Love Your Lanes

Can Writing Make You Money?

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Money and Writing: Two Avenues That Can Meet in the Middle

Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash

Growing up, almost every aspiring writer was told, are you sure that’s what you want to do? It’ll be hard, and you won’t make much money. I’ve been there, and I felt the effects of those words. When the one thing you feel could make you happy is made to seem like it will keep you from happiness, it makes you stop for a minute and question the meaning of general contentment.

Despite pause from loved ones, pursuing a career in writing and rhetoric was one of the best career moves I could have done for myself. Not only did going to college for the trade prepare me for life after graduation in the field itself, but it also prepared me for other nuanced jobs that I would never dream of holding but am thrilled to be part of.

There are many ways you can be a writer that will also amount to money. Becoming a staff writer for a magazine, newspaper, or TV show is a surefire avenue to holding a steady income while also guaranteeing job security. And while life as a freelancer is generally looked down upon, for me, it is one of the best parts about being creative.

One day, I am a writer for a medical journal, illustrating copy to be published and referenced for years to come. Another day, I am watching a movie and detailing the highest points and pitfalls of the production for an online entertainment magazine geared toward art lovers. Other days, I write scripts for up-and-coming agencies and crews to develop into shorts, animated films, and documentary movies.

Every day feels new and exciting – this is the reason why I find success in the day-to-day. Whenever I finish a product, I never find myself needing a month-long break due to the feeling of burnout and exhaustion. When I was holding down jobs in the service industry I never loved, waking up felt like a chore, and going through the motions of making money felt worthless. Even though I was making more than what I needed, none of it felt like it meant anything meaningful. Every few weeks, I was begging for an extended weekend off to feel like myself – to feel happiness. But when I’m able to write every day in whatever capacity I dream, every day feels like a blessing. And that feeling is what keeps the projects coming and the money flowing.

Living in NYC is a huge part of finding success, but it’s not all of it. Networking in person is a huge perk and being able to walk to find work is an added bonus. Publications are around almost every corner around here, so if I feel inspired, I’ll write up a piece inspired by a specific magazine and email it over to the publisher. Sometimes, they take it and I made a stipend. Most times, I’m back to the drawing board. The saving grace to being a freelance writer is that everything you need is at the tip of your fingers – online.

If you’re looking for a job, hitting the internet is the best way to find something suitable for your interests and strengths. Sending pitches to your favorite publications is how you grow in this field and putting yourself out there is everything. Freelancing on websites such as Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer are some of the best avenues to build your clientele and take off.

This world is what you make it. I can’t say it’s never been nerve-wracking or strange, but there’s nothing else I can imagine doing.

A Story by Larissa Hamblin.

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