things like editing and proof reading? I’ve been through university; academic and technical writing are both things I have skills in. Why can I not offer out those for a fee? Obviously I would need to gather some real, tangible experience and testimonials for that sort of thing but I’ve done it in the past and helped people lift lift grades from fails into solid passes.
In short, there are lots of ways that I can do my part to support my growing family with something I love so very, very much. If you can think of more, hey, let me in on it and I’ll add it to my list of ‘things I’m considering.’
I’m so absolutely determined now that I’m going to make this work. I have to, not just for me and my kids, but for the memory of young, sceptical me who looked out at the world and was afraid of it. The young me who almost gave up on doing what she wanted with her life. I need to show her that it was okay to dream and prove that with the right amount of work, dedication and stubborn bullheadedness, we can get what we want. I want my kids to know that too.
What do you think folks? Can you think of any other avenues I can try?