Other Jobs for Novelists

Be A NovelistNot many novelists are positioned financially so they can write full-time. Especially not in the early days. That becomes a plaguing problem for many. What to do? Writing early mornings; writing late at night? Take a part-time job to leave time for writing? Ignore the family and write every weekend?

This was definitely a problem for me. I sold insurance, dabbled in real estate investing (that was a mess), tried every online marketing scheme that was ever out there. But I still struggled with how to make a living and still have energy left over to pen my novels.

I had to chuckle when I watched this YouTube video about this very subject. (I especially laughed when he mentioned insurance – which literally ate my lunch in terms of time and energy.)

In his defense his point is more about the subject of whether or not to get an English degree, or a degree in creative writing. But he does then move over into a discussion about novelists. (Sign up for plumbing anyone?)

My final solution has been this. I now earn my living (as such) by freelance writing. This —

  • Keeps me in my home office
  • Keeps my writing skills sharp
  • Allows me to quickly switch from a paid assignment over to working on my own writing projects and/or my own online promotions – because I’m in my office and at the computer anyway.

This is not the solution for everyone; it has been the solution for me. And, quite obviously, this has been made possible in these latter years solely due to the marvelous opportunities for working online through such venues as www.elance.com, www.odesk.com, and www.guru.com. For which I will be eternally grateful.

So where are you on the issue? Do you struggle to carve out time to write what YOU dream of writing (and long to write)? And still bring home the bacon. (Must have a worn cliché every once in a while to keep things lively.)

Share your solutions. Leave your comments below.

PS: I touched on this subject in my blog entitled “My Fiction Quill Lay Unused.” (I learned that Nathaniel Hawthorne had the very same problem way back then, as we do today. Hmm.)


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4 thoughts on “Other Jobs for Novelists

  1. Jack

    I wrote full-time for ten years, starting back in the typewriter days. I read an article by Cecil Murphy on this subject, and he’s of the opinion that writer’s also needed a “day job” to help support their writing. And, since I was struggling, I went back to work. But the nature of my work — retail — doesn’t hinder my creativity as such. Instead, my retail experiences give me plenty of material to work with in my writing. I plan on doing it full-time again once I retire,which is within about four years. Looking forward to it.

  2. Jack

    I forgot to add that Cecil did say, in that same article, that once a writer started earning enough money from his craft, he could then quit his day job and go full-time.


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