I’m not exactly racking in the dough writing this book full time. Hopefully I’ll make a little cash when it’s finally published, but for now my annual income is, well, nada.
This is the first time since graduate school that I don’t have a salary. For the last few years, I worked my dream job reporting for a daily newspaper, the Houston Chronicle, getting paid to write, ask questions and stick my nose where it otherwise might not belong.
I even managed to make some money last year as I backpacked through Africa, freelancing for several newspapers. (Read my favorite of those pieces: A story about why polygamy is declining in Cameroon.)
But now I’ve given up a paycheck to create a manuscript. How can I afford to do that? For one, I’ve got no one to support except myself: no hubby, no children, not even a pet to worry about. Secondly, as I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I moved back in with my parents (who are cool enough to have me). Without rent and all the bills that come along with an apartment, life is pretty cheap. And lastly, I saved money while working at the Chronicle that I can now fall back on.
I am working a part-time job, coaching a high school softball team, which helps cover expenses like health insurance and my new laptop. But as my savings dwindle and my parents solicit my help for chores like this weekend’s garage sale, increasingly I wonder: How do writers support themselves?
Some authors work full-time in non-writing jobs and write on the side. (Now that I understand how time-consuming it is to write a book, I’m super impressed by these people.) Others maintain writing as their first priority and make a living with a side career. And a few lucky and hard-working writers manage to support themselves solely off their word creations.
I still haven’t found the perfect solution. And so I ask you, writer readers of this blog: How do you fund your writing pursuits?