1.27.2006

Full time? Part Time? party time?

Miss Snark:

How many of your client are full-time writers? Excluding the Tom Clancy/John Grisham sorts who own most of the publishing GDP -- and writers whose spouse has a good job to make the BMW lease payment and keep the gin bin well-stocked -- how many writers are able to support themselves (and live in something slightly more elegant than a cardboard box) solely off their writing?


Not many. And it's not the money, it's the health insurance.
I have 6 full time writers. About 1/4 of the active list.
I have no idea if that's average or not.

One of the more interesting accounting practices is figuring out where most of your income is: if I have more than 20% of my income coming from any one writer in a year, I know I need to get cracking. It's the equivilent of putting all your gin in one bottle.

16 comments:

McKoala said...

Miss Snark has had a busy night.

Get that gin out of the bottle and put it somewhere more sensible, like in your glass.

Cheers.

Douglas said...

Finally I had a great quip about gin coming OUT of the bottle and someone beats me too it.

Please don't make me go back and try to invent something clever about the differences between punctuating an artery and puncturing one.

Till next time...

kj said...

Can I just say that there's nothing WRONG with having a supportive spouse who's willing to carry you for a while while you, oh, say, raise lots of small children and keep a house running and keep writing in order not to lose your sanity? It ain't all gin and BMWs, my friend. Not nearly enough.
I get pretty tired of the suggestion that it is. It makes me want to throw my box of bonbons and my remote control right at you!

Lisa S. said...

Thank you Miss Snark.

I'd be more than content to spend the next six months in a half-assed search for employment and full time writing if it wasn't about making sure the little bottles get filled. And no, that ain't gin, not even the cheap Mr Boston brand.

The Horror. The Horror.
from the very heart of snarkness.


Lisa S.
Junior Snarkling

Elektra said...

kj, nobody said that there was anything wrong with a suipportive spouse; however, some of us don't have one, and--though we lack anywhere near the responsibilities of mothers or fathers--would like to know if it's possible to fend for ourselves entirely with our pens.

Anonymous said...

Heart of Snarkness ... that's great.

Eva said...

What clever people we have here! Heart of Snarkness and punctuating arteries. You've gotta love this stuff!

Shawn said...

Even after I get published I plan on staying on with my current employer part time for the health insurance. I figure working 2 days a week is worth it.

Anonymous said...

Umm... Shawn? Plan to stay on full time, until you're sure there's enough money coming in, regularly enough, for you to survive on it.

Getting published is hard enough, but being published does not mean that you'll be rolling in cash the way KY rolls in the slush pile after Miss Snark has given him a second saucer of gin. The sad fact is that most writers - including the ones who have been published - do not make a living at writing.

Eileen said...

Donald Maass's book "the Career Novelist" has some good advice for those who wish to make a living as a writer. He notes that you shouldn't even be considering leaving your "day job" until you have a nice healthy backlist to sell- 4-5 books.

Shawn said...

Ummm...Anonymous I actually don't plan on staying on full time after I get published. Even without getting published, I can work part-time and be good financially. Remember Anonymous, everyone's financial circumstances are not the same. That is definitely something you may take into consideration.

Anonymous said...

As you might want to take into consideration the phrase "until you're sure there's enough money coming in..."

If you are sure, then good for you! I wish I were so fortunate.

You also might take into consideration the fact that comments on the internet can be misinterpreted very easily. I misinterpreted yours as having come from a writer innocent enough to think that published=rich, and you apparently misinterpreted mine as being snarkiness, rather than gently-offered advice. No offence was intended, Shawn.

Shawn said...

No worrys Anonymous. No offense here either. I'm a lil snappy right now since my doctor is trying to kill me.

River Falls said...

I didn't make anything close to a living wage until my third novel.

jeanjeanie said...

I used to have big dreams of BMWs and gin parties and living comfortably off of royalties. Then I got older and hit in the head by the reality anvil and now I merely hope that my fiance will be able to find and hold a job with good insurance that will pay the bills and let me eventually be a stay-at-home writer/mother/housekeeper. We can't all be Kings and Collinses. Which is a damn shame, if you ask me.

jeanjeanie said...

...speaking of which, anybody have any advice on juggling writing with a (non-writing) home business? I'm trying to launch a gift basket and knitting business on the theory that once it's up and running I'll be able to set my own schedule and work around my writing (instead of writing around my work). I know that in the initial stages the business will probably eat up all my extra time and interfere with my writing, but in the long term... I don't know. Does anybody have any experience in this area?

And on that note, Miss S., are literary agents a viable target market for gift baskets on demand?