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TheBrokenNightmare's avatar

Tipsy Lunatic

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Starry Starry Fright
Use that money to get yourself a stable career. Get a degree, get a trade, get a job that can pay the bills. It's awfully hard to write a novel when you can't afford a computer to write it on or a place to live in while you write it. What's your second favourite thing to do? Do that. I want, more than anything, to publish a book, but I'm finishing my degree in Biomedical Engineering first - it's not writing, but it is something that I could be happy doing, and I could make a comfortable living - there will be time to write.

nothing else I like to do is very realistic. I don't really enjoy math, but I am extremly good at it. I'll get an advanced high school diploma, and probably get into a good college. But honestly, I'd rather live under a bridge doing something I enjoy than make loads of cash doing something I hate. I suppose I could just quit that job after a while, but it seems kind of a waste.
Chibi Lizzy 99

nothing else I like to do is very realistic. I don't really enjoy math, but I am extremly good at it. I'll get an advanced high school diploma, and probably get into a good college. But honestly, I'd rather live under a bridge doing something I enjoy than make loads of cash doing something I hate. I suppose I could just quit that job after a while, but it seems kind of a waste.


Then be a wretch already.
Kita-Ysabell's avatar

Distinct Conversationalist

Chibi Lizzy 99
nothing else I like to do is very realistic. I don't really enjoy math, but I am extremly good at it. I'll get an advanced high school diploma, and probably get into a good college. But honestly, I'd rather live under a bridge doing something I enjoy than make loads of cash doing something I hate. I suppose I could just quit that job after a while, but it seems kind of a waste.
This is such a very, very young thing to say.

Let me guess: you live with your parents. They make your meals, wash your clothes, pay for medical and dental bills, shop for food, buy you clothes. You're frustrated, looking at the world and realizing that people spend most of their lives doing things they don't particularly enjoy. You don't want to spend your life like that. But the truth is, you have no idea how much the "live under a bridge alternative" is going to cost you.

So figure it out. See how many things are paid for (answer: everything) from day to day, and notice what people who live under a bridge really live like. Don't imagine you'll be any different.

Making a living writing novels is like winning the lottery, or being a rock star: you can't depend on it. And that's not making it rich: that's living as if you were working minimum wage. DON'T think you'll just get by somehow. That is a fiction.

And talk to your guidance counselor. It's their job to help you think of possible futures that might not occur to you. Figure out what things you like to do and what you don't, and expand your idea of "adult work" from the, like, five careers they teach you when you're in elementary school. Don't limit your options. Graduate, go to college, graduate some more.

Take some creative writing classes as electives and develop a routine of logging significant hours writing every day, because what really divides published and unpublished authors isn't skill or imagination, it's discipline. There will be days when you hate writing as much as you hate anything, but if you shy away from things that are grindy and unpleasant, writing will be as beyond you as everything else.
The Drunken Jester's avatar

Tipsy Man-Lover

get a job, write in your spare time.
I might not be a published writer (yet XP), but the point still stands.
I got mediocre grades in high school, became a slut in my freshman year of college and dropped out. I owe them lots of money; to pay that off, I work two jobs that I'm extremely frustrated and unhappy with. I also joined the military (Army reserves ftw?) for extra money (which ends up going to things I need like gas, which is usually near empty anyway) and to eventually go back to school.

I moved out of my mom's house because I was frustrated and wanted to be independent. Wrong move. I pay $375 a month in rent for a sh***y efficiency apartment, $155 a month in debt, which in total takes a paycheck and a half, leaving half a paycheck for things like TP, laundry, gas, and $50 for my prepaid phone.

Luckily, I qualify for a grand total of $120 in food stamps a month, which helps a bunch, but I hate depending on things like that. (In before "you take my taxes!" No, see? Two jobs, I help too D smile

My point is go to school, get a degree, work a job that you don't completely hate, and make writing a side thing. Plus it helps to not always have your mind focused on your creative work. I sometimes get inspiration from little things that happen at work.

I'm not living on a writer's check, but still not very much.
I went through that when I was an HS student. I recommend shooting for 2 careers. One should be steady and be able to support you in hard times while the other should involve your writing interest. This way you will not end up as a penny-less idealist working someone's cash register for the rest of your life.

I'm getting a technical degree at University. At the same time I always continue to write and plan on taking several classes to help improve my writing. In my spare time I continue to work on my projects.
phantomkitsune's avatar

Dangerous Enabler

I tried making a living doing writing-related things for a while.

Note that I said 'writing-related things' and not 'writing.' It's an important difference. I was a freelance editor and consultant. I also picked up work illustrating. I lived that way for about six months, but it was a shitty way to make a living: I spent way more time trawling for new clients than actually editing, and my couple repeat clients were stark raving ******** nuts. I also messed up and underestimated one project, then let him pay me a lump sum: what I thought would be a week of hard work was a month of doing nothing else, then meetings. The only reason I didn't end up on the street because of that was the fact that I was living with my mother.

These days, I have a real job. I work in a field that interests me, even if it isn't my first passion, with people I like. It gets me out of the house, and pays the bills. Those things taken care of, when I'm not working (or studying to be a paramedic), I can write without stressing about it. I can write the stories I want instead of stressing over the next title because I need a sales boost to make rent. I can take on clients because the project looks fun. I can use my real-world experiences to fuel my writing.

If you want to make a living writing, finish school, get a job, get a place to live. Get a few books out. Weigh your royalty checks against your monthly expenses. Keep your job and keep writing until the numbers match. Then make writing your career.
Chibi Lizzy 99
Starry Starry Fright
Use that money to get yourself a stable career. Get a degree, get a trade, get a job that can pay the bills. It's awfully hard to write a novel when you can't afford a computer to write it on or a place to live in while you write it. What's your second favourite thing to do? Do that. I want, more than anything, to publish a book, but I'm finishing my degree in Biomedical Engineering first - it's not writing, but it is something that I could be happy doing, and I could make a comfortable living - there will be time to write.

nothing else I like to do is very realistic. I don't really enjoy math, but I am extremly good at it. I'll get an advanced high school diploma, and probably get into a good college. But honestly, I'd rather live under a bridge doing something I enjoy than make loads of cash doing something I hate. I suppose I could just quit that job after a while, but it seems kind of a waste.


You can only say this because you have everything provided for you. Growing up is a pain in the a**, but realistically, you would rather be making money than living under a bridge.

Very few people manage to live off something they love doing. Very few people your age even know what they love (it tends to change very quickly; remember you're going to be working for 40~50 years).

Think about it. No internet, no computer, plain and disgusting food, no clothes, tiny room, tiny bed, no tv, no heater/aircon, always living in the fear that you won't be able to pay your bills and will be kicked out with no one to help you. Plus the opposite sex doesn't tend to find someone like that very attractive, independence is very important in many aspects of your life. Forget ever raising a family if you can't even support yourself.

You might not like your job, but if you can afford to live comfortably, at least you'll be comfortable, which is more than you can say if you shoot for a tiny chance and fail.

Why do you think adults are always saying they wish they could be kids again, and why they always laugh at kids who want to grow up already. Growing up sucks.

Just so you know, you don't want a maths related career unless you're a genius. It gets progressively harder and you'll hate it. Aim for a career that you hate least, after consider employment possibilities and your strengths/weaknesses. If you can, get your parents to help you decide.
Gregory Corso
Last night I drove a car


not knowing how to drive
not owning a car

I drove and knocked down

people I loved
…went 120 through one town.



I stopped at Hedgeville

and slept in the back seat


…excited about my new life.


Not recommended for fiction writers. Fiction writers should be above all else sensible, reasonable, middle-class, well-provided, comfortable, familied, happy, attractive (or, if failing that at least presentable), and decent. What's important is not that you can write well but that you can write just enough to brag about it.
masque452's avatar

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A) Go to college. Even if you go for a degree that has nothing to do with writing (though if you do want to get a job with publishing agencies then consider English type degrees) you will have a stable job with money coming in. Also going to college will help improve your writing skills overall. I'm only two years into college and I have seen a big improvement within my writing.

B) If you want to write to earn money then consider jobs in publishing, editing and journalism. The advice I've gotten from many published authors has been to simply keep your job. Chances are very likely you won't be seeing huge figures flying into your bank account from your books. Authors like J.K Rowling, Stephanie Meyers and Suzanne Collins are examples of people who got extremely lucky. Most authors have a day job and write during their free time. Just the way the world works.

C) Keep writing! The only way you'll improve your writing is through constant practice.

D) When you do begin to start submitting your work to be published remember that it won't be an easy task. Many authors have had their stories rejected numerous times. They have rewritten and edited their work a billion times until a publisher picks up their story. It's a long, hard road. But it is rewarding.
Koduka's avatar

Unforgiving Phantom

Chibi Lizzy 99
Is this a good idea or not? I'm probably going to get some job doing something I don't really like, even though my grades are brilliant, but would I have time to publish a few books at the same time? Or should I just focus on writing more, as I have some cash from my family that will keep me going for a while? OR should I just ignore writing completely, start up a rock band, and try to get famous while living under a bridge?



Get the job so you have money. Publishing houses have you purchase packages that can cost over $1,300. The publishing house that I’ve been looking at has one that is around 15 grand. So defiantly get the job so that you can pay for these. Or course the prices vary from publisher to publisher. Personally I’m getting my book trilogy self-published so that no one can try and change my book because they don’t like what I’ve written.
Zias's avatar

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If you have some money, GO TRAVEL!

Nothing will improve your writing more then life experience! (except maybe practice,practice,practice)

Go pack a bag and go mountain climbing in Peru or work in Australia for a year, become a scuba dive instructor on the Maldives, do voluntary work in Japan, learn Chinese in Hong Kong, build a school in Ghana or learn to Tango in Argentina, drive threw America or city couch surf threw Europe, visit Islamic countries, see the Vatican stay with Buddhist monks.

There is a world of inspiration out there, then once you get back, get a job and write your book.
lollipopsy's avatar

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I want to do writing as a career, which is why Writing & Publishing courses exist. The idea is to get in the industry while writing your own stuff on the side.
If you really want to be a professional writer and have the aptitude, don't let other people dissuade you. I ended up failing my first year in a course because I thought I had to do something stable.
Thirteenth King  's avatar

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I agree with Icehawk.

Get a degree and a job that brings in some type of income. My professors have always said that writing full-time may not promise the money. Get something stable and you can always write on the side.
I'm about to finish up my undergrad work as an English major, and I'm going to enter a master's program in book publishing. I'm looking to be an editor and write on the side. Looking around for work -- if you're a good writer, there's a bunch of work for you. Depending on what sort of writing you want to do, it's definitely possible to make some money with it, though it's not as if you're going to step into the industry and become wealthy. When you say you want to become a writer, do you mean you just want to write books, or...? You could be a copy writer, a technical writer, a professional writer? Not quite the same, but it's still something you love, something you're good at, and there's lots of demand for people like that.

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