It’s been four years this month since I decided to resurrect my writing career. How am I doing?
I am keeping busy but earning only half the income I would like to make. My most lucrative work in 2005 and 2006 were with magazine articles; they are now a small income stream. The continuing work I get from my Vancouver employer constitutes the bulk of my earnings, along with some money from Catalogs.com. My brief stint doing newspaper reporting also added a little. If I didn’t have savings I would have to go back to a regular job, probably working retail in customer service at a garden department.
Finding internet work is harder than finding regular employment. In a big city like Las Vegas, employment is always possible with grocery stores and big box stores. But, this time, I didn’t want to work in retail again.
I wanted to find work I could do from anywhere I had a net connection. Work I could do from my house or remotely, wherever I travel. I’ve managed to do that but, again, at half the rate I’d like to make. I would certainly make two to three times more income if I went back to retail. And then do writing on the side.
Worldwide competition has driven down the wage floor for writing. And fewer advertisers for print magazines means fewer magazines and lower wages from titles that still exist. Magazine writing is what I enjoy best so I keep sending out queries. Book proposals have been very disappointing. Publishers think my ideas are good but non-commercial.
As a bird has to sing, I have to write. If you have to write, I encourage you to keep at it but realize what kind of market we are in today. If you have to work a day job, so be it. Keep your craft and your art alive, no matter what you have to do. Keep going.