Underwrite - A-Z Challenge, Starting & Sustaining A Writing Career

Friday, April 24, 2015

At some point after you start spending money on writing, editing and publishing you'll wake up to the realization that you are underwriting your dreams, in other words financing and supporting your writing through whatever means possible.

If you're lucky, some of the funds will come from the money you make from selling your books, but if not, I hope you're in a position to afford the things you want to do to support your habit.

It's wise to keep a record of your expenses so you'll have some idea as to whether you're making money from writing. I know the vast majority of writers will continue to shell out money to underwrite today's dreams and hope they turn into tomorrow's success.

Writing is like any other business, if we approach it as such. If we believe in the product we have on the market, then we'll invest a fair amount of funds in the hope that there will be some return on our investment.

Needless to say, the statistics are not favourable as it pertains to what writers make off their work. It's a good thing most of us write for the love of it and not for the returns, but I do believe that with a constant flow of books and a push in marketing effort, we can come closer to our dream of making a career out of writing.

Does the thought of what you've invested in your writing make you gasp? Are you keeping proper records that will help you track your spending? Do you plan to put more or less into underwriting your work?


It's OK to have a plan, to invest in your future - for your financial security, your love life, your personal fulfillment, and even your happiness. To have personal happiness as a stated goal doesn't detract from it if you get there.
                                                                           ~ Karen Finerman

13 comments:

  1. Argh, I always hoped someone would want to edit my writings for free and that wonderful credit... on the cover. It's kind of sad for me, cause I was talking with Tina a few weeks before she passed away about her being that person... Lost a good friend, she still is missed. Thank you for all the great posts!!

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  2. Fortunately I've not had to invest much more than my time. That's valuable as well, though. But I think the return has been worth it.

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  3. For the longest time, I didn't have the money to buy things I needed. I couldn't buy business cards, a website, etc. I just had a dream and that was enough. When I got money, not through writing, I was able to do those things. I still don't get much money from writing and publishing, but that's not going to stop me. :D

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  4. For the longest time, I didn't have the money to buy things I needed. I couldn't buy business cards, a website, etc. I just had a dream and that was enough. When I got money, not through writing, I was able to do those things. I still don't get much money from writing and publishing, but that's not going to stop me. :D

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  5. I'm with Chrys. Although my family isn't struggling financially, I haven't had the money to invest in my writing the way that some writers do. My family and overall family "stuff" comes first and I want to be wise in how I invest money in writing. I don't have a professional website ($10-30 a month), and I don't give out much swag at book events other than candy and bookmarks or flyers. I did make one foolish mistake with purchasing some of my own ISBN numbers (pricey), but I learned from that and I've kept track of the expenses as well as the gains. It's a slow process, and someday I hope that the gains will far outweigh the rest.

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  6. I have a notebook where I write down my expenses and what they were for. It's one thing I like to be organized about.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Member of C. Lee's Muffin Commando Squad
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

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  7. I use a spreadsheet and enter expenses and income each month. It helps to keep things straight at tax time. You're right about treating this as a business. Good post again.

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  8. I keep track of all I spend for tax reasons. Only recently have it really helped me.

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  9. I haven't invested any money in my writing, just a lot of time and perhaps some of my health from sitting at the computer so many hours a day. I also have not gotten any monetary return.

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  10. Every aspiring writer should read this post. Just so they know. Nothing's free.

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  11. incredible.


    understanding encouragements and the power of faith and love is very vital.

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  12. Thanks for this. I wish I'd found this blog earlier in the challenge! Some excellent points. I'll be back to read more!
    Shirley Corder from
    Out of Africa - Topics from A to Z

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