chewing ideas down to stubble, then moving on…

What Do All These Writers Really Do?

Posted by Jason on January 13, 2009

I’ll make no bones about it, I have next to zero experience with writing for an audience larger than one. This blog and a short story I’ve started are it…period. I read on many other blogs about people writing novels, finishing novels, busting out a short story or two in a day or a week. In addition to that, many of these people maintain active blogs. My question is this:

What the hell do these people do to actually make money?

I’m guessing that very few of these people actually make a living off of their writing, so how do they keep food on the table or access to the internet? I can’t imagine many jobs other than mine (summers off are great… I have yet to fully utilize this time for writing), that would allow someone to write and/or finish a novel. 

It’s very possible that I can’t understand what these people go through because I’m not really a writer. I get up every morning at 5:30 am and go for a run with the wife and dogs. I go to work. I get home around 3:30 or so. I spend time with my family (wife and dogs) until 8:30 pm and then go to bed. Lather, rinse, repeat. I have some endeavors that I engage in, like guitar or bonsai or exercise, but that’s about it. I rarely have time to think about writing anything but a little blog unless I’m on vacation.

What do people with normal jobs do in order to write a book? 


6 Responses to “What Do All These Writers Really Do?”

  1. Wulfgar said

    They set up lemonade stands with their kids, and sell their vanity press books along with their lemonade. Kids get a cut from each book sold.
    I don’t get it either…Iam middle class/blue collar wanna be writer. I quit my job to give it a go….now I’m a wanna be worker who writes when he can….

  2. pacejmiller said

    Hello, thanks for commenting on my blog the other day – I don’t really know what I am doing yet, just started a few days ago. And now I’m also wondering how it’s possible to do anything when you maintain a blog and/or have a full time job. I guess you just have to be really motivated and love writing more than anything else. I think I read somewhere that John Grisham just got up really early and went into work before everyone else to write a page a day.

    I would love to grow some balls and quit my job to write full time, but instead I just went on leave and am doing a masters now because I thought it would give me more time to write (I guess that’s one ball?), but it’s not as easy as I anticipated…

  3. Jason said

    I salute your ambition Wulfgar! How are those food stamps workin out for ya? 😉 I wish you the best of luck, my friend.

  4. Wulfgar said

    Hey J….haven’t gone the food stamps route, yet. I had a good paying job, with uber-stress for a few years, enough where I can live off my savings, at least for a little while, the stock market isn’t helping….but hey, it’s only money. Scuse me I gots to go makes some lemonade…..

  5. Nick said

    I’ve thought that if you want to write for a living, you should probably write the book while you have a job. A lot of writers never even get published, and writing takes a lot of time. Some of these blog posts I crank out in under 30 minutes, but others take me upwards of 3 hours. That being said, as these are nowhere near a story, I think that anything anyone would write professionally, is going to be something they should be doing on the back burner. Why do you think you frequently hear about columnists having novels on the back burner? They’re trying to pay the rent you know.

    As I’ve got a leisurely 6 months of school ahead, I’ve been thinking now might be the time to start a novel.

  6. timkeen40 said

    One famous writer we have all read was in the law profession. Another was a teacher who was so broke he and wife used to alernate months when they would have phone service. I have been writing my entire life and, after all this time, have decided to make a serious push to make it in the writing field. But there is no way in hell I am quitting my job. The bills don’t stop coming.


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