Selling yourself for your writing

A very British cup of tea - would you give it up?
A very British cup of tea – would you give it up?

There are a million things that writers have to give up to keep writing, and money has been the hardest for me. The need for money is seductive and it attacks you when you’re at your lowest: after rejection. And in order to save a pound or two, it often requires giving up a few other things, like your freedom or caffeine!

Here are just a few of the things I’ve done to ease the burden on my pockets:

  1. Went part-time to an admin job (a while ago now).
  2. Took part in research studies at Bristol University (which paid £10 – and got taxed. And ultimately included starving me for hours to see how satisfying a smoothy was – it wasn’t!).
  3. Turned down extra hours at work.
  4. Argued with my husband.
  5. Sold my books (not ones I’ve written).
  6. Turned down extra hours at work, again.
  7. Took part in more research studies at Uni, which asked me to give up caffeine – this was worse than the last study. I ended up with pounding headaches but it was better paid.
  8. Sold my shoes.
  9. Lived with my grandparents-in-law for 8 months (ouch).
  10. Saved on bus fare by running a five mile journey home.
  11. Written one off articles/posts.

I wrote this list last year and it’s been sat in my ‘drafts’ for a while. I feel especially bad because after writing it I clearly did the EXACT opposite and took up full time work for a while. Well, I’m happy to announce that…

I AM BACK TO PART-TIME!

Apparently I don’t have enough shoes or books (or myself) to sell to help fix our roof, so the extra money was good. Plus, it wasn’t all bad. It helped force me to establish a new routine of VERY early morning writing before work, which I’m hoping to keep up.

So tell me, considering writers don’t earn a lot, what have you done to get a little extra cash? What have you done to make sure you guard your writing time?

 

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3 thoughts on “Selling yourself for your writing

  1. I dream of switching to a part-time job, but I am nowhere near good enough at writing to be thinking of it as a form of income and I’m the main breadwinner in our household at the moment. Maybe if we move to a cheaper city…

    I’m lucky, though, in that my current job recently moved offices, and now I can get a fairly quiet bus to and from work. That’s two hours of uninterrupted (usually) writing time a day, without the guilt of carving out the time in the morning or evening. I still DO carve out time – at weekends I leave the house to go and write – but the pressure of trying to fit it in is less than it was and I’ve got more of a routine than I ever had before. So that’s nice.

    1. Sounds like you’ve worked hard to carve that in! I love a good commute – mine isn’t long enough for anything substantial as I have to walk quite a bit. Fortunately for me, my part time job paid much better than the marketing job I was doing in a publishing house – so I was lucky.

      I hate that feeling of guilt from writing, but it has to be done! Good job on fitting it in around everything!

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