belly dancing for a living
Another of Australia’s most eminent novelists, who declined to be named but has published 15 books and won numerous Australian and international awards, said she too has not made a living solely from to his writing until very recently. She had worked as a temporary typist, written for business including captioning images in textbooks, taught creative writing classes, and would not have survived without writing scholarships.
Nearly half of the writers surveyed supported themselves with non-writing jobs. Some worked full time and wrote on weekends and evenings, but most worked part time. Jobs included: graphic designer, neuropsychologist, school teachers, lawyer, doctor, palmistry and belly dancing teachers, arts administrators, clinical health workers, educational film producer, working for a transportation company and my favorite Fiona Wright , an award-winning writer, who listed one of his jobs as “listening to talkback radio for eight hours every day and taking notes on what was discussed, which most often sounded like ear poisoning” .
Two far-sighted authors cited rental income from the property as a source, and five noted financial support from partners in the form of payment of all or more than their share of the mortgage.
Two far-sighted authors cited rental income from the property as a source, and five noted financial support from partners.
I didn’t ask what anyone’s income was from writing, or from any other source, but according to a Macquarie University report, the average writing income for Australian writers is $12,900. . Of course, some are much higher, in the hundreds of thousands of dollars – and some are much lower.
To the rational and pragmatic among us, all of this might suggest that if a writer can’t make a living writing, they shouldn’t. Fair enough, if the criterion is the ability to be financially competitive in the marketplace, but that would mean most Australian publications would disappear. Even our Nobel laureate, Patrick White, with his private family income, would not survive. Looking at the names of the writers who responded to the survey, including those who asked not to be named, there is no necessary correlation between the contribution they have made to Australian literature and their level of income.
Some writers said they preferred writing-related work because it was just writing practice and, according to one person, “in practice, all associated costs were tax deductible.” Claire Corbett, author of two books, said teaching writing at university increased her skills in editing her own work, but she still felt that the time spent helping others to write had a disastrous effect on his own work in terms of time to write. .
Of those with unrelated work, three said they preferred it because a reliable income meant they could choose what they wrote without worrying about whether it was commercial work or not. , and interestingly, they felt it gave them “real world” work experience. the life and people who have nurtured their writing.
Two happy ‘earning a living’ stories: Kate Forsyth, author of historical novels and children’s books, said she has been earning a living since the publication of her first novel, thanks to global sales. She teaches a writing workshop every year in the UK simply because she loves working with new writers. And Hazel Edwards, a longtime stalwart of Australian writing, with over 200 mostly children’s book titles to her name, also makes a living from writing, with the highest percentage, 60% from royalties, followed by book presentations, 23 percent. percent, and lending fees, 13 percent.
So how exactly do I make a living these days? In the years that I’ve had a book published, nine in all, and maybe won an award, more than half of my income comes from writing. The rest comes from writing-related work: writing articles, writing workshops for teaching dissertations, mentoring manuscripts, occasional judging and occasional lectures. Like almost everyone else who mentioned giving writing workshops, I love working with new writers and probably would anyway. I also have a partner who, when needed, will pay more than his fair share, although most of the time it’s 50-50. And then, of course, I go to Paris every year.
Patti Miller’s latest book is The joy of high places (NewSouth Books). Charlotte Wood will appear at the Sydney Writers Festival, from April 27 to May 3.