The Perks of Being a Writer

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Photo Credit: Writer’s Digest

Okay guys, I’m certain that I could write a book about the so-called perks of being a writer. And hey, maybe some clueless soul might confuse the title with The Perks of Being a Wallflower and mistakenly buy it. I can dream, right?

Let’s get on topic here. For the sake of this post, let’s assume that you, the writer, earn enough money from your published titles for writing to be your one and only job. You’re not James Patterson but you’re also not John Guillen making zippo.

Make your own hours

This is one of those things that other professions just don’t have. I mean, I suppose a business owner could also set his or her own hours, but last I checked there are a lot more people in America who don’t own their own business than those who do. But as a writer you can write every other day or three hours a day or eight hours a day or on no set schedule at all. Tell me that isn’t the coolest thing. Sure I know that if you don’t write enough, then you could potentially miss deadlines and yada yada, but still. The hours a writer actually writes is solely dependent on the individual.

No commute

Plenty of professionals live a lengthy drive from their place of employment. And then you have others who may be able to walk to work each day if they live in an overpriced apartment in the middle of the city. But writers don’t have to deal with any kind of commute to and from work. If I want to only write at my desk at home, then I can. If I want to sit out back and write as the sun falls, then I can. If I have a favorite cafe that I frequent for my writing purposes, then I can go there whenever I feel the need to do so. A writer can literally work anywhere, others can’t.

No boss

I know what you’re thinking. A writer has a million people within their publisher who may or may not tell them what to do. But would you really put that in the same sentence as your boss at work who never leaves you alone about the dumbest things? “Get me coffee.” “Get off the internet.” “Where’s that report?” “Were you just taking a selfie?” I don’t think so. After all, this writer has a nice body of work and an agent who can always look for a better publishing situation. Writers are like every single aspect of a business in a single person.

No set salary

Again, I know what you’re thinking. This can also be a very bad thing, especially for a self-published author. But our writer for this post is not self-published and has several published books already. But let’s be real, every working person goes into their annual evaluation thinking they’ve done a good job over the past year and deserve a pay raise. And so many of these people are disappointed over and over again. But a writer doesn’t have to look at his or her work that way. They could write one book that someone likes and that someone could go back and buy the others that are available. A writer can always earn more. And that is not a bad thing.

Okay, I kept this list short because I wanted to hear from you all. What are your favorite perks of being a writer? I’m counting on you for some good ones I haven’t thought of yet!

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55 thoughts on “The Perks of Being a Writer

  1. Getting to do what you love everyday πŸ™‚

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  2. One of my favorite perks is that writers are free to be creative and are able to express themselves through their work.

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  3. Hi, John! The best part about being a writer is that I can ask (almost) anyone any question I want. Odd, personal, impersonal, pointed… really, any question. All I have do is introduce myself as a writer, and people are typically okay with whatever I say. Of course, I have a responsibility to not to take advantage of that perk in a deceitful or spiteful manner, but it can be extremely handy. πŸ™‚

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    • You know, that’s a great one I hadn’t thought of. Although I don’t think I’ve ever really took advantage of it. The people I based my characters on just let me do whatever.

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  4. Seeing as I’m still in the John Guillen level, the p erk are fairly minimal. But I love that the people in my life are trained. They see the laptop and they’re hesitant to approach, but when they see the laptop AND the headphones in, they skedaddle! It’s like a magic ward or soemething, and I love it.

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  5. I love being a writer, because it’s such a huge opportunity to inspire people and reach people all around the world. It feels pretty good when you get positive feedback from someone who was touched by something you wrote. That feeling can’t be rivaled.

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  6. I would have to be James Patterson before I’d quit my day job, tbh. A lot of writers go full-time as soon as the checks come in, but I’m too risk adverse. Unless you’re J.K. Rowling, your writing career is not permanent. It could die with every book. And if mine did die, I’d have to go back to the day job anyway…..and would have totally forgotten everything about chemistry by that point.

    I knowwww, that’s such a downer thing to say. πŸ˜› But okay, if I were so lucky, I think the best part of being a full time writer would be to live out my true purpose without any other obligations. That’s super cheesy, I know! All the stuff you said was really awesome too, though. Oh, how I’d love to quit the commute and make my own hours.

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    • The opportunity to travel and write it off on my taxes as a job deduction because of research/inspiration.

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    • You’d only quit your job if you’re making almost $100M a year? Doubt it.

      Yeah. That’s a cheesy perk. Haha

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      • Eh, there are probably like three authors in the world that make that much. Is Patterson one? I’ve heard he uses ghostwriters so I wouldn’t be shocked.
        That amount of money doesn’t even register to me as a goal because I’ll never be up there.

        If I was very lucky I’d get a six or seven figure deal, or two, and that ain’t enough to sustain me forever. That’s basically what I mean by super successful, because that’s what most professional bestselling authors end up with. If I made enough cash to basically be independently wealthy, that’s when I’d quit.

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      • Of course he does, but can’t fault the guy for making other authors NYT bestsellers and I’m sure they make plenty off their books.

        Seven figures is in the millions. Do you know Barry Eisler? He’s been a NYT bestselling author and he’s sold millions of books. Recently, he was offered like a $500,000 two or three book deal from his publisher. He turned it down and the rights to his books somehow reverted back to him and he self-publishes now. Anyway, all I’m saying is that even guys like him don’t get those deals. I wanna be independently wealthy from anything.

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      • Seven figures does happen. Rarely, but I think Across The Universe, that YA book, was rumored to be a seven figure sale. I’ve stumbled across a few, but more commonly I see 100k, 250k, and 500k. Six figs make up a small percentage of sales but most big name agents have a few under their belt.

        Not implying that I could ever accomplish that, but the point is that if I DID, I wouldn’t feel home free. After taxes and agent fees, $500k is more like $300k. Spread out for multiple books, that could be 50-100k a year…which is a decent income, but barely liveable in cities like NYC and not nearly enough to say “I’ll never work again.” You really need to blow it up in sales and royalties to get a healthy nest egg going, and that means putting out a lot of best sellers. People our age need about $3.5 million in their savings just to retire at 62. Sure, money will grow in a 401k but….life’s expensive, man! So, yeah, it would take about 10-15 years of consistent success for me to make enough dough to be set, even in a world of six figure deals and bestsellers.

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  7. With todays technology i.e. laptops the ability work from any location on the planet.

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  8. The inner glow of having unburdened your soul, of having expressed yourself!

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  9. Best part? Being creative and expressing opinions. I love when an idea comes into my head. It’s like a bee buzzing in a bottle until I sit my backside down and write it. I have a full time profession that pays my bills & funds my lifestyle, but, I often dream of the day, when my only commute is from the kettle to the laptop & the only boss I hear from is my wife yelling because I’m behind on the chores!

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  10. I don’t really know if I can add anything cool to this list. Um… ummmm…. dang it! Nope. Coming up dry. Everything I think of is a derivation of what’s already been said. Sorry to disappoint. But it’s a great post.

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  11. Getting to go on writing retreats to help with inspiration. I sometimes like to nice beaches with my journal and write for as long as possible.

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  12. Sounding like you just escaped from the nearest mental asylum and being able to get away with it with the words “I’m just penning some ideas for my next bestseller – it’s called imagination. Geez!” πŸ˜‰

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  13. Pingback: New or Used? | Write me a book, John!

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