Saturday, May 14, 2016

It would be nice if I could make a real living at writing

I gave up on making a career out of writing a long, long time ago and that was before I decided to switch from fiction writing to article writing. I used to joke that there was more of a chance of me finding money at the beach with a metal detector than there was me becoming a success with writing. It's just too difficult. It can happen, sure. You might make some money. But enough money to live off? Only a very select few are that lucky and sometimes I pity them. Look at George R.R Martin. The poor bastard can't go anywhere without someone asking him "Have you finished your next book?" I couldn't handle the pressure.

Since having a child I don't have the time or energy to write fiction anymore and I was feeling a bit down about it. I felt like I wasn't really a writer anymore. But then I decided to change direction and switch to writing articles. I felt encouraged again. I could do this. Writing an article is a lot like writing an essay. You do a lot of research and then you put your thoughts onto paper. What's good about writing an article compared to fiction writing is it is a lot easier than writing fiction and I can finish an article in a weekend. A decent short story or novel could take me months or even longer.

Once I finish university next year I am going to try and devote a lot of time to writing articles and see where it takes me. Will I make a career out of this? I don't know. Maybe. I think there's more of a chance of it happening than me becoming a best selling author. I am in the process of trying to build up experience and a bit of a port folio. One thing annoys me though and that's how many people expect me to work for them for free. There are benefits to working for free. You get exposure. You get experience. Those are both good things. But not being paid annoys me. It doesn't seem fair. Writing is hard, hard work. I find it frustrating that writers let themselves work for peanuts or even less. If we are working for you as writers for your magazine don't we deserve minimum wage at least? You would think so right? But apparently, nope.

I like places that will pay me $100 per article. It's a decent amount of pocket money. It's fair. It's rewarding me for my work. I've accepted I can probably never make a living doing this but the very least publications can do is chuck me a couple of peanuts per article. Give me some reward. Don't get me wrong. Being published is great. But you know what else is great? Paying the bills.

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