Monday, August 20, 2012

Some Advice

'Oh no, not more advice.  I'm swamped with advice on how to become a writer.'

First up, if you write, you're already a writer, so I can't advise you on that.  Secondly, getting published is easy, you just self-publish via Amazon and you're done

'So what are you going to tell me then?'

Not much, but I guarantee you'll like it...or maybe not.

Most people can earn some money from writing, just not very much.  Research from the Guardian shows that over half of self-published writers earn less than $500 year.  The stats for traditionally published writers aren't a whole lot better.  The survey (1,007 writers) also had the following snippet:

It's also best to be female, educated and in your early 40s: the survey's "top earners" – those who indicated they could live exclusively off their earnings – were 68% female, and 33% had a degree, compared to an average of 28%. High earners also dedicated more of their time to their writing, churning out 2,047 words a day on average, as compared to 1,557 for the rest of the sample.

What they fail to tell you is the majority of writers work part time or as a second job, a good number of whom are happy with that situation, so you have to treat statistics like these with care.  What is interesting for budding authors is the amount of time the 'successful' writers put into the job.  High earners also dedicated more of their time to their writing, churning out 2,047 words a day on average.  Can you manage 2000 words a day?

The survey is not the only source of the one piece of wisdom that comes through with each and every article, blog, email and spoken word: work at what you do, every day.

And that's it.  If your aim is get published traditionally, then that's almost the only thing you need to do.  If you go down the self-publishing route then you'll have to learn about ebooks, POD, creating covers and a lot of other things too.

Or, in the words of Yoda, 'Do or do not.  There is no try.'

On that note, I bid you adieu and I'll see you on Wednesday, when I'll blog about the myth of traditional publishing.


Lisa Shafer said...

I like the Yoda pie chart. :D

Nearly Martha said...

So why, when I know that this is true, do I struggle so much to do it?

Lauren said...

I was doing close to 2000 even with a full time job, so I should be able to do more now, right?

Wrong...It's all the internet's fault. Logging off now to go write (after I change the laundry).


Martin Willoughby said...

Lisa: It's better than a Yoda Pie.

Martha: Because you're human?

Lauren: Oh, the writer's work is never done.

Victoria Lindstrom said...

"If no mistake have you made, yet losing you are...a different game you should play." Yoda (He!He!) As usual, thanks for the wit, Martin!

defcon said...

Yoda pie chart is awesome.

I wish I'd write more on a day-to-day basis, but at the same time, I like taking time out to read, or browse the Youtubes.

Martin Willoughby said...

Victoria: Yoda, source of all life's wisdom.

Defcon: So youtube is your achilles heel. Mine's facebook.

JennaQuentin said...

Great info. Yup, doesn't it always come down to the need to just write? Thanks for sharing and for your comment on my blog!

Martin Willoughby said...

Jenna: Sometimes the simplest answer is the correct one.

Jay Noel said...

I know several writers that fall right into that sweetspot, and they all have something in common: they don't work a job (or work very part time). They are fortunate to have a very supportive husband who makes a good living.

In my situation, I'm the awesome husband! So I try to do the best I can with a crazy hectic traveling schedule and a high profile job.

Martin Willoughby said...

Jay: And some women think men don't work hard. ;)