This post at Jan Mag might be of interest - it is somewhat depressing

But for every 10,000 authors there's 1 James Patterson


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Yes and no. I can usually only go for 2 hours at a time before I have to switch to something else. But research is also work, and so is revision, and so is taking long walks to work out a plot problem. Yes, I probably put in that much.
"Of course it's not right that I don't make a year's living expenses from each novel when it takes me a year to write it."
Why not? No offense, but should everyone who decides they want to write automatically get to earn a living at it? There's no profession in the world like that.
Ahh, if only writers were as admired and in as short supply as plumbers ;-)
Anyone who writes as his/her main profession should make a living out of it. I assume that the writing is published, of course. Unpublished doesn't count.
You summed it up nicely, I.J.
Yes, but I think part of one's success in this business is a wee bit of ego that makes each one of us think we can be that 1percent. Or at least bloody well try.
It's funny, I was watching an interview with Ken Follett (who recently signed a $50 million deal for his next three books) the other day where he said he wrote his first book exactly because he wanted the money to pay for something (can't remember what it was) and a friend of his had written a book and received that exact amount (200 pounds, I think.) He didn't do it to get rich, but it's difficult for me to imagine how anyone could think writing a novel was so easy that they could just churn one out for the money. If I didn't feel possessed to write, it would have been much easier to quit than to keep plugging away, especially in the bleak years before I finally got a publishing deal.

As an aside: Ken Follett wrote about 10 novels no one has ever heard of -- I'm not even sure they're still in print -- before he hit it big with Eye of the Needle. Mickey Spillane, however, always claimed he wrote books because it paid well. Because of the booming popularity of pulp magazines back then, being a writer (especially a fast one) probably did pay better then than now. Short story writers could actually make a living in the 50s and 60s. Try that now.


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