On Day Jobs and Starving Artists


No problem :slight_smile: My Wattpad inbox is open if you want to chat.

Even if you do end up returning to full-time work, you’ll have the knowledge and experience you’ve gained from this and you can still write, though things will take longer. At the moment you’re basically compressing what you would have done into a much shorter space of time.


Art is comforting for artists, and so is having a job where you can afford to live comfortably.

I don’t see how that’s such a bad thing. I love having an apartment and food :joy:

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I get this huge envy when I read blogs about some authors (indie or not) writing full time without a day job. I still envy them but after reading the articles above, I feel better. Besides, the pressure to constant produce and sell just to avoid working a day job is stressful. Yes, I get tired after hours of work but I get my biggest relief just by writing my stuff.

Sometimes I wonder if said authors are actually making the income from their writing…


It is mildly stressful. I’m a full-time author and I always feel like I should be producing more than I am, especially since by far the biggest boost you can get on Amazon is releasing a new book in your series. Income varies wildly by month.

In October I released a new book in my most popular series and made 10k USD
In November I still had some momentum from that and made 7k
In December the momentum kept slowing and I made 5k
In January I released the first book in a new series and made 7.5k
But this February the sales of both my series keep slowing and I might make 4k. That’s a pretty wild variance, and it really encourages me to have a new releases at least every 3-4 months.

Also, I spend around 1k a month of advertising so that needs to be deducted off these totals immediately. So if I make 4k, then -1k for advertising, then -1k for rent, 200 for insurance, I suddenly only have 1800 or so left over for daily life and savings. If I stop releasing again for 6 months the income will keep dwindling. So yeah, there’s a big pressure to keep producing content quickly, and I do worry that it’s not my best work as I need to get it out there ASAP. Now, the positive part is that all these books and series are indefinite income earners so long as I keep flogging them. So I might only have 3 books out now, but when I have 10 books out in 2 years I won’t have to squeeze as much money daily out of each to make a decent living.


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, three is the magic number. Before you have three books out, it’s best to concentrate on more content then to “work on marketing” – because you don’t have much to sell. I’d say 90% - 95% of the time should be on writing and with the 5% to 10% of the time you do spend on marketing, it should be concentrating on getting reviews (because until you have at least 10+ reviews on Amazon and 25+ reviews on Amazon you don’t want to turn on the marketing efforts as people don’t like to be guinea pigs.


Most authors (including myself) don’t/didn’t earn as much as you with so few released books. So, you are doing very well. As long as you continue to focus on high-quality work, I’m sure you’ll continue to do well and there is plenty of “upside” in your trajectory.


Elizabeth Gilbert wrote a book on creativity and creative living, it’s called “Big Magic.” She shares Wendig’s opinion about keeping a day job and having no shame in it. It’s a fantastic read, I’d highly recommend it to anyone considering making a life change to pursue their passions full-time.


What I should say is I don’t completely disagree. If you have mental or physical disabilities though, that’s an entirely different thing. Not saying that’s what he intends. I just think it’s an important qualifier: a one size fits all approach doesn’t work for everyone.

I write my work while building up to a programming job. But I’m not going to go and ditch ditches for some corporate monopoly, just so I can fulfill some ceo executives wet dream of being exploited on the job.

I’ve known people like this, that seem have an unrealistic idea of what people are capable of, and expect it to work for everyone.


I agree that having a life outside writing is super important! My job and outside interests have informed my writing in some very interesting ways, and there’s something crucial to me about getting outside and moving that stimulates those brain cells in ways just sitting around at home all day cannot.


I work as a full-time writer. Unfortunately, it’s not novel writing. I spend my days tapping out articles for other people’s blogs. Today’s topic: The benefits of party rental companies.

I write thousands of words to pay the bills, and on the weekends even if I want to write–can my hands take it? Or should I rest them for next week?

And then I go and spend words gabbing on this forum. XD


Well, at least here you are part of a global community of wordies. I’m a comms specialist and I write gazillions of words nobody wants to read. Okay, fair enough, since I focus on internal comms things have got a lot better.
Have you tried voice recognition software? Not sure if it would work for me, I need to see words on a screen

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Yes, but until I get a private office I will not be using it again. When I hurt my wrist a few months back, I tried it in order to get through my gigs. Rip roaring throughout the house was something like:
" As the fashion industry continues to develop and change, it will be interesting how we view clothing in ten years time. Will we see men wearing dresses, or women wearing ties? The lines are already blurring, it may not be as far away as we’d think. Fashion is always changing, and with it, our views on what makes gender may change right along with it."

My husband: What are you doing?

Me: I’m working, go away.

-Finds a private location-

-Starts working on an article for a gay magazine-

The kids:

Let’s just say I worked from like 1AM to 5AM and then still had to be mom from 5:01AM to 8PM. That was the end of voice recognition software.


I had the same problem in college. After all those papers, the last thing I wanted to do was fire up the word processor in my down time. Of course I could still mess about on social media, since that’s not the same long form process.


Me right now. I’m struggling.

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