DZ asks: As you improve your craft, do you think he will ever reach that moment where you want to write full time?
Many years ago I did write full time. Even then I made more money than your typical beginning novelist (more on that second), and it was financially challenging.
Fifteen years later (and without getting into any of my financial details), I could leave my full-time job and live comfortably on what I make off my writing.
There are some unpleasant realities, however, in the writing business. One is that without an established franchise to call my own I can’t reliably predict from book to book how I will sell and what my royalty income will be from year to year. It’s possible that due to a bad economy and the whims of popularity that I could be hard-pressed to sell another novel. Ever.
(Therefore it is very important that you all run out and buy my latest novel!)
Juxtaposed against this is my day job which is far from typical. I’m a writer and story consultant at Microsoft Game Studios. I believe we’re on the cusp of revolutionizing the art and business of video games—like where movies were in the 1930s when sound was just being added. It’s a heck of a lot of fun!
So, in a roundabout way, to answer your question: I probably won’t be quitting my daytime anytime soon.
If you want an idea of what a beginning novelist makes check out the survey that Tobias Buckell did on first novel advances. It’s grim and eye-opening!Share on Facebook