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How to Make a Living by Writing

Updated on March 25, 2012

The income of writers run the gauntlet from nothing for unpublished writers, to millions of dollars for the big literary successes such as J.K. Rowling or Stephen King. But somewhere between the two extremes is a financially satisfactory and personally fulfilling zone where you can make enough money to live off of just from your writing. Getting there, however, can be a challenge.

Sources of Income- Diversify!

The most useful piece of advice for the aspiring professional writer is to have more than one source of income. If you're an aspiring novelist, for example, you can't just rely on any future income from your novel. Even if the book does get published immediately, it will probably still be many months before you see any money.

In addition to diversification offering both short-term and long-term earnings, it also offers security. If you see a sudden dip in earnings from one company or client, you won't have to worry about losing all of your entire income. As the saying goes, don't put all your eggs in one basket.


Sometimes, when you work for yourself, your biggest problem is motivating yourself to work. With no boss breathing down your neck, you'll need to force yourself to get things done. This can of course lead to increased productivity, as you can work at your own pace and in your own style without being hampered by company policy and all of the baggage that comes along with an office job. However, you'll have to make that happen yourself.

Consider setting up an office area, even if it's just a corner of your kitchen or bedroom. Having a dedicated work area will help you focus on work rather than all the distractions that happen at home. If you can't get work done at home, considering heading to the local coffee shop or library. Concentration is key.

Remember that freelancing is a job. If you want to make money, you'll need to put in the time and the effort.

Personal Budget

If you're planning on quitting your day job, or even cutting down on hours, in favor of making a living through writing, you may need to take a look at your budget. Remember, if you're going to have less money coming in while you get your writing career off the ground, cutting back is a great way to make ends meet. In addition, living life on a tighter budget may encourage you to get to work.


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    • ronny2005 profile image

      ronny2005 5 years ago from HubPages

      A useful hub. Publishing and selling ebooks on the Internet is a great idea. Voted up.