Writing and Writers: The Levels of Financial Success

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.

My Status

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!