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About prouster

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  • Location
    Salt Lake City
  • Program
    Creative Writing
  1. Career as a novelist?

    There's not really such thing as having a career as a novelist. On average, people who publish novels make around $3,000-5,000 per year off their writing. Really successful people make around 10-15K. At a given time, a handful make a full time living. Almost none get rich. (If you're writing to get rich, then I would advise you to reevaluate your reasons for getting into it in the first place.) More and more, the market for literary fiction is looking like the market for poetry. There will always be places to publish, but fewer and fewer will pay even a pittance. Of course, having a book published makes a career in academia a lot more accessible, which is how quite a few writers survive. Many also work in media, non-profits, arts administration, etc. Lots are also doctors, lawyers, fast food workers, janitors, bus drivers, nurses, school teachers . . . There really isn't such a thing as "life as a writer," because a writer's life is full of the same problems as non-writers'—kids, bills, health. It's kind of a romantic notion that goes back to a period when the only people who published were white men born into wealth (i.e. they had a lot of down time to write and self-aggrandize). Most likely, even with an MFA and a book, you will be working a job that requires at least 40 of your hours every week. That's how most people do it. Of course, you could always find a partner who is independently wealthy . . .