Can you make a living from writing?
I read an interesting Instagram post from Tom Cox (@cox_tom) a few days ago. He has written five books in the last five years and eight books before that - but when he looks at his royalty statement and considers the cost of housing and fuel, he says he feels like, 'it's not enough, I'm not enough.'
He is working hard on these books and feels proud of what he has achieved and yet he wonders could he try harder? He worries that all his writing doesn't lead him to any kind of financial security, which, however much he isn’t financially motivated, is still a weight on his mind and affects his creativity.
On a positive note, he finishes his post by saying, he feels lucky that he gets to write and he gets immense support from friends, family and social media, which helps.
But it does leave that question hanging in the air - how do people afford to become writers? I am at the point where I need to get a 'proper job'. I can't afford to stay home writing for much longer. I have all the usual things to pay for and with one of the kids just starting Uni, I must be practical.
I know, however, that if I don't write regularly, I get irritable as I need to let the words come out - I have so many stories inside me that I want to tell, so many poems swirling about in my head. I can't just stop writing.
I have come up with one idea that would leave most of my time free to write, but I would need to do a vast amount of work initially, to get it going. I would have to self-promote, which doesn't come naturally. But, in order to stay writing, I am willing to give it a go - It may be a complete disaster but I can try. And it is writing-related.
I am going to start to do writing workshops in my area. Offering workshops for beginners and intermediate writers on building characters, locations and language in fiction. Ways to plan a novel and how to consider endings, for example. I have so many ideas that I need to think about so I know exactly what each type of workshop will offer.
I have loads of experience of running corporate workshops - and I used to be good at that - so this is a logical next step - so yes, I will need a venue and people to attend and I will have to leave my desk (briefly).
So can I make a living from writing - I hope so. I want to and it may not be from my novels or my poems or the magazine I co-founded, but by helping other people to be better writers.
If you like this - Please like and share - If you live in or around Birmingham and would be interested in attending one of my workshops in the new year - please email me.
***If you wondering about the relevance of this pic. It is just about to be a greeting card in my Etsy shop - another way I try to make a bit of extra cash. The photo was taken on the estuary at Arthog in Wales.