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To ask if any mumsnetters write for a living?

(151 Posts)
squishyeyeballs Thu 30-Jul-15 00:30:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Potterwolfie Fri 31-Jul-15 01:02:19

I write; not books, but I do write for a living and it fits in beautifully with young children. Even now they're at school, working from home has enormous benefits for our family. I don't bring in masses of money, but I do still contribute financially whilst being there for the before/after school stuff, school events and emergencies. I don't think I would like to go back to a 'proper' office job now, though I do freelance from time to time.

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Fri 31-Jul-15 01:12:04

This thread has given me the determination to be a bit more disciplined and crack on with my writing... Not easy during the school holidays but I do find many other excuses like MN

Writerwannabe83 Fri 31-Jul-15 07:52:58

I would love to be a professional writer. I have wrote and printed off one fictional novel but it's doing nothing but sitting in my bedside drawer.

I am now half way through a second one but am finding it very hard to find the time now I have a DS alongside working F/T.

How do people break into the publishing world? I would love to get my finished novel looked at but have no idea how to go about it.

Tuskerfull Fri 31-Jul-15 08:01:50

I do, but not fiction. People are always telling me I should write a novel, and I will one day!

Twentyninedays Fri 31-Jul-15 08:18:47

I wrote a non fiction book a while back.

RedDaisyRed Fri 31-Jul-15 09:29:14

" TwistInMySobriety Thu 30-Jul-15 16:22:53

Sorry reddaisy, I have about a hundred publications to my name all told... Niche sector, not fiction."

I will have thousands if we do it by "publications" rather than books but I wasn't really trying to start a competition and I have been doing it for 30 years. In fact I started entering writing competitions when I was about 12.

FallingGoldfinch Fri 31-Jul-15 09:46:42

Writerwannabe83 - you have much more of a chance with an agent. When they approach publishers, your proposal gets read, so you've missed a whole layer of slush pile. Writers & Artists Yearbook is usually out of date - you're better Googling yourself.

Loving the competitive publishing posts . . . but the jackpot is ALWAYS when someone says their friends say they should write a book grin. I've never had anyone say that to me in my life, but I get calls from people every day who are being told it left, right and centre and, of course, they would, but they don't have the time, and they think a ghost writer might be handy . . . wink.

squishyeyeballs Fri 31-Jul-15 13:46:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

squoosh Fri 31-Jul-15 13:53:53

Yes. For example most celebs use a ghost writer when 'penning' their autobiography. They tell a few anecdotes and then ghosty turns it into a book.

shovetheholly Fri 31-Jul-15 14:56:51

I am!

I'm not sure you can call it a "living" though. More like a "scraping by". grin

vpillow Sat 01-Aug-15 07:01:00

I used to write for a living as a journalist, now thinking about fiction writing.

Going back to the thread which inspired this - how much do you authors earn from a published novel?

squishyeyeballs Sat 01-Aug-15 15:20:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EmeraldKitten Sat 01-Aug-15 15:47:20

I wouldn't say 'for a living' but I used to do work for The Poetry Studio, writing personalised poetry.

Easiest money I've ever made...used to get £12 for a 50 line personalised poem based on a form of details and anecdotes, which I used to knock out in about 25 minutes. I was doing about 6 a week so a nice little evening job.

RedDaisyRed Sat 01-Aug-15 16:19:18

squish, I think fees have gone right down and you're right. I wrote about my eye operation about 20 years ago and was paid £500 from Vogue and £350 from weekend FT for an unsolicited article which was a lot of money 20 years ago. Nowadays I bet they do not even acknowledge receipt from unsolicited items.

I write about law for fees every few days under regular contracts so I suppose if you are one of the few specialists in the UK able to write about a particular subject then it's easier and of course if you can write the next Harry Potter or 40 Shades you are laughing all the way to the bank but it's not an easy way to make money. So many people write for nothing on line. I do still have paid subscribers to 10 small circulation newsletters although I imagine that will wither on the vine too.

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Sat 01-Aug-15 16:45:50

T'internet must surely have driven down writers' fees - so much free content out there, so many more people vying for paid work (because it's easy to advertise it to a wide audience and let them bid themselves down to do it)

SheGotAllDaMoves Sat 01-Aug-15 16:57:49

I write for a living ( I'm a name charger and saw my old NN up thread).

I've been writing full time for almost fifteen years and have had 8 novels published. I've recently branched out into scripts ( radio and telly) and am currently writing a novel and its TV adaptation concurrently for a US production company.

When DC were little I wrote a book a year flexibly around them and never used child care.

They are teens now and I am working far more but life is a hundred times easier grin

FirstWeTakeManhattan Sat 01-Aug-15 17:00:04

I've just started writing 'properly' although I've been fiddling around with it for years.

I've ghosted two books, have three regular magazine columns and pick up odds and ends of other freelance stuff. I"m also trying to find time for writing my own novel.

I'm new to it, don't think I'm charging enough, but it's bringing in a regular few hundred quid so far whilst I find my feet.

FirstWeTakeManhattan Sat 01-Aug-15 17:02:06

Sorry should have added, I have three young children at home, including one baby. I write when I can, I'm productive when I do, and I enjoy it, so I see it fairly relaxing when the kids are finally in bed.

FallingGoldfinch Sat 01-Aug-15 18:01:27

Absolutely to the PP who said fees have gone down sharply - I don't charge for ghosting so am subject to vagaries of advances, and have been offered some that are a tenth of what I started on sad.

achieve6 Sat 01-Aug-15 18:09:52

Falling, may I ask how you got into ghostwriting please?

I used to do some freelance writing, only commercial stuff, but I found the rates plummeted. I had other options that seemed more secure and steady so I don't do it anymore. I do miss it but having had a couple of bouts of ill health, I'm grateful to have permanent work and sick pay.

SheGotAllDaMoves Sat 01-Aug-15 18:34:57

I'm just glad I started my writing career before the recession or the advent of ebooks.

My first advances were generous and my publisher spent good money building up my readership.

It means that now the numbers can justify a still decent advsnce.

FallingGoldfinch Sat 01-Aug-15 20:40:03

achieve6 - I was a journalist for a few years before, then I covered a few stories where the person wanted to 'do' their book. I wasn't really that keen, but circumstances made it seem a decent option at one point and I've kept with it smile.

I've always had an agent as I'd be rubbish at asking for money but I know plenty of people who represent themselves.

I have a few health problems too, and I find it fits in perfectly as I just take on work as and when I feel up to it. Feel free to PM if there's anything you'd like to know.

achieve6 Sat 01-Aug-15 21:21:47

Falling, thanks for info
I was just curious really as I will be hanging on to my job as long as possible. Sounds like being a journalist was your way in in any case?

I've also wondered about proof reading, I see loads of courses advertised but never meet anyone who does it...

ditherydora Sat 01-Aug-15 22:00:11

Red Daisy - can you tell me more about your law books. How did you get a publisher/choose a subject?

And do you actually make any ££ from them? grin

fairnotfit Sun 02-Aug-15 09:19:29

I write for a living - not fiction, sadly, but I write articles, guides and web copy for financial institutions (fund managers/investment banks/financial advisers...) Audience ranges from high-level institutional reader to private individual, so I have to pitch the tone, level of technicality etc. I also have to back up all facts and figures with primary sources (e.g., central banks/official statistical bureaux/government ministries rather than BBC/Reuters).

As a rough guide, I would charge about £300 for a 500-word article, but that includes all research and fact-checking. On average, I work the equivalent of about 3.5 days a week. I really enjoy it; more importantly, it allows me considerable flexibility around the DCs' school days and holidays.

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