Level 1: The Lottery Winners
Riches beyond compare. This is the land of writers with amusement parks based on their characters, ownership of professional sports teams, etc.
Level 2: The Serious Earners
Writers can pay all their bills solely from their writing. No financial support from spouses, parents, savings.
Level 3: The Hacks
Same as above, but includes writing things the writer doesn’t like writing (advertising copy, help manuals, undesired freelance work, etc.)
Level 4: The Toilers
Bills are paid solely from writing proceeds and other writing-enabled jobs (speaking engagements, editorial work, teaching gigs, etc.).
Level 5: The Modest Earners
Proceeds from writing exceed writing-based expenditures. Income primarily derives from another source (parents, spouse, non-writing job).
Level 6: The Honorarias
Same as above, but writer has received only in-kind payments (review copies, waived fees, etc.).
Level 7: The Nullities
No income whatsoever from writing. Can include people who consider themselves writers but have never actually written anything.
Level 8: The Sub-Nullities
No income from writing whatsoever, with expenditures (postage, editing or proofreading costs, etc., writing conferences, etc.) exceeding income.
I am currently at Level 8. Twenty-six bucks in the hole, thanks to shelling out for the domain name (jackewilson.com).
The good news is that I only need to sell twenty or so copies of my novellas (coming soon!) (update: out now!) to make it into the red, which will catapult me to Level 5.
Onward and upward!