Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Writing for a Living

Quote from Narrative Magazine's "Reflections on How Writers Make a Living":

"Few occupations require so many hours of work from one person to produce the marketable good. Some simple math: This summer saw the U. S. federal minimum wage rise to $6.55 an hour, a figure somewhat increased in certain states. Let us imagine a writer who spends two years writing a first novel, working full-time—quite a clip for a first book—and sells the novel for an excellent advance of $25,000. In every state, she would have found a counter job at McDonald’s more lucrative."

And this fact is what I've been stressing about for weeks--okay, months and months. However, it pleases me to read that finishing a first novel in two years, writing full-time, is considered possible, but difficult. (I am nearing the two year mark and am feeling uncertain about it.)

8 comments:

John Soanes said...

And one would like to think that the written word has a more lasting and positive effect than a burger and fries, once digested...
J

Yvonne said...

Like John said, you're actually doing something that is of great worth and is incredibly satisfying...it is a slow burn financially but you will get there, I know you will.

Angie said...

Thanks for the laugh, John. One would certainly hope the written word has a longer lasting effect than McDs...so to speak. ;)

Yvonne, I try to remind myself that it's of great worth, but it's definitely more satisfying than most jobs. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

It would be so much easier if we'd dreamt of being engineers, wouldn't it? :)

Annie Wicking said...

It took my three years to write my first novel but eight years to learn how to write i.e. learn grammar etc. I have been rewriting my first novel as I send it out and get feedback on it.

I don't think its how long it took you to write it, it's how good your writing is that counts.

Best wishes,

Annie

Angie said...

Annie, thanks for visiting and welcome. :)
You're definitely right that it's the quality that matters most. I took the past two years off to write my novel, and I felt like I should be finished already, so I was relieved to see that I am in fact writing at a reasonable pace. Persistence and patience should be the writer's motto.
Best wishes with your writing.

leslie said...

Hello Angie,
Came by via the Black Box.

I calculated, only once, that I was making $1.29 per hour as a graphic artist.

The Dotterel said...

God, I'd kill for an advance like that, and it's been longer than two years in my case. It's more satisfying than McDonalds though, isn't it?

Angie said...

Leslie, thanks for commenting. Isn't the black box widget addicting? :)
I think it's best I don't calculate, it's too painful!

Dotterel, thanks for visiting.
I know what you mean, that advance sounds fantastic. Yes, and at least I'm not surrounded by that nauseating smell while I work at home. ;)