What’s it Worth to be a Writer?


Like many writers I know, I also have a day job.

Many of us tell ourselves that it’s just temporary, just until we can get our big break. Sure, I’ve been guilty of that, too, but over time I’ve become more realistic.

And here is my reality: in 19 years, I will retire from my day job.

The good thing about this is that I love my day job. I don’t think I’d quit, even if I could. So the idea of retiring in 19 years isn’t especially heart breaking for me. I’m not slaving away at a job I hate while I wait for the big break. I have a job I love at a site I love with coworkers I adore. And you can’t beat the clientele for cuteness (3-6 year olds, now that mine are almost seven and nine? Awesome. I get my baby fix every day. Not many people can say that). So I’m not sad about that.

But here’s the reality, folks. Writers don’t make a ton of money. Certainly, not for the hours we put in. For a long time, I felt bad that my books hadn’t taken off. Sure, I never expected to be the next Dan Brown or Sylvia Day, but I thought a little extra cash on the side would be nice.

Then I found this article.

I don’t feel so bad, anymore.

Last year, I did pretty well comparatively. Not enough to retire on, or even enough to put down a down payment on a new car, but it was enough to buy myself a new laptop, so that’s something.

I don’t write for the money. I don’t teach for it either, because I won’t become rich doing either one. The recognition of all that work is nice, but I write because I love it, because I have a story to tell and I’m the only one who can do it justice. Since I’m no bard (no one needs to hear that from me), I guess writing is the way to do it.

So, to all of you who are aspiring: the odds are you won’t become rich writing. But just because the majority of writers never hit it big doesn’t mean that Lady Luck won’t smile upon you. Or me. Even if it takes more than 19 years to do it!

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