Two Kinds of Writing

LanceRocks
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LanceRocks
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Joined: 1:56 AM - Sep 05, 2013

6:35 PM - Sep 29, 2013 #1

Looking back, I divide my writing into two types:

1. Writing on assignment.
2. Writing what I want.

For me, writing on assignment was schoolwork, advertising & PR, and sales presentations. Writing what I want has been plays,* poetry, letters to the editor and essays published as unpaid articles in magazines.

I'm trying to decide how to approach my next point with empathy and grace without sounding like your parents. Allow me to say that 60% of the reason I'm on WB is to help younger writers, 30% is to share my own work, and 10% is simply to give me a worthwhile activity in retirement!

: = )

Regarding your own writing there will be those who support you out of some personal interest (often, but not necessarily, financial), and disinterested parties who are determined to give you the unvarnished truth as they see it.

ANNUAL WRITING INCOMES IN 2013 DOLLARS

A. $8,000 - $18,000
B. $35,000 - $85,000
C. $150,000 - $350,000
D. $500,000 - $1,000,000 +

My own experience in billable writing has been such that A. is pretty easy, B. is doable; I know people doing C. and D. is unimaginable. (Now you know my limit: I can't imagine pulling in $900,000 per annum from writing alone!)^

* My plays were subsidized at some bare subsistence level.
^ Thinking as a paid, working writer rather than as novelist writing on spec.
Last edited by LanceRocks on 1:15 AM - Oct 01, 2013, edited 5 times in total.
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AnyaKimlun
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AnyaKimlun
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7:31 PM - Sep 29, 2013 #2

Writing can be a part of many different career paths. I was an archaeologist/museum worker before I became ill and I was required to write a lot for that.

Right now I'm having a bit of an epiphany moment and I'm contemplating becoming a Church of Scotland minister (I'm not even Christian right now but there is a distinct call)- starting my degree next year. That job can involve a great deal of writing.

Not everyone needs to pull in huge amounts per annum to live contentedly and well.
Last edited by AnyaKimlun on 7:33 PM - Sep 29, 2013, edited 1 time in total.
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LanceRocks
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LanceRocks
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8:31 PM - Sep 29, 2013 #3

AnyaKimlun wrote:Writing can be a part of many different career paths.
So true! I wound up writing and performing in financial sales.

Thank you, Anya Kimlun!

Lance
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Eliza
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Eliza
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Joined: 2:34 AM - Sep 23, 2013

I agree.

11:13 PM - Oct 02, 2013 #4

I do two types of writing as well. My job requires behavioral plans and observation explanations, research papers, desktop publishing. Then there is my hobby. I write because I must and have for a long time. I am lousy with the grammar part of it but pretty OK with the story part of it.
I am also exploring the web writing part. Writing on web sites is interesting because it is like advertising. You want to get people to come to your web site and get whatever you are selling or giving to them.
I really hate the editing part of writing no matter what I am writing and when I speak of the editing it is the grammar part I am talking about not the rewriting to make the story better.

Hey LanceRocks, I am curious about short stories and contests. Writers' Digest is doing one of their contest where the story has to be under 1500 words. I keep working on a few of my short stories but it is hard to trim down. Any suggestions?
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LanceRocks
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LanceRocks
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11:39 PM - Oct 02, 2013 #5

Eliza wrote:
Hey LanceRocks, I am curious about short stories and contests. Writers' Digest is doing one of their contest where the story has to be under 1500 words. I keep working on a few of my short stories but it is hard to trim down. Any suggestions?
Hi, Eliza - thanks for your generous and thoughtful post.

I'm a poet who knows about writing but not about the literary market. The folks who would know hang out here under Fiction and Publishing.

As a former advertising copywriter I *do* specialize in text compression. Let me know when/where you post your 1500 words - I'd be honored to check them out!

: = ) Lance
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AnyaKimlun
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AnyaKimlun
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11:48 PM - Oct 02, 2013 #6

See I don't see it as different kinds of writings. I more or less approached my non fiction the way I approached my fiction and just told the story. Using a similar approach in science reports allowed me to get away with an awful lot.

Maybe one day I'll post a non fiction piece here. It's been awhile since I wrote one.
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Gaines
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Gaines
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6:38 PM - Oct 05, 2013 #7

Last month I made 450k writing one lousy note. It read.

"I have a gun. Fill the sacks and don't set off the alarm or else."

Six figures is doable if you are creative enough.
"Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy." Fitzgerald
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Redlorry
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9:56 PM - Oct 05, 2013 #8

I write an lifestyle magazine as part of my day job. It's circulated among the 27,000 UK employees of the bank I work for.

I love writing it, the magazine is the best part of my job, which also involves writing reports and technical, regulatory and legal documents.

The best part of my job is the day when the office copies of my magazine are delivered to me and I have the tangible product in my hand.
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Senington
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Senington
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10:58 PM - Nov 11, 2013 #9

LanceRocks wrote:Looking back, I divide my writing into two types:

1. Writing on assignment.
2. Writing what I want.

For me, writing on assignment was schoolwork, advertising & PR, and sales presentations. Writing what I want has been plays,* poetry, letters to the editor and essays published as unpaid articles in magazines.

I'm trying to decide how to approach my next point with empathy and grace without sounding like your parents. Allow me to say that 60% of the reason I'm on WB is to help younger writers, 30% is to share my own work, and 10% is simply to give me a worthwhile activity in retirement!

: = )

Regarding your own writing there will be those who support you out of some personal interest (often, but not necessarily, financial), and disinterested parties who are determined to give you the unvarnished truth as they see it.

ANNUAL WRITING INCOMES IN 2013 DOLLARS

A. $8,000 - $18,000
B. $35,000 - $85,000
C. $150,000 - $350,000
D. $500,000 - $1,000,000 +

My own experience in billable writing has been such that A. is pretty easy, B. is doable; I know people doing C. and D. is unimaginable. (Now you know my limit: I can't imagine pulling in $900,000 per annum from writing alone!)^

* My plays were subsidized at some bare subsistence level.
^ Thinking as a paid, working writer rather than as novelist writing on spec.
Would you say that your income in writing has been in formal traditional paid jobs? Or is it more freelance work?
I'd love it if you could review some of my work here and here.

Senington.com - Reviews of indie, popular and classic fiction.
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LanceRocks
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LanceRocks
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12:48 AM - Nov 12, 2013 #10

Senington wrote:Would you say that your income in writing has been in formal traditional paid jobs? Or is it more freelance work?
Thanks for the query, Senington! Much appreciated.

I've done both: writing on salary is far easier than freelance. Was an advertising copywriter at four or five shops (ad agencies) for about 20 years. These were salaried positions where I worked 9 to 5 in an office like everybody else.

I've pretty much blocked my four or five years as a freelancer out of my memory. You fight for the assignment, interview the client, try to produce what they want and you are paid on delivery. If your material works they hire you again; if not, they don't. You basically never stop looking for employment.

I don't want to dissuade anyone, but people who typically make the bucks in our system are those who control the means of production: most creative folks get very little. Let's say you are hired to write a brochure for $1,500. It's a one-time payment on delivery of the copy: that's it. Then the client - typically an agency - prints many thousands of brochures using your copy and makes a commission of $45,000 on the job. Once you sell the rights to your copy you are out of the loop and the real money goes to those who use it for mass production, including fees for placing ads, commercials, etc. The creative side is almost a second thought in the media business.

You only have to know something about the history of rock 'n roll to know a few artists get rich, but very few. There is more than one Netflix movie about heavy metal acts that didn't make it. Last week I watched a movie about Vampira, TV's first female horror host. It's a cautionary tale. At the end of her life she (Maila Nurmi) didn't even own rights to the character she created. Typical Hollywood.

Hope this answers your question!
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