I would love to say that writing for a living can be done without also holding another form of income to supplement one’s income but this has not been true for me so far. If you are in the same boat as me, here are some ways in which you may stay in the realm of living a writer’s life and still generate an income, on top of your demanding yet often fulfilling, job as a writer.
Start a blog:Pick a topic you are passionate about and when you manage to make time between your busy work and home lifestyle, build content before going live with your blog. Know your topic and do your research when necessary.
Blogs can be a source of generating revenue while perfecting your writing skills or cutting that novel from 100,000 words to 50,000. (Hopefully you have a gracious editor whom is only asking you to flesh out your characters or limit your use of exclamation marks and superfluous words.)
Put your editing skills to use and become an Editor
To use the Oxford comma or not? That is sometimes the question. If you have experience editing you’ve got one foot in the door, if not, try volunteering to build your editing credits. Acquiring experience as an editor of social media content, novels or articles for print will build your vocabulary and your grammar skills. If you can, pick up or borrow from the library, a copy of Strunk and White’s, The Elements of Style, or read The Canadian Press Style Guide and learn more about or refresh your memory on editing do’s and don’ts.
Upgrade your Education
While this route proves to take longer to assist in increasing one’s income, especially due to the soaring costs of student tuition over the years, pursuing a course, like Creative Writing, Screen Writing, or a Publishing Program, can lead to exciting opportunities in the fields of Literary Agents, Story Consultant, Non-Fiction writer, Editor (you could enjoy a career coaching others in the field of writing while writing in the process) or Journalist. If you are determined enough, you will eventually get the rewarding title of author. While a higher education is not a pre-requisite to becoming an author, a vast education helps expand the mind. Whether you are just completing high school or you have acquired a BA at college or university, upgrading can lead to new and sometimes exciting job opportunities.
Get a Job at a Bookstore
Working in retail surrounded by books can be a rewarding experience for several reasons: if you are working on the floor you sometimes get to hear the opinions of customers about what they liked about the book they are hoping to buy and sometimes why. You get to eavesdrop on conversations, which, whether or not every writer admits it, is an invaluable opportunity to generate story ideas, and you get to know the market, what writers are producing the same type of work as you. Maybe even do some leisure reading on your break to learn about other authors’ writing styles.
- Volunteer your time as a Speaker or Writing Mentor or Join a Professional Writers Association
- If you are a skilled writer and you have some publishing credits to your name, volunteering your time at speaking engagements may seem fruitless, as again, the profits of such a feat aren’t immediately visible but here’s the thing: speaking opportunities especially, often lead to opportunities to network with other writers and sometimes editors and publishers and that can lead to writing ventures which again, long term may be profitable.
Have you already tried any of these suggestions? Have any thoughts on the topic you’d like to add? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.