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Writing and Publishing

Financial Considerations of Being a Full-Time Writer

If you want to become a full-time writer, consider the financial ramifications. First, don’t quit your day job. I’m serious.

I don’t know anyone who one day quit their job and transitioned into being a full-time writer the next day. It takes years to make that move.

While you still have your full-time job, start writing on the side. How much money can you generate from it? As your income from writing increases and provides consistent revenue month after month, you can consider scaling back your other job and ramping up your writing.

But before you take this step, pare back your expenses as much as possible. Beyond living simply, live frugally. Be prepared to do so for as long as necessary. Also, set aside a cash reserve to pay your bills as you make this transition.

When I switched from a traditional job to going solo, my family had no debt (not even for our house), and I had six months of income in the bank as a safety net. I used it all. I also had an emergency fund, which I didn’t need.

Many authors wanting to go full-time look at their current expenses and think they need to make that much money through writing. Instead, they should look at how much they can reduce expenses. Doing so will make the transition easier.

Learn more about writing and publishing in Peter’s new book: The Successful Author: Discover the Art of Writing and Business of PublishingGet your copy today.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.

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