I'm thinking about making writing my career

@Galador
Yeah that’s because it’s very vague. And it IS in between 5-10k downloads on Google Play because the other downloads are on Google Chrome, Kindle, and Apple.

@DJ_CUTY Oh, I should have suggested this earlier- what I mean by the numbers being off is that it doesn’t make sense that for Choice of the Dragon, the installs recorded on Google Play are for ALL platforms when it says 500,000-1,000,000 yet for Heroes Rise, it only counts the installs specifically from Google Play. Surely it is more consistent than that.

@Galador
Yeah it’s pretty weird. I wish they were like Youtube and told you the EXACT number of downloads.

@DJ_CUTY That would make things much less difficult, wouldn’t it? LOL!

I am at a crossroads in the journey of life and I will appreciate any and all counsel. The reason I am posting here is because I think there are people here who are experienced in the matter and might offer meaningful advice.

Being a storyteller has been my dream and my passion. But I am from an Asian country that still places a lot of stock in excelling in traditional education and getting a high-powered job. On top of that, my parents are conservatives and my father is a bit of an overachiever when it comes to traditional success. I have always been pushed to be like him or even surpass him. Honestly, I didn’t get to choose my career, it was chosen for me when I was in elementary school. But I don’t have anything against my parents. They have always given me the best—what they thought was the best. But I appreciate it.

I was a relatively obedient child so I did what was asked of me and eventually entered the government bureaucracy. It isn’t an easy job to get into. I had to clear an exam that has a success rate of only 0.3%.

I will admit that it is a sweet gig and I am able to live in relative luxury. Everything from vehicles to accommodation and even “servants” are provided for. And it is worth mentioning that this is the line of work that MIGHT one day lead one to be appointed as Governors or Ambassadors.

But it is also the kind of job that takes up all my time and energy. I am like a drone dealing with a corrupt bureaucracy and shady politicians because “that is how the system works”. I cannot get any public work done without compromise. It is something I don’t enjoy doing. And I am not just talking about the compromises, I don’t enjoy the nature of the job itself. Add to it the fact that I have gotten increasingly disillusioned with the very government I work for and I have no faith in it anymore.

I am in my late twenties and I am starting to wonder if when all is said and done, I will look back and see a life wasted in pursuit of a goal I never even wanted in the first place, only because society deemed I had to do so.

Now that the picture has been painted, I am going to actually get to the point (Thank You for reading so far).

If I were to take the leap and decide to work on a story, Hosted Games is my preferred platform. As for my writing credentials, I have never had anything major published except for articles in high school and college. I used to post my stories on Fanfiction.net and some stuff on Wattpad. Some got a decent amount of reads in a month (more than 10k) and good reviews. Although that might have something to do with it being free, and hence people might have been kinder. I am not expecting the same level of generosity in the reviews for something people have actually paid for. And while English is not my first language, I went to a high school run by the American Embassy, with an American faculty and did pretty good in English (except for my accent).

As for ideas, well I have a lot of them (don’t we all?). But I will be concentrating on speculative fiction, fantasy romance and old school mystery/thrillers. I already have a world/setting with some literature, lots of artwork, a bunch of characters, a couple of plots and a magic system.

To live comfortably in my country, I will need to make around 15000 USD a year and while I do have some passive sources of income from a few family-owned businesses, that comes with baggage and I don’t think they would be thrilled about me quitting my job to write full-time.

I guess I will also add that I already own a house and a car, both of which have already been paid for and I am not married. Furthermore, I have enough savings for two years and I don’t have any taxes due.

Obviously, I am not expecting to strike gold and make $15000 on my first book. I am only wondering if the risk is worth taking?

I am all for taking calculated risks.

I welcome any and all suggestions.

Thank You!

Edit: Don’t hesitate to give your opinion because I am clearly not going to base the entirety of my decision on what is said on this thread. I am just here to hear your suggestions.

Edit 2: My question is not only about finance. I am also wondering if following your dreams has been fulfilling and is the risk worth taking, in your opinion of course?

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I can’t speak towards the financial side (don’t quote me haha but from what I’ve heard you get about 17 cents on every dollar. Links below might help more), but for I’m all for following your passion. Maybe talk to the more established authors here? See what they have to say?
Edit: Some quick math I did. if you sold one game a year for one dollar, you would need upwards of 80,000 downloads to make $15,000

Edit:

Ah, here I can’t say. I just write in my spare time when I dont have crushing amounts of school work haha. Good luck @Astralise.Ink! :heart:

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Thanks! I will check those threads out. But my question is not only financial, I am also wondering if it has been fulfilling to those who have followed their passion and would they say it has been worth the risk?

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That will be a hard question to answer, and so if you want a more technical answer then you can ignore this message entirely. I can’t tell you whether being a writer as a job will give you what you want, or what you hope to achieve, because everyone’s experiences will be different and if you want to hear from people who have already published. I’m sure their answers will be a balance of being different from each other and similar to where you can see a trend.

If writing is something you are definitely passionate about and is something you would like to commit your time and money to, then I don’t think it should be a question at all. If it’s something you want to do, then it will bring you fulfillment regardless of how hard the process may be to get where you want to end up. :man_shrugging:

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You are right. I want to create stories above all else, but it will be a very momentous decision. The society I hail from is very materialistic, and if I am being honest, I do at times feel their pressure.

Still, I hate my current job and I feel no passion for it. Two or three times a week, I manage to work on a hundred words or so before mental exhaustion overtakes me. So I have been procrastinating on working towards my dreams. But I have come to the sudden realization that time is running through my fingers like grains of sand.

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I’m a very idealistic person so my number one thing to say will always be to follow your dreams and what you want to do, because that’s ultimately the thing that will make you the happiest.

So once again I encourage you to follow your dream and build on it with a solid foundation. Working a job that only exhausts you mentally will lead you to forgetting/neglecting what you’re passionate about.

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Thanks! I would totally like to take your advice and run with it.:sweat_smile:

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I wish I could take my own advice and run with it. Oh if only it was that easy.

Sadly you have to work for it, but I think it’s worth all the blood, sweat and tears you can possibly shed.

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Yeah! You are right. Nothing comes easy.

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Some advice I’ve received and taken to heart:

If there is literally anything else you would like to do – literally anything at all – do that and write on the side. If you cannot see yourself doing ANYTHING except for writing, then write.

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Thanks! That is something to think about.

Arternus,

I think you should do what you can to get out of a job you do not enjoy one bit. So, on that front, definitely try writing. However, how much time you dedicate to writing would obviously be dictated by your financial situation. I’ve long said that you can be a good writer and have no sales, while a poor one may and vice versa. It’s pretty much the luck of the draw and finding the right audience. I compare making it with being struck by lightning and by making it, I mean becoming the Stephen Kings, JK Rowlings, Dean Koontz, Dan Browns of the world. Set your sights at a modest income and I suppose it should be much more achievable depending on writing talent and how you speak to people (speak as in whether people find value in what you write).

What I would caution against, however, which is likely going to draw some hate and I honestly don’t give a shit about it, is considering the traditional publishing route. Now, I’ve always been someone who values creative freedom and full control over my work, so I would always be hesitant to go the traditional route unless I was sure it was right, but with today’s world being how it is . . . I feel even more strongly that self-publshing is the better route. The part that is going to get me hate is my belief that today’s world is way too infested with identity politics. In terms of publishing, I remember looking at one of my mum’s writing magazines (don’t think much of them but whatever) and seeing what one agent or editor said. They spoke about how a character/villain made racist remarks, so they wanted it out and they admitted it basically made the work or character worse for it. Took the zing out of it, so to speak, but they felt it was the right thing to do (if I had to wager anything, given my dislike of everything going on, I’d say it was the wrong type of racism but racism against whites would have been a-okay). So, with things so heavily saturated in identity politics, is it really what you would want? Personally, I wouldn’t, as I feel the focus is no longer on simply writing a good story that is either thought-provoking, entertaining or both, but it is on control, pushing an agenda and on not offending people (really, I think no fear of potentially offending people is what makes great writing but you obviously shouldn’t write with the intent of doing so). Anyway, it might be you find a publishing house that is still focused on good writing and story-telling above all else, rather than what your skin color is or who you bang, as well as not dedicated to pushing an agenda.

Going the self-publishing route, however, comes with its own caveats. On the one hand, you have to get a agent or publisher to like your work in traditional publishing but if you’re accepted, you will possibly find it easier to become known. Granted, I know there are writers that have to do much of the promotion themselves and in all honesty, I’m not sure how much the publishing houses would help promote your work if you’re unknown, so you may not want to take too much notice of what I say here. With not being interested in it, I don’t typically pay much attention. On the flip side though, there’s the story of someone like J.A Konrath who had greater success when he went the self-publishing route. But yeah, going the non-traditional route would make it harder to be found. You’d have to do all of the legwork yourself, at least until your work is found and you have an audience who can promote for you. You really only have so long to make a impact on Amazon in my view as an example, while your story’s visible under new releases. Other than that, it’s search engine use and luck of the draw, plus sales ranking and self-promotion (I haven’t used Amazon for quite a long time, but sales ranking does still play a part in visibility, right, if anyone’s in the know?).

Finally, I said about control issues and identity politic issues with traditional publishing. Unfortunately, you’re not entirely free of it with self-publishing either, as you may still draw ire if you cover a ‘disliked’ or ‘not allowed’ topic and you may feel pressured or turned off writing as a result. Cancel culture, unfortunately, doesn’t really distinguish between what side you’re on (people who tout much of what’s in vogue have also cancelled their own books after going after others so I think it was nice they got a taste of their own medicine), self-published or traditionally published.

Anyway, there’s drawbacks to each and I hope I’ve been as unbiased as I can be in highlighting what I view as the negatives and positives of each. It’s worth noting I haven’t written for quite a while, though I’ve been thinking about doing so again recently. I’ve always been unbknown as well, so at the end of the day, I may have some things wrong and not be the best person to speak to.

Regardless, best of luck with whatever you decide to do and I hope I’ve helped at least a little. I think it’s great you’re wanting to write and it should be encouraged even if I’ve been somewhat of a downer. Unfortunately, these problems are a world issue and not just relegated to writing. You sound like you had a lot of views on Wattpad as well, if I remember correctly how many I received there, so maybe you can handle the self-promotion etc. fine.

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Thanks for the long and detailed response. I see your point.

I do think artistic freedom is paramount but I will also be glad to work with publishers as long as our values are aligned and I am not forced to do something I don’t agree with.

Regardless, I am very thankful for your response. You have given me a lot to think about.

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No problem. I meant what I said in wishing you luck and saying I’m glad you want to write. My cousin’s daughter, who’s still very young, might be interested in doing so.

One thing I didn’t say is don’t be afraid of going against the grain with your writing. :slight_smile: Rules are there to be broken if you think you can do so well, after all.

Again, good luck.

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Thank You :slight_smile:

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Okay, I can sympathize. Back when I was in research I had a lot more clout and income, but also no free time to write. At all. The job consumed my energy, and it was only after I (due to changing circumstances and a small mental break) I switched careers to a ‘grunt job’ that I had the opportunity to pursue my writing career.

Career… that’s the trouble here, ennit? Because writing is something that takes time. I’ve been working full time (and writing on the side) since 2010, but it was only 2018 I started making real money. Not enough to quit my job, mind you, but it helped. The thing that made me money (Fallen Hero) I had been working on since about 2014 on and off, and that’s the thing here.

You won’t make money immediately, even if you sell really well. A writing career builds up over time, since once it is out, it will keep selling. Once you publish your next thing, that will add to it. If you get well known enough that people might be interested in supporting a Patreon, that adds to it as well. But it is a gradual build.

I consider myself very lucky for a first time author with no following (English is my second language too). All my bookkeeping is in Swedish kronor, so they vary a bit depending on the dollar. If I assume an exchange rate of 8skr to the dollar, my 2018 income (published mid march) was around $11 250 (not counting any expenditures), in 2019 it was around $8 400 (no launch spike). 2020 might be similar from the looks. That’s not counting Patreon, which is too new to judge. What will happen when I publish my second book, we’ll see. It will be interesting.

My advice to you is to be smart. You have written fanfiction, and you obviously want to do this. You need to find time to write. Yes, I know it is hard, but you can’t quit your career and start from scratch. You need to get something out there first. Yes, it will probably take a few years, but writing ain’t fast. And if you really want to do this, you need to think in terms of decades, not months. Doing this will require sacrifices a lot more complex than just quitting your job, writing full time, and then maybe earn a little in two years. You need to plan for it, and from the sound of things, you’ve already started with the financial bits. House, car, no loans. Nice.

Now comes the hard part. Figuring out what part of your life you can cut down on. Yes, the obvious one is work, but you can’t quit yet. So the hard balance becomes cutting back on the space it occupies in your mind. Try to avoid bringing it home with you. Detach yourself, little by little. Remind yourself that this is temporary. A means to an end. Good money now so you can save up for the future. Sometimes it helps to have a goal that is not a career to make the actual work bearable.

The other part will be your social life. Yeah. Fun things, playing videogames, meeting up with friends, all those things. Can you skip anything there?

Being a writer means making tough choices. You won’t be a social butterfly. You won’t be able to play all the games, or see all the shows you used to. You need to get used to saying no to fun nights out, or the social functions you took for granted.

What you need to do is finish your first book (or interactive fiction). And yes, most writers do that while holding down a full time job, and in some cases also raising a family. It can be done. If you want it enough.

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