Yes, I know you can probably all name a ton of authors who write full time and that is their only career. Those people are anomalies. Those are the exceptions to the rule. Those people also have other variables that you don't know of.
We all know of the term "starving artist," right? Well welcome to that world. As an author, you have the chance to do what you love to do and get paid for it. Does it mean make a living? Again, for most of you, the answer is probably not. Yes, you can make a lot of money, IF you are in the right genre and IF you get that deal you are looking for, but again, for most you, this is not going to be the reality.
Let's talk about some of those exceptions. I know of several authors who are full time authors, however, they are also working with some variables that many of you do not have:
- Spouses who are the chief bread winners
- Retired and now writing
- No kids in the house
- No college expenses.
Now, what about those people who snag that amazing contract. These are the one-in-a-million person. Yes, it would be great if we can all nail those contracts, but you have to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right project, and the right voice.
Now, does this mean you should give up on your dreams? Absolutely not. But it does mean you might need to bring those dreams back down a bit more.
When I think of this, I always think of those kids who believe they are going to make it as a professional athlete. As many of you know, my son swims competitively, and like many kids, when they were young, he had goals of being in the Olympics. The variable he did not know at that time was that the U.S. Olympic Team only takes the top 2 athletes in each event. That's pretty tough competition.
I think there is another aspect to keeping that day job that many authors don't think about. What happens when Barnes and Noble goes bankrupt? What happens when your contract is not renewed due to low sales? Do you have a fall back position?
So please, keep those day jobs! I promise, it will pay off in the end.