Are You a Writer or Just Pretending to Be One?

Pro tip: Treat your writing like it’s your day job

Photo by emre keshavarz

This is post is a response to all the complaints I see on this platform, mainly from people that like the idea of being a writer, but aren’t actually one. They expect to earn a full-time salary for writing once every few days when the mood is right. It doesn’t work like that.

Want a full-time salary?

Well, maybe you need to work full time to get it. I don’t see many jobs advertised where the job description says you can just turn up for an hour or so every time you feel like it. Yet that’s how many new writers want Medium to be.

They expect Medium to give them a full-time salary for part-time effort.

It makes me laugh.

Work 9-5

This is what you need to do if you want a full-time salary as a writer. There are plenty of writing jobs out there. Did you apply for any? Probably not. That’s too much like work.

But it’s what you need to do if you truly want to become a writer that earns a salary you can live off.

You can’t choose when to write

If you’re a writer, you need to write. Many can’t see this. Oh, I don’t feel like writing today, they say. Oh, I don’t know what to write about. Well, in that case, you’re not a writer.

You’re a wannabe.

There’s a big difference between the two.

Quality over quantity? Wrong.

Yes, of course, quality counts. But without quantity, quality will never come.

Many don’t understand this concept at all. You can’t think your way to quality writing. You need to write.

Writing part-time will give you part-time pay

Take any part-time job and you’ll get part-time pay. It’s not different here. Stop expecting to earn a full-time salary when you’re a part-time wannabe writer.

When I started my IT career, I went all in. I didn’t just work an hour a day whenever I could fit it into my schedule.

I worked 7 hours a day, Monday to Friday.

Guess what? The quantity of work I put in improved the quality. I didn’t produce top-quality work on day one.

What do you currently earn here?

Suppose you work an hour a day and earn $600 per month. That gives you an hourly rate of $20 an hour.

What if you worked 4 hours a day? That’s $2,400 a month.

If you worked 7 hours a day Monday to Friday, that would give $700 a week or $36,400 a year.

You might say that’s not enough. If you’re a new writer, it’s a good first-year salary. As you gain experience, you should earn more.

I’m may be over-simplifying this, but it’s just meant to get you thinking of the possibilities.

There are full-time writing jobs available

I guess you didn’t apply for those because you don’t want to work full-time. Stop being so entitled. You get paid what you’re worth. It’s the readers that decide how good you are.

Start writing part-time if that’s all you can do

I know that many of you have mortgages and rent to pay and can’t just give up your day job to start writing full-time. But if your goal is to become a full-time writer you need to come up with creative ways to write and publish more articles.

It might not be an easy journey, but the goals that are worth pursuing are never easy. Do you want to achieve your goal of becoming a full-time writer or is it just a pipe dream?

I don’t want to be a full-time writer

Full-time writing is not my aim and it may not be yours either. There’s nothing wrong with that. Each of us has to choose what works best for us.

But make sure you don’t make the mistake of thinking you deserve a full-time salary for part-time work. That’s certainly possible, but it’s not something that new writers usually achieve.

You should also consider the possibility that writing may never be a suitable full-time career for you. I put myself in that camp. I enjoy writing for an hour or so a day, but I would hate it if I had to write all day, every day.

Choose what’s right for you. Ignore what others are doing. We’re all following different paths through life.

More from me:

April — 58 Stories, 56,000 Views, $1,695

Here’s How Much I Earned From Writing 8 Kindle Books

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