What being a writer truly looks like…
More than once I have been introduced as “Marie-she writes books.” Most of the time this happens at company functions, business meetings, or a work social socials as a conversation starter. And over 90% of the time people ask the same question;
“Why are you still working here?”
I have also been asked by aspiring authors:
“How fast can I expect to see the money roll in?”
You more than likely won’t see more than maybe $60 roll in each month-and that’s being generous.
This answer is usually followed up with either “then why do it?” or “then what do you do all day?”
Truth, writing for most of us, published or not, is a labor of love-not a step to instant wealth and fame. You will spend a ton of money, for next to nothing in return. And your work will be filled with your blood, sweat, and tears. Most authors will never be able to quit the 9-5 and make enough off their books to pay the mortgage, or even buy that very much needed cup of Joe.
In reply to the “why do it”-I love it! I feel accomplished every time a book gets sold or even picked up and looked over during a signing or convention. I get high off the “I did this!” rush of opening a shipment of a new release I created from start to finish and holding it in my hands for the very first time.
As for the “Then what do you do all day?” Well-let’s take a peek into a normal, glamour filled day in an author’s life, shall we?
On any calendar my days look like this:
Pick a day, any day, let’s go with Thursday…
You can find me Thursdays at a normal office job from 8-4:30, running figures, answering questions, forgetting I get 30 minutes for break when doing an interview during the lunch bell, budgets, NOI’s, Income and output, and trying so hard all day not to bang my head against the desk.
Then off to make dinner for the family and tidy up the shambles that a house filled with boys becomes on a daily bases.
By 5:30 we’re packing into a car and off to piano lessons for one of those boys.
From piano, the child gets abandoned back home so mom can make a 6:30 school meeting that will last until 9-9:30. Back home, I’ll have just enough time to make a cup of tea before reminding the children there is school in the morning. Once they are properly threatened into their beds I’ll sit down and read an episode of ACN’s Podcast Indie Beginning – and while it’s still fresh in my mind, and the children have given up all hopes in being up passed 10, I’ll record that piece I just reviewed. That, on a good day, can take an hour.
Then, we’re off to return ACN emails, before opening notes from the editor and approving her red marks, create a new advertisement, shoot off inquiries for marketing, balance the ACN accounts, and do all the small business owner type stuff I can squeeze in an hour.
Let’s roll to midnight shall we? I’ve forgotten about the cup of tea, so I hit reheat on the microwave, knowing full well it’ll still be in the heat-it-up machine tomorrow, forgotten completely until I go to put another fresh cup in there. So by midnight; I have a new WIP open, the room dark, and music humming through headphones…and I write…and write…and write…
Next thing you know its 3 a.m. and I’ve either not filled a page, or I’ve rambled on the sheets for thousands of words.
Bed…Friday starts at 7…
My day looks pretty much like yours, no? Most authors work two jobs, one to pay the car insurance, the other pays nothing monetary, but holds a net worth of a million bucks mentally. We don’t drive a Mercedes or live in a swanky palace, my home is split up between living spaces and home offices. And for me, that’s ok.
My writing career as it stands today is enough for me that outside of my day job, I never introduce myself as an affordable housing specialist; instead when asked “what do you do?” I’ll reply with author or writer.
In an author’s world the mental gain far outweighs any monetary profit.