A Decade of Freelance
My pal Scott Westerfeld is celebrating ten years of being a full-time freelance writer today, and comes to the party loaded down with stats that will be of use for people in the “should I keep my day job or write full-time?” thing. In those stats, what I think is the salient bit of information:
Years before I made enough to write only as me: 8
Before that date, he was doing the ghostwriting and all the other things he was doing. This is something for all y’all to keep in mind as you’re plugging away, wondering if there’s a light at the end of the freelance tunnel and how far away it might be.
The eight years notation is interesting to me because as it happens I am at my eighth year of the freelancing life, and this is the first year where I could ditch all the other writing I do that’s not related to my own books and still make what I consider to be an acceptable amount of money (I haven’t quite done that because I like doing the stuff I’m doing. And I’m greedy. Bwa ha ha hah ha!). The details of my and Scott’s writing lives are different enough, and other fulltime writers’ lives more different still, that I’m hestitant to declare a general “eight year” rule here. But I do wonder if this is also consonant with other writers’ experiences.
I am delighted that Scott is able to make a living writing books, for the purely selfish reason that it means there are likely to be more Scott Westerfeld books for me to read — and this likely to be even more the case now that he is a New York Times Bestselling Author via his latest book. You can’t buy that sort of accolade, you know. Other people have to buy it for you, several thousand units at a time.
So congratulations, Scott. Here’s to many more years of the freelance, and book-writing, life.