Thursday, January 6, 2011

Making a living at writing?

In a recent post by Jim Hines on his blog, he shared details about his writing income that I thought very interesting. 
Last year he made around $25,000 from his writing. Not bad, but I wouldn’t call that enough to live on. I’m sure plenty of people do, and maybe I’m outing myself as living high on the hog, but I sit down every year and list all my expenses. I certainly don’t feel like I live extravagantly when I look at my monthly bills:
Mortgage
Life Insurance
Auto Insurance
Internet
Cell Phone
Home Phone
Netflix
Electric
Water/Sewage/Trash
I don’t have cable, turned that off a few years ago, I also don’t subscribe to a gym, golf club or a myriad of other things that chip away at my income. As you can see from the list Netflix, and cell phones are about all I would consider not ‘mandatory’ so very little could be cut from this list.
All of these together add up to $21,000 a year! This doesn’t even include our other expenses like gas, groceries, car maintenance, household supplies, school activity fees, clothes, all those Kindle books I keep buying.
My point here is that basic needs for my family wouldn’t even be covered by the reliable portion of Jim’s income and he’s been at this for a while now.
For now I’m going to have to rely on my cushy day-job, which is what Jim does.
Some things we don’t think about when we’re sitting in our cushy 8-5 jobs are things like health insurance, and the fact that self-employed people have to pay the part of Social Security that their employer currently pays. I know I’m missing other things too, for that I recommend John Scalzi’s much more comprehensive analysis.
It’s a rough life, but something I hope to achieve someday. For now I just need to be content to plod along, working on my next novel, editing my last, and learning all I can about the business and craft of writing. 
I can only hope my graph looks as good as Jim 7 years from now. 

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