How to Make Money with Your Words

That's the dream, right? How many times have you thought about what it must be like to be a rich and famous author?

Wake up...whenever. Drink coffee while scrolling through Twitter. Write. Watch Spiderman cartoons. Drink more coffee. Tweet a few selfies. Count your money. Take a nap. Tweet about taking a nap. Think about showering and changing out of your pajamas.

Sounds awesome, but after getting to know a few successful authors I've realized very quickly that the image I had built in my head of what an author does all day wasn't anywhere near the truth. In fact, hearing about the amount of time spent on a single book and all the deadlines and promotion and revisions and then finding out how much money is made after taxes, scared me. Like, I hid under my bed and sucked my thumb.

I know that there are the super-famous authors that can write anything and slap a catchy title and cool book cover on, and it will sell bazillions. Hell, there's even people that don't actually write their own books! They just come up with an idea for a story, someone else writes it, it gets read to make sure it doesn't suck, the famous author's name gets slapped on the cover, and boom...bestseller. When you get to that point, let me know because I need to borrow some money.

But what about the rest of us? I want to write and get paid for it.

It's not that I want to use writing to get money, I just want to write, but I need money. 

When my kids are hungry I can't hand them my latest blog post and the salt shaker.

There's that fine line between trying to write something that's gonna make you richer than J.K. Rowling, and writing because you have to, because it's who you are.

I have a suggestion for you...find a writing job! I have a writing job. I write copy. It's sort of half way between my dream of being a full-time, coffee drinking, burrito eating, Twitter obsessed author, and being a responsible parent that provides for his kids.

There's a bazillion writing jobs out there. And although having some type of related college degree is helpful, it isn't always required. If you have a portfolio of work that you can show the employer, that might be all they need. The person hiring copywriters can generally spot a naturally talented writer from a mile away.

This is how I got my job...

I researched the position, looked at the company's website and read through the type of copy I would be writing, then I sent the hiring manager an email with my resume (which had absolutely ZERO writing-related job experience or training) and I wrote a sample.

Guess what got me the job...the writing sample! The hiring manager responded to my email with, "Well, it looks like you already have the company's writing voice down and that seems to be what most people have trouble with."

Boom. Writing job.

It's not as fun as writing novels and blog posts that no one reads, but I'm getting to write AND feed my kids!

Seriously, you should look into it.



Oh, so many chords struck here, Aaron! I really love that you have found a way to be able to call yourself a writer, even before you're richer than J.K. Rowling, all in the name of being a responsible husband and father. That balance is so difficult to find, but you've done it, and inspired us, too.

"When my kids are hungry I can't hand them my latest blog post and the salt shaker." Hahahaha! That's awesome. And thank you for the suggestion for writing copy...I'm going to look into that.

I totally relate, except for the Spider Man bit. I need to write, and I guess eating is also a good thing, although I could cut back just a wee bit. I also never want to get to the point that my name is worth more than my words (not too worried that will happen though.) I have noticed so many scams out there (Craigslist etc.) I guess, if it too good to be true (make a million per week writing from home) stay away. But good advice. Thanks

Thank you for this. In every job I've ever held, someone finds out I can write and there you go. So perhaps I'm not writing for a living the way I dream of - but I am writing for my job. And I'm grateful for that. There are moments of sheer boredom and moments of elation. It's all there.

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