In the following weeks, I’ll be shining a light on the idea of being a “prolific” writer. Today, I will share the second question I ask when trying to figure out what my clients want from their writing – What does “making a living” mean to you?
Figure out YOUR financial goal
There are so so many articles out there that will tell you about writers who managed to start earning a 6-figure income through their writing, and how you yourself can become as successful within the next 2 to 5 years. Earning that much money through your writing sounds absolutely fabulous, but do you really need that kind of money? Is that truly a goal you have to set for yourself? Or is it far from what you need?
We all know that there are particular standards that differ per country/culture as to what making a living amounts to. There are numbers we look up to, numbers we look down upon, and numbers we would be ok with. Often, however, the numbers we would be ok with are higher than we would need to live our lives comfortably enough (which is the basic meaning of making a living, after all).
What does living comfortably mean to you?
- What kind of place do you need to live comfortably enough?
- What kind of car(s) do you need to drive?
- How often do you need to go out, for dinner, to the theatre, to the cinema, to your local?
- What type of clothes or groceries do you need to be able to buy?
- What kind of holidays do you need to go on, and how often?
Within my partner’s family, we are the odd ones out, the ones who’ve considered what society and our environment expect of us when it comes to our living-making and found it wanting.
My partner “only” works four days a week because he doesn’t want to work five. I combine three different jobs and easily work 60 hours a week. We’re the only ones in the family who rent a place instead of own it because those three different jobs make it impossible to get a mortgage. And we’re both absolutely happy where we are now, because, despite earning less than all the other couples in the family, we understand that we’re in fact living comfortably enough. Would I mind earning 6 figures through my writing? Not at all. But it’s not a goal of mine; it’s not the income I need, it’s not where my bar is set.
Of course, if you can’t imagine your life without that 6-figure income—and there’s nothing wrong with that, that’s not what I’m saying—you might want to read those articles and start kicking your own ass. But for those who don’t, remember that none of us need to put that kind of pressure on ourselves. The only thing you need to do is figure out what a “living” means to you and turn that into your goal. YOUR goal.
Want to know more? Read my first post, where I explain the why behind this series of posts and share the first question: Where do you want your writing to take you?