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Thread: Can WRITING be a full time job?


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Jonathan B

Posts: 4,599
Registered: 10/23/12
Re: Can WRITING be a full time job?
Posted: Dec 30, 2017 7:17 PM   in response to: Brad the wronger in response to: Brad the wronger
 
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Brad the wronger wrote:
obeying the Amazon directive

My interest in scifi is fairly limited. Liege and Gracie pushed my boundaries. I'm lagging behind in my reading anyway. I do recommend them to others, though.

What I'm waiting for is a medical mercenary series. A studly blue-eyed 60yo corpsman leading a small team of medics and grunts, doing DoD rescue and recovery jobs. Of course, one of them would be a sexy 20-something yo medic, just out and needing work. There would have to be some late night utility hanky panky, just because they can. (Who doesn't look good in civ utilities?) I can see a series around them. Raqqa, Diqla, some mountainous 'stan, the Mog, Gaza.


Sounds like a sound concept. Go for it!
acornwriter

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Re: Can WRITING be a full time job?
Posted: Dec 30, 2017 10:14 PM   in response to: Elodie in response to: Elodie
 
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I went fulltime several years ago, but it's a very lonely existence.

Yeah... I hear you. Especially fiction. When I write non-fiction, I feel like I'm talking to real people. When I write fiction, it keeps me mentally isolated. I go back and forth. But the isolation is not good for one's head. My husband works full time.

When I go to the grocery store, I talk to everybody. Ah... people! Makes me feel young and alive again.
Aaron James Fra...

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Registered: 03/13/15
Re: Can WRITING be a full time job?
Posted: Dec 31, 2017 1:05 AM   in response to: Jonathan B in response to: Jonathan B
 
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Jonathan B wrote:
This is a very real factor, and it is a big reason I go to six or seven conventions a year. Also, at a recent writers-only conference, I found out that quite a few successful writers live in my city, so we've been trying to get together once a week or so.

Oh lords above, that's a hell of a lot of work. I'm guessing you've had to paperback a few of your books for it, or do you just go as one of the masses? My partner has a table for her artwork at conventions here in the UK and she loves it.
Jonathan B

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Registered: 10/23/12
Re: Can WRITING be a full time job?
Posted: Dec 31, 2017 8:16 AM   in response to: Aaron James Fra... in response to: Aaron James Fra...
 
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Aaron James Francis wrote:
Jonathan B wrote:
This is a very real factor, and it is a big reason I go to six or seven conventions a year. Also, at a recent writers-only conference, I found out that quite a few successful writers live in my city, so we've been trying to get together once a week or so.

Oh lords above, that's a hell of a lot of work. I'm guessing you've had to paperback a few of your books for it, or do you just go as one of the masses? My partner has a table for her artwork at conventions here in the UK and she loves it.


I love going to them, and I look forward to each one.

I go as a participant, sitting on panels. I've only got one presentation in London the first weekend in February at a writers conference, but that one has some of the highest-earning indies presenting as well, so I will be taking notes on how to up my own game. Later in February, I have a con where I will be on nine panels, which will be the most I've had at one con. And in November, I will be a guest of honor at a con in Atlanta.

I truly enjoy the cons, so I don't mind the work aspect. In Helsinki, they had a table for indie works, and I completely sold out every paperback I brought. And all my expenses are tax deductable, so there's that.

And yes, there is the ego thing. I had Jerry Pournelle volunteer that he read one of my books and thought "it wasn't a half-bad book." :) In Helsinki, I was standing with George Martin outside the green room before he was going to sign autographs for half of the city, and a man walked up to us, book in hand. I stepped back to let him approach George, but the man came up to me. It was my book in his hand, and he wanted my autograph, not even acknowledging George. That will never happen again, and I wanted to make some humorous remark to George in the lines of someday he'll have fans, too, but well, he is George Martin, after all, and I said nothing.

The cons may be work, but I love them. I love meeting the fans, I love being a fan, and most of all, I love meeting fellow writers and just socializing.
uncle1282

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Registered: 12/20/10
Re: Can WRITING be a full time job?
Posted: Dec 31, 2017 11:36 AM   in response to: Dapo Sodade in response to: Dapo Sodade
 
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I married a wife 15 years younger, who still works while I write. I recommend this approach.
C. Gold

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Re: Can WRITING be a full time job?
Posted: Dec 31, 2017 4:31 PM   in response to: Jonathan B in response to: Jonathan B
 
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Oh Jonathan, that's awesome! Maybe you should have teased George, he strikes me as having a good sense of humor.
Jonathan B

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Registered: 10/23/12
Re: Can WRITING be a full time job?
Posted: Dec 31, 2017 4:57 PM   in response to: C. Gold in response to: C. Gold
 
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C. Gold wrote:
Oh Jonathan, that's awesome! Maybe you should have teased George, he strikes me as having a good sense of humor.

He does, and if this hadn't been the first time I'd talked to him, I might have. Then again, maybe not. I was in more than a little awe in the green room to be included in the little group chatting (him, his handler, and two other writers, one of whom already knew him well).

I love going to the cons, and I love meeting my fans, but I was a reader long before I was a writer, and I'm a fanboy just like all the rest. I've been lucky to meet so many of the writers whose work I've long enjoyed over the years.
C. Gold

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Registered: 02/17/15
Re: Can WRITING be a full time job?
Posted: Dec 31, 2017 5:55 PM   in response to: Jonathan B in response to: Jonathan B
 
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I'd be the same way. I still get that giddy feeling when the writers I've read/enjoyed books of post on kboards. It's weird being a fan as well as a peer (or maybe a mini-peer?).
Jonathan B

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Registered: 10/23/12
Re: Can WRITING be a full time job?
Posted: Dec 31, 2017 6:38 PM   in response to: C. Gold in response to: C. Gold
 
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C. Gold wrote:
I'd be the same way. I still get that giddy feeling when the writers I've read/enjoyed books of post on kboards. It's weird being a fan as well as a peer (or maybe a mini-peer?).

I know exactly how you feel.
novalray

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Registered: 10/31/11
Re: Can WRITING be a full time job?
Posted: Dec 31, 2017 10:07 PM   in response to: Jonathan B in response to: Jonathan B
 
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I know how you feel. I had a big time science fiction author email me the other day wanting to know if I had the time to read an ARC of his newest book and make recommendations. He then mentioned he had read several of my books and really enjoyed them. I was amazed he had even read them or knew who I was.

Edited by: novalray on Dec 31, 2017 10:08 PM
B.L. Alley

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Registered: 06/14/14
Re: Can WRITING be a full time job?
Posted: Jan 1, 2018 6:39 AM   in response to: Dapo Sodade in response to: Dapo Sodade
 
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A relative few can, but most end up sacrificing quality for quantity once they get a taste of success. Being disabled I could certainly use the income, but I'm still not willing to published high-volume junk. If I can't make money selling the stories I truly wanted to tell, then so be it. Self respect may not pay the bills, but it's still important to some people.
Ron Chappell

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Registered: 12/30/12
Re: Can WRITING be a full time job?
Posted: Jan 1, 2018 7:12 AM   in response to: Jonathan B in response to: Jonathan B
 
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" I make my living as a writer. It took me four years to have the confidence to quit my other job, but I am glad I did. This is a much better lifestyle."

Jonathan and I jumped into novels about the same time and have corresponded over the years—he's being modest when he refers to the "other job," the one he quit to go full time. It was a significant position and one that would give pause to anyone considering leaving for a writing career. As Steinbeck once said, "Writing for a living makes betting on the ponies look like a sensible occupation."

I left my day job (a lesser one I assure you) about the same time as Jonathan, but he has far outstripped my production. Two books a year appears to be my limit, and I have only seven books in my current (and only) series—still it's a living far beyond what I envisioned when starting out. My original intention was to write a book that would buy a new set of tires for my truck. Then I got lucky.

It was just at the tail-end of the gold rush in KDP and far easier to gain traction back then. Now it's much tougher to secure a foothold, still, I encourage new writers of talent to give it their best shot. Not everyone will make it, but those who do will be of a caliber that raises the standard for all Indies.
Jonathan B

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Registered: 10/23/12
Re: Can WRITING be a full time job?
Posted: Jan 1, 2018 8:28 AM   in response to: novalray in response to: novalray
 
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novalray wrote:
I know how you feel. I had a big time science fiction author email me the other day wanting to know if I had the time to read an ARC of his newest book and make recommendations. He then mentioned he had read several of my books and really enjoyed them. I was amazed he had even read them or knew who I was.

It is a pretty good feeling when something like that happens. It is like a big "I have arrived" moment.
Jonathan B

Posts: 4,599
Registered: 10/23/12
Re: Can WRITING be a full time job?
Posted: Jan 1, 2018 8:53 AM   in response to: Ron Chappell in response to: Ron Chappell
 
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Ron Chappell wrote:
" I make my living as a writer. It took me four years to have the confidence to quit my other job, but I am glad I did. This is a much better lifestyle."

Jonathan and I jumped into novels about the same time and have corresponded over the years—he's being modest when he refers to the "other job," the one he quit to go full time. It was a significant position and one that would give pause to anyone considering leaving for a writing career. As Steinbeck once said, "Writing for a living makes betting on the ponies look like a sensible occupation."

I left my day job (a lesser one I assure you) about the same time as Jonathan, but he has far outstripped my production. Two books a year appears to be my limit, and I have only seven books in my current (and only) series—still it's a living far beyond what I envisioned when starting out. My original intention was to write a book that would buy a new set of tires for my truck. Then I got lucky.

It was just at the tail-end of the gold rush in KDP and far easier to gain traction back then. Now it's much tougher to secure a foothold, still, I encourage new writers of talent to give it their best shot. Not everyone will make it, but those who do will be of a caliber that raises the standard for all Indies.

Ron, now you are being modest. Your books are excellent, and they then tend to have longer legs than most of mine. N.A. came out four years ago (on my birthday) and still sells well. It was also one of the books that really showed me that indie books can be as "professional" as any trad-published book.

I think I might have told you before, I liberally took mannerisms and cultural observations from your books to create one of my major characters in my main series.

campcomms

Posts: 293
Registered: 03/03/12
Re: Can WRITING be a full time job?
Posted: Jan 1, 2018 9:21 AM   in response to: Dapo Sodade in response to: Dapo Sodade
 
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I've been a professional writer since 1969. Ads, brochures, newsletters, direct mail, online articles, industrial videos. I've had a very satisfying life doing what I like to do and was trained to do.

Are you saying that being a novelist is the only kind of writing that is worth anything or something to be proud of? I'm very proud of the professional writing I've accomplished.

Oh yeah. I publish novels on Amazon. Do I make a living at it? Heck no. But, yes, WRITING can easily be a full time job.
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