I get asked that question a lot. Sometimes it is asked multiple times by the same person. Then it gets rephrased as, “What is it you write, again?”
When you tell people that you write full time for a living, the first assumption that comes to their mind is that you write books. That’s what writers do, after all, right? Actually, that’s what ‘authors’ do. I’m not an author. I’m a writer, and I make my living by my writing. The majority of the ‘authors’ that I know, do not earn a living from the books they’ve authored. Don’t misunderstand. That doesn’t mean that they don’t make any money from the sales of their books; they do. It just isn’t generally enough to live off of.
I admire those kinds of writers, the authors. They put in a lot of hours and a lot of creative energy into writing their books. Many of them work on a book for a year or years. They write and re-write and then finally send it out for submission to agents and/or publishers. Once they get someone interested in it, then there is usually more editing and re-writing to be done. They put in a lot time on their writing and no one is sending them a paycheck for it weekly or monthly. In reality, they don’t know that it will ever bring in financial reward or even get published. That takes a lot of commitment. I don’t know if I could ever do that.
So, what is it that I write? I write magazine articles for a couple of women’s magazines: HERLIFE and Her Voice. I will also have two articles coming out in Alaska’s Best Kitchens magazine shortly. I also write blog articles for businesses and various articles that you’ll find floating around the web (without my name attached). I write for two different small business related websites BusinessFinanceStore.com and IndustrialistJournal.com (these do provide me with a byline). And I’m always looking for new opportunities to share my words.
Those are types of writing that bring in my income. I like that they have short-term deadlines. I love being able to finish something and move onto something new. I also like that my topics are full of variety. I learn a lot and seldom get bored. Best of all, I work from home, set my own hours and still get a good paycheck every week.
So, today, I take my hat off to my many writer friends who are ‘authors’. Even if you haven’t had a book published yet, you are still an author, just an unpublished author. Your dedication to your craft amazes me. May the words flow smoothly onto your pages.