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How to Build Your Writing Career and Still Have a Day Job

Most of us are fortunate enough to have a day job and a hobby – something that we enjoy doing in our spare time. For some, though, this doesn’t seem to be the case. If you’re looking for a writing career, you might find it difficult to juggle working on a freelance basis and also pursuing your passion for putting words to page.

Choosing One Over the Other

It’s important to note that although both have their perks, working as a full-time writer and being self-employed are two very different things. From the outside looking in, it can seem like a win-win situation, but as you might imagine, it’s not always as simple as it seems. If you’re looking to take the plunge and commit to a writing career, it’s imperative that you do so knowing what you’re getting into and also having a plan B in case your plan A doesn’t work out.

A Steady Stream of Income

The first thing that any serious writer will tell you is that writing is not a job; it’s a gift. Some of us are fortunate enough to make a decent living from our writing, but for the vast majority, it’s actually a hobby that we do for fun – something that we enjoy and hope to continue doing for the rest of our lives. If you’re looking for a day job and you’re hoping to make it your full-time career, be prepared to commit to several years of steady income before you see any significant profit from your work. To give you some idea of how much income some full-time professional writers make, here are the annual salaries of various occupations according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Architects: $94,000
  • Astronauts: $78,500
  • Chemists: $76,800
  • Computers and Electronic Systems Engineers: $77,000
  • Dentists: $87,400
  • Directors of Marketing: $94,000
  • Doctors: $93,600
  • Forensic Scientists: $87,400
  • Heads of Religious Organizations: $94,000
  • Lawyers: $110,400
  • Managers of Small Enterprises: $96,000

Even with the low unemployment rate, there still isn’t enough work to go around. If you’re a writer looking to make a living from your craft, you might find it difficult to break into the field. The good news is that it’s never been easier to get started writing. With more people turning to websites and blogs to get the news and information they need, there are more opportunities for writers to get their work published online.

The Great Escape

For those of us who choose to write as a hobby, the great thing about it is that we can always fall back on our other source of income. For those hoping to make it big, getting a full-time position in a publishing house or newspaper is a common way to go about it. While this might seem like the ideal situation for a writer looking to make a living from their craft, it’s not always easy to find these positions. Like most things in life, there are upsides and downsides to both options. If you’re looking for a steady income and don’t want to get too far out of your comfort zone, getting a job might be the way to go. For those who love the freedom of being self-employed, building a writing career from the ground up might be a difficult but also an exhilarating task.

No matter what course you choose, the most important thing is that you choose one that suits your soul. If you want to be a successful writer, it really is as simple as putting in the time and making sure that you do your research before you commit. Whether you choose to be self-employed or to get a day job, being a successful writer isn’t impossible – it just takes some patience and proper planning.