I wrote a bit about the finances behind my book deals yesterday. People seemed to appreciate this more than I realized they would; this only proves how rare it is for writers, in particular, to talk about money. Perhaps it makes us feel that our “art” is somehow less pure if we corrupt it with the idea that we’re doing it for pay. But I like doing this for a living, and that means I have to make money at it. It also means I do a better job of it because I can spend my work days making nice articles and books for people, instead of cramming it in between profitable ventures.
To that end, I thought it might help if I shared an overview of where some of my freelance, non-book money comes from. In the first three months of 2015, this is about how it’s broken down:
Online recaps of TV shows (a regular, if not terribly high-paying, profit center for pop culture writers): $1,000
Teaching, both for Gotham Writers Workshops and my own one-on-one clients: $2,000
Short pieces for various online outlets: $1,200
A gigantic special project for a major magazine (I basically wrote an entire stand-alone issue): $8,000
This was an unusually profitable period because of that project. Those are the sorts of things that keep freelancers going. They also cannot be counted upon, so I need to make that money work for me for the next few months.
Fellow freelancers, feel free to share some of your biggest (or smallest) income-generators in the comments below! We can all learn from each other.