What I’m saying here is food for thought, and it may provoke, because it goes against common perceptions.
Writing used to be a precarious career, with unsteady and uncertain income. But the world has changed. As a writer in 2017, I actually have more ‘job security’ than most people in employed jobs.
Instead of depending on a single employer (who may go bust or fire me, in which case I would lose all my income), I have multiple income streams. Should one of those income streams close (say, Amazon goes out of business), the others will continue. Even if I become ill and unable to work for a while, I’ll continue to receive royalties (‘passive income’) from my published books.
Another factor is age. Many employers would consider me too old for the good jobs, but for a writer there is no age limit. Indeed, my life experience is a distinct plus.
On top of that, writing is a job I can do wherever I go. I don’t need to live near an employer, or even in a specific region with access to customers. All I need is internet access, and I can work anywhere in the world. This flexibility gives enormous freedom, and it also increases my job security.
Just how much flexibility, freedom and security writing gives me has become clear in the past few months. As a German national, having lived in Britain for thirty years, I’ve regarded this country as my home. Now with Brexit, I may have to leave.
(I don’t want to talk about politics in this post, and I don’t want to bore you with details. Lets’ just say it’s not a good situation. If you want to find out more, contact me via my website.)
If I had a conventional job, I’d now be terrified. As well as my home and my social life, I’d lose my job and my income. I’d worry if and how I as a middle-aged woman could find a job and support myself in another country.
But as a writer… it’s easy! My career is completely portable. I don’t need to worry about that aspect at all.
Indeed, if I move to a country where the cost of living is lower than in Britain, my international income as a writer will stretch much further. Instead of of earning a modest income, I can afford a very good lifestyle indeed. This takes away so much of the worrying!
I feel blessed. As a European, I can settle anywhere in Europe. And as a writer, I can work anywhere in the world. So much freedom, so much security!
Yet back in my youth, all the sensible adults warned me against becoming a writer, because it was too risky. It turns out that my dream career was safer than the ‘sensible’ options. The world has changed, and I’m glad that it has.
So if you consider making writing your main career, don’t automatically assume that it will mean less security than in an employed job.
Where will I go? Well, I’m still at the planning stage, but it looks like I’ll head for Bulgaria before long. One thing is certain: wherever I go, I will write.
Her acclaimed Writer’s Craft series has 22 titles so far: Writing Fight Scenes, Writing Scary Scenes, Writing About Villains,Writing Deep Point Of View, Writing Vivid Plots, Writing Vivid Settings, Writing Vivid Characters, Writing Vivid Settings, Why Does My book Not Sell? 20 Simple Fixes, Getting Book Reviews, Writing Book Blurbs And Synopses and more. These are guides for writers who have progressed beyond the basics and are ready to take their skills to the next level, and for indie authors who want to boost their books’ success.
She has worked as a museum guide, belly dancer, bilingual secretary, apple picker, development aid worker adult education teacher, magazine editor, literary agent, publishing consultant and tarot reader, often in several roles at the same time. Now she writes full-time.
After living in Germany, China, Mongolia and Nepal, Rayne has settled in a seaside town in England. She enjoys reading, gardening and long walks along the seashore, braving ferocious seagulls and British rain. Her black cat Sulu – adopted from the rescue shelter – likes to snuggle between her arms while she writes, purring happily.