Well, it’s all the rage. Writers putting it out there. Airing their dirty laundry and horrid numbers.
John Scalzi wrote about how much he makes today.
Mr. Scalzi didn’t actually put hard numbers out there the way Tobais Buckell did here on the 1st of April (hey, was that a joke?). But I think what he did show illuminates another aspect of writing that I hadn’t considered before reading his post.
He divides his writing income for 2010 into 7 categories: Books, Film Options (one can only hope), TV Consulting (non-fiction, sort of), Film Column (non-fiction), Corporate Consulting (non-fiction), Miscellaneous, and Short Stories (note that his pie shows short stories making the least for him).
Anyway, if you add up the non-fiction sources of writing, you see that this stream of income makes up about 12% of earnings. Interesting.
Most of his post details his projections for each stream of income for 2011, and he repeatedly notes that any of ’em could change. At the end of his post he advises all writers to diversify, as you never know when one source of income will come to a halt.
I hadn’t thought of that. And I definitely hadn’t thought of writing non-fiction.
I read a lot of non-fiction. Hell, I even read here and there that non-fiction books are far more popular than fiction. Maybe I should try my hand at non-fiction? Am I wasting my time with fiction?
Some of you may ask what my recent fascination with money is all about. I don’t know. Maybe I’m getting tired of my current job and thinking of making a go of it as a writer.
Ha! No. I know there’s no chance of me making it as a professional writer. All my writing efforts are born from the desire to express myself. But now that I have finished my novel, there is the pressing question of whether I will get it published or not. Do I go the traditional route or self-publish?
Really, the only reason to go the traditional route is to get paid at least something for your efforts and to be recognized by the industry as someone “serious” about their writing.
But this is a hobby, right? So why would I even try that? Shouldn’t I just self-publish?
No, they all say, I am doing myself a dis-service if I don’t at least try to publish either through an agent or through a reputable publisher.
But why? I’m not serious. If I do get serious, then I start thinking of this as a side job that might grow into something bigger. In that case, I should take the advice of professional writers like Mr. Scalzi and diversify. Which means I should consider writing non-fiction.
Well, I can’ say whether I’m serious or not about writing, but I hope you can. Take Mr. Scalzi’s advice and considering writing non-fiction. If you do, let me know how it goes.