Writers: You Don’t Have to Starve (If You Do This)
A friend of mine recently did a survey of a few thousand writers, asking them how much money they make off their writing per month. Do you know what they said? Can you guess? A few thousand bucks a month? A few hundred? Not even close.
According to this study, the average writer makes less than a dollar a month off their writing. A dollar. A DOLLAR?!! That’s insane, and in my opinion, unacceptable. Sadly, though, it’s true.
Based on my conversations with the hundreds of thousands of writers who read my blog every month, most of them aren’t making money off their writing. Like, none.
Another study I found was done by Writers Digest, and the findings weren’t much better. Out of the 7000 working writers surveyed, over 77% didn’t make more than $1000 a year off their writing.
Look. I know it’s no surprise that writers don’t make a fortune off their work, but a dollar a month? A thousand dollars a year? We can do better.
And yet, for every group of Starving Artists out there, we occasionally stumble across an individual who defies the odds and breaks through the glass ceiling of what’s possible. These are those elite few we tend to call “lucky” and “privileged.”
But are they really?
The truth is some writers make very little money and some make a lot of money. In fact, writing may be one of the few jobs where the minimum and maximum earning potential are practically limitless.
With other jobs, like law or medicine or even food service, there is some minimum salary to which you are entitled. Not so with writing. That makes this a little risky. But you knew that already. 😉
Fortunately, the converse is also true. Most doctors and lawyers don’t make much more than the average income for their field, which can be multiple six figures. It’s a nice living, but such professions have their limitations. Those in the creative arts, however, have none.
Take J.K. Rowling, for example, billionaire author of the Harry Potter series. Or even Dr. Dre, another billionaire who made his living off his work and the products he was able to create around it. This may be the most volatile, most exciting profession there is.
Now, let me tell you something you didn’t know…
You don’t have to starve
That’s right. You don’t need to starve and suffer for your work. You can share your ideas and stories with the world and make a living doing so. You can get paid to write for a living. And you don’t have to be a bestselling author or a super-popular blogger to do so.
What you do have to do is pay attention to the way other people have succeeded. You have to follow the path that your predecessors have set before you. You need to give up on the limiting beliefs that you can’t do this and stop thinking you’re special.
You are no different than the millions of aspiring writers who have come before you. Except that you have opportunities and resources than many never did. Hemingway didn’t have a blog. Twain didn’t have Amazon. Austen didn’t have an email list.
This is the best time to be a writer.
And yet, many of us are squandering the opportunities before us. We’re believing a myth — that we must starve for our art — that just isn’t true.
It’s time to break out of that way of thinking and create the future you’ve always dreamed for yourself.
Every year, I see hundreds of writers that I know personally bridge the gap between starving and thriving. I’ve watched them do it, documented the process, and I’m going to share it all here.
This is what I teach in my program Tribe Writers, and before I begin each class, I always tell the students the same thing:
If you do the work, you’ll see the results.
In other words, this process works if you do. I can’t motivate you. I can’t make you sit down and write. But I can show you the way to success and hope that you take the next step.
So, here’s how this is going to go…
In this brief new guide, I am going to outline a process for you. I call it the “12 Steps to Make a Living Writing.” This is what 99% of the writers I know who are succeeding have done, in one form or another.
It’s a proven path based on literally thousands of case studies. And if you do the work, you will see the results. A few quick rules on these steps:
- You can’t skip a step. Do them in order as best you can. They are designed to work in a progression that creates a sense of momentum so that each step becomes successively easier.
- In particular, this guide is designed to help you get moving in the right direction, but I recommend joining a community to hold you accountable to the process. At the end of the book, I’ll share some resources about how you can keep going.
- If you get stuck, see the trouble-shooting tips for each step. The level of success you experience may vary, but I have never seen someone do all twelve steps and not get out of the rut they were in, filled with hope for what was made possible. I pray the same is true for you.
Are you ready to make a living from your work? What would it mean to you to be able to write for a living? Share in the comments.