I Make Money by Writing on the Internet
I’m a writer. I don’t yet make all of my income from writing, but I’m heading there. Every month, money appears in my bank account, from a few different sources. I take it out and pay actual bills with it.
Right now, writing is my part time job. It’s a lot of work, but the actual work part of it is the least of my worries. It’s a breeze.
I’d probably get more writing done if I quit my job. But that leads me to a dilemma.
I’d like to quit corporate life. I like a lot of my coworkers, don’t get me wrong. But some of them drive me up the wall. If you’ve ever had a coworker decide to eat salmon and boiled eggs at their desk at 10 a.m., you know what I mean.
If you’ve ever had a coworker try to corner you in your cubicle and scream in your face, you know what I mean. Those things should come equipped with escape ladders.
Sitting in my PJs and writing, in comparison, is so nice. The skill didn’t come easily, sure. I spent 15+ years and many classes honing my writing and research skills. I’m still not the best writer around, but that just means I’ve got so much room to grow.
But, like anything, there are some downsides to freelance life. If I want to make this the real deal, I need to figure things out. For example:
- I need to get my own health and dental insurance.
- I need to get my own life insurance.
- There are no paid sick days.
- Pay is unpredictable.
I mean, most of that stuff is fine. Dental insurance? I can buy that on my own, affordably. Life insurance? My job mandates it and I have to pay for it, so basically no change there.
Paid sick days? Those are barely a thing in the corporate world anyway. I’ve dragged myself in, coughing and sneezing and with a fever, and been told that I better not call out the next day. At least I’m not getting any looks coughing and sneezing into my computer.
The main problems are no health insurance, and unpredictable paychecks. Health insurance in the USA is expensive. I can get a high-deductible (read: covers basically nothing) plan for $700 a month, or a more comprehensive plan for $1000+ a month. But then I still have to pay co-pays for medicine and doctors’ visits. If I get hospitalized, I still have to pay thousands of dollars.
That’s a lot of money!
And, of course, I can never know for sure what I’m going to make in any given month or week with my writing. Whereas with a corporate job, as long as I clock in and out on time and smell those boiled eggs, I get a predictable paycheck.
If it was just me, I’d have no trouble making the leap. But my husband and I are talking about having a kid. And I want it to have good health insurance, and be born in a time when I can afford the water bill to wash its diapers, and electricity to keep it cool on hot summer nights.
I think that if I make writing my full-time job and something else my part-time job for awhile, I can pull this off. Maybe. But I don’t know many people who have done it.
When I was younger, I always wanted to be a writer. People didn’t doubt that I had some budding skills, but they always encouraged me to pick another job, just in case. There’s a lot of risk in going all in, they said, and writers don’t usually make money.
That’s not a misconception, either. Look up the statistics for what the average writer makes. It’s really, really low. Like, “I could only live off this if I lived in a cardboard box” low.
But of course, there’s a lot of risk in never trying. For now, I’m sitting at my computer, doing what I want, smelling what I want, and no one’s screaming in my ear. In fact, from time to time, I get cuddles from my cat. Sometimes, money isn’t everything.