Path to full-time writer is paved with mystery

full-time writer

Becoming a full-time writer is the dream of nearly everyone crazy enough to put a book out into the world. Please don’t doubt the sanity of those who put out books; it’s undeniably absent. These kamikaze souls take a small piece of their inner most selves and brazenly say “here I am”. It’s this act of self destruction / self-flagellation that somehow releases endorphin’s in our brains, like rats that stumbled upon cheese in a maze. Perhaps we never anticipated it, but for some odd reason, the creation of art is strangely satisfying. The next logical step with the rat in our brains: how do i find more cheese?

Enter in the mystery. Some find their way to becoming a full-time writer by finding a close patron. This might be the closest to the classical response. Art and form was developed by those with enough money to support the practice. In modern times, this might mean relying on a spouse or a teaching position. The problem with finding this relationship is that art is a relative form in which two people may look at the same spot and see different things. That means you have to be close enough to a patron for them to understand, but unique enough where you can bring value to them.

Another, much more modern take, is to build a platform. The idea is that it’s no longer difficult to get the message out, but it is difficult to get people to listen. If you can build a raised platform that makes it harder to ignore than listen, you’ll form a crowd around yourself. You can then charge each of these people a small sum that will equate to a larger sum. This means that you no longer have to deal with one person seeing your relative art in the same manner. Instead, so long as the majority of the crowd sees it, your good. The difficulty with this approach is that it becomes a race to the sky. When you have many people up on platforms, they simply become another crowd… just higher up. That’s easy to ignore. So an author might build an even higher platform, or spread freebies around their platform. Either may work, but it takes time to build enough of a system to regularly attract people.

The final method to building a full-time writer position is perhaps the most obvious: be rich and not have to worry about bills.  The tricky form with this is that the pursuit of money can drown out the flame for artistic creation. That means once you get enough money, you may not want to write anymore.


Perhaps combining these three methods? Or none of these methods? That’s the mystery all would be full-time authors must navigate.