1. AndraM
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    AndraM New Member

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    Being a writer = money troubles

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by AndraM, Jul 31, 2015.

    I'm on my way to becoming a novel writer, hopefully a succesul one, but the way up there is hard and dark.. and moneywise full of terror (probably you know what i'm talking about) and I am looking for some advice on how to save a couple of bucks.. Any suggestions? Any advice can be helpfull! :(
     
  2. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Don't quit the day job. Don't aim for the big money, it's like winning the lottery. Most published writers work too. Most famous writers you've most likely read will also work as teachers or lecturers, or go on 'the road' and read their work publicly to advertise - though that's mostly poets, walking the road Robert Frost cut up. And those are the exceptionally lucky ones too.

    If you really want the Rimbaud dream of the starving artist, drying in the gutter next to a well-spent bottle of whisky - all the while the manuscript of the beautiful work is locked away waiting to be discovered in your bedroom drawer, like all bohemians want to be ... well, rice is a cheap meal.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
  3. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    My personal advice would be, get a paid job and keep it. That way if your book sells, you have two cash channels flowing your way. If your book flops (and it may, sadly. Happens to everyone), then you'll still have cash flow headed your way.

    To be perfectly honest though, I'd rather have a paying, steady day job rather than have my savings be dependent on how well my books sell.
     
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  4. BookLover
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    BookLover Contributing Member

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    I work and write in my free time. It's tough because I know my writing suffers. I don't have enough time or energy to spend on it because I work A LOT, but I also have to eat and pay the bills. If I just quit and lived on my credit card or something, I'd be stressed out all the time about my debt and that would also make my writing suffer. So I'm just doing the best I can. Right now, I just write on the weekends.

    (Although I've heard of some successful writers doing that, just living off borrowed money until they've written and published their books. Personally I don't think I could do that. The uncertainty and stress of the situation would be too much for me.)

    How to live cheaply? Buy cheap groceries. Don't go anywhere unless it's free. Limit your bills as much as possible. Don't pay for extra stuff like cable. Don't have the internet. Just go places where they have free wi-fi. Don't pay for trash pick-up. Dump your trash yourself. (I know some people who use their work dumpsters for their personal trash.) Cars are expensive money sucks. Try not to have one. :p That will save you a bazillion dollars. Live with someone so you split all the bills. The more people you live with, the cheaper it should be. Don't have pets, another money suck. Try to use as little air conditioning and heating as possible, money sucks. For people's birthdays and Christmases, offer your services instead of presents. (Mow your grandma's lawn or whatever.) Don't buy anything new, and try to avoid buying things in general.

    That's all I've got.
     
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  5. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Good advice.
     
  6. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Or just don't live well above your means. If you can't afford that gigantic flat-screen HD TV with a 36" screen, then don't get it!! One of the reasons people get into trouble with their money is that they buy things they honestly can't afford.
     
  7. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    This is the reason why the world economy almost collapsed in 2008. :p
     
  8. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Pretty much, yeah. It's like people think that once they buy the thing, they don't have to worry about anything else. Yes they do. When the bill comes and says, “You owe this much.” Or they buy it because they thought it looked cool, but it turned out they really didn't need it so it basically just sits there in the corner collecting dust. People, it's not that complicated. Don't spend your money on things you can't afford, or don't really want.

    Credit cards are not “Little cards that will net me big, fancy things.” They're basically I.O.U.s It's you basically promising to pay up later when the bill arrives. So if you buy that bigass TV with a credit card, you're basically saying, “I promise I'll pay this off later.”

    And now I'm getting all up on a political rant so I'll just stop myself. :p
     
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  9. tasjess
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    tasjess Active Member

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    Work. It gives you life experience and forces you to spend time with irritating people who you can satirise in your writing.

    Otherwise, rice, beans and tortillas my friend. Cheep, and the resulting gas will kill your social life which will also save you cash ;)
     
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  10. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I'm going to pretty much echo what others have said. Get a day job to pay the bills, and write for money in your spare time. It's hard making a living as a writer of fiction and/or poetry, so save as much as you can and keep track of your finances.

    Or marry rich.
     
  11. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    There are countries in the world whose cost of living is significantly lower than America /most western countries. Consider moving and writing there. It would also provide you a potential mind broadening opportunity.
     
  12. Stacy C
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    Stacy C Banned

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    I've always thought that the hot setup for a writer would be to find someone with a successful career, and marry him or her. It's worked for a lot of well-known authors.

    Oh, and Ramen noodles.
     
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  13. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    If you are successful enough in another field, then you can afford to retire early and have lots of time to write.
     
  14. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Best idea ever, quite frankly. That's why I hang around the country clubs. :D
     
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  15. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I heard recently that Boston is a great place to meet rich, single women. Hopefully my girlfriend won't mind me dating around. It's for a good cause.
     
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  16. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    You can marry some wealthy New England socialite, divorce her, get half her wealth, and fly back to Oregon to live in luxury. Who would argue against that? It's genius!
     
  17. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Day Job.

    The life of the starving artist is much more romantic on paper than it is in real life. Also, I suspect that it's not as easy to be "the starving artist" today as it was in early 20th century. Society is so much more complicated and compartmentalized and insular, and the lower threshold for income seems so much less forgiving as regards allowing one to participate in the more complex parts. I don't think that Federico García Lorca and Salvador Dalí could pull off their summer spent in a little house by the sea being artists, being art, in today's world. :(

    [​IMG]

    Does our world of today even allow someone to be a Dharma Bum?

    [​IMG]

    http://mentalfloss.com/article/21815/not-so-glamorous-early-jobs-23-famous-people
     
  18. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Society isn't exactly as forgiving and polite to 'starving artists' as they used to be (if they ever were.) Especially if they know you deliberately made yourself a homeless beggar for the sake of writing.
     
  19. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    In my experience, you're actually more likely to write if you're working. Getting out of the house and having something else to do helps keep your mind active, and therefore inspired with ideas. It also means you're aware you don't have all day, which means you're more likely to use your free time more wisely, and thus productively. Personally, I wrote far more when I had work than when I didn't.

    Paired up with the simple practicality of life - eg. that you do need money to live on - I see no reason why you should quit your day job for the sake of writing. In fact, for the sake of writing, you should go out of your way to make sure a portion of your time is actively occupied with something other than writing.
     
  20. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Best way to save a couple of bucks is to get a job that pays enough to allow you to sock a little bit of money away each pay period, and/or to cut back on non-essentials to save a little cash each month. There are also apps that will help save. Some of them do things like round every transaction up to the next whole dollar and deposit the difference in a savings account or even an investment account. For example, you buy a $1.50 item at the store, the app rounds the transaction up to $2.00 and send 50 cents to your savings.

    As noted above, most published authors don't make enough to support themselves with their writing, so it is wise to have some other means of financial security in place.
     
  21. tasjess
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    tasjess Active Member

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    Darn it, married for love during my misspent youth and had 7 kids who insist on eating. Hindsight is 20/20 they say...

    Seriously though, Mark Lawrence just gave up his day job in A. .I development after his fifth best seller and selling his third trilogy as a concept for "a substantial 3 figure sum". Robin Hobb was delivering mail when she wrote her first best seller. J K Rowling was a teacher's aide. Bryce Courtney was an advertising executive. John Grisham was a lawyer. Stephen King was a teacher. C S Lewis and J R R Tolkien were university professors. Barbra Kingsolver was a science writer for a university. Margaret Atwood taught at university as did Patrick Rothfuss. You'd be hard pressed to find a writer who didn't have a day job while they wrote their best seller.

    Personally, money is tight because my kid's medical condition forced my husband to stop work to help care for her and the other kids. We took all our regular bills - power, phone, netflix, registration for the car etc. We added them together then divided it among the pays we have per year and we put that amount aside in our bills count each pay. We only touch that account forr those bills. Groceries, fuel, other every day expenses are paid sort out of our working account. We always pay extra on our mortgage to create a buffer/emergency fund. We grow vegetables and keep rabbits and chickens for manure, eggs and meat. We rarely go out. We have a Christmas account. We cook from scratch. We fix a lot of stuff ourselves rather than paying for repairs. We barter with friends, eggs and veg for beef etc.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015

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