“If you steal from one author it’s plagiarism; if you steal from many it’s research.”
Wilson Mizner, Dramatist
Pros and Cons of Working as a Writer
You think about becoming an author but want to learn more about this profession before actually going this career path? Good news!
I am a writer myself and can therefore show you all the pros and cons of being an author in great detail from my own personal experience.
Table of Contents
Writer Job Profile
|Authors write books and distribute them through various different channels. Modern writers also start a blog or a YouTube channel and don’t rely solely on their income from their books anymore.
|While a small minority of writers make a fortune, most writers barely make a living from what they are doing.
|No job security at all for writers.
|Good if you love writing and sharing your ideas with others.
|Good since you can work whenever you want.
|Physically / Mentally Demanding?
|Can be mentally demanding.
|Questionable since an increasing number of people want to work in this field and competition is fierce.
|No educational requirements at all. You will be fine as long as you can write in a decent manner.
Advantages of Being an Author
- You can work self-employed
- Authors can structure their day as they want
- Writers don’t have that much stress
- Writers have a good work-life balance
- Some writers make really good money
- You don’t need fancy education for becoming an author
- You can start out your writer career as a side hustle
- Authors can share their work via social media
- Writers can work indoors
- You can avoid physical work
- You can build a personal brand
- Authors can work from home
- You can use self-publishing and keep a bigger share of your revenue
- You can avoid working in classical office jobs
- Authors can write about the things they love
- You can make the world a little bit better
- You may become famous
- Being an author is more than a job
- You can improve your writing skills with many free courses
- Free tools can help you increase your efficiency
- You can get into blogging
You can work self-employed
One advantage of being an author is that you can work self-employed and don’t have to work for someone else while police officers and many other people don’t have this luxury.
This means that you do whatever you want during your workday and don’t have a boss who will be looking over your shoulder all day long.
Consequently, you can spend your workday like a free human being instead of being trapped in a corporate job where you always have to do what other people want and your own preferences just don’t count that much.
Authors can structure their day as they want
Since you will have no boss, you will also be free to structure your workday like you want it to be.
For instance, you may not want to work in the morning since you got home late last night.
In such a case, there will be no problem since you will not have to show up at work in the morning but you can rather sleep in the morning and work a little bit longer in the evening.
Barely anyone else will have this level of flexibility regarding when and how to work and this can make your life as an author just so much better since it gives you a real feeling of freedom and independence.
In fact, the great level of flexibility is one of the most important things I get from my work as an author and it just makes my life much more enjoyable.
Writers don’t have that much stress
Another upside to working as an author is that you will also not have that much stress.
Sure, there may be periods where you have to finish books or have to do many things at the same time to reach your financial goals.
Yet, compared to other jobs where time pressure and high stress levels are quite common, you will have a rather relaxed life as an author and this can greatly increase your quality of life since you will have more energy throughout the day and will also have lots of power left to meet up with friends in the evening while many other people are just too tired to do so.
Writers have a good work-life balance
Not only will you have a rather relaxed life as an author, but you will also benefit from a good work-life balance.
Since you can decide when and how much you want to work, you don’t have to work many extra hours.
Instead, you can decide in a completely free manner how much you want to earn from your job and adjust your working hours according to that.
Some writers make really good money
If you are really good at what you are doing and also have a little bit of luck, you may be able to make really good money from your writing career.
Sure, only a small minority of authors make good money.
Yet, if you can figure out what people like in our current state of the world and meet their preferences, you may be able to write one bestseller which may completely change the course of your life in a positive financial manner.
You don’t need fancy education for becoming an author
Another benefit of becoming a writer is that you will also not need a college degree or other fancy education.
In fact, barriers to entry are quite low.
You don’t even need a high school diploma as long as you can write in a decent manner and are familiar with grammatical things.
Consequently, almost everyone can become a writer and talent and perseverance will be much more important to succeed in this job compared to any formal education you could get.
You can start out your writer career as a side hustle
If you are not sure whether you want to become a writer or not, you could also start your author career as a side hustle.
You can just write before and after work for a few hours and see how your career develops.
If you are really good at what you are doing and people buy your book quite often, you may be able to quit your day job and make a full-time income from your writing.
However, before this is the case, you can still keep your day job to cover your bills.
By doing so, you can lower the financial pressure and can start your writing career in a more convenient manner, even though you might have to work long hours every day since you will have two jobs.
Authors can share their work via social media
It has also never been easier to share your work as an author.
In fact, you can share your work on social media or through many other channels.
You may also want to give away some copies for free so that people get to know your work.
In turn, you may sell much more paid copies afterward and your level of popularity may increase as well.
Writers can work indoors
You will also enjoy the privilege of working indoors as a writer.
While many other people have to work outdoors during heavy snow or rain, you will be the one who can sit inside your four walls while writing your books and you will be protected against the rough elements outdoors while you can even enjoy a nice coffee and tea at the same time.
You can avoid physical work
Another advantage of working as a writer is that you also don’t have to work in a physical manner.
While writing can be mentally and emotionally demanding, you still don’t have to stress your body at all.
Many people have to work in a physical manner and complain about health issues that come along with it sooner or later.
You as an author will not have to worry about those physical health problems that much since you will just sit in your chair for many hours while other people have to lift heavy stuff on a regular basis.
You can build a personal brand
If you know how digital marketing works or if you are willing to learn those digital things, you can also build your personal brand on social media to sell your books and to increase your level of fame in general.
For instance, you could start a YouTube channel where you present your opinion about latest topics and gather many followers.
In turn, you can monetize your audience later on since your fans will likely buy your books and support your work.
Authors can work from home
You also don’t have to commute to work as an author.
Instead, you can work from home or from every other place you want.
You could even travel the world while working at the same time and this gives you a great level of flexibility regarding where you want to work from.
Hence, while other people have to commute to work every day and spend plenty of time stuck in traffic jams, you can just sit on your couch and do your work.
You also don’t have to worry about wearing the right clothes.
You could even work in your pajamas since nobody would notice it anyway.
You can use self-publishing and keep a bigger share of your revenue
Thanks to our modern technology, you will also be able to use self-publishing and keep a bigger share of your revenue.
While you had to give away 80% or more of your revenue in the past to other parties, it is now possible to keep a major fraction of your revenue as an author.
You can also publish your work by using e-books.
The advantage of e-books is that you will not have any production costs since you will just produce your work in a completely digital manner instead of having to pay for printing.
Moreover, it has also become quite easy to self-publish books and almost everyone who is a little bit familiar with computers could do it.
Hence, barriers to entry are quite low and you can also keep much more of your revenue compared to just a few decades ago.
You can avoid working in classical office jobs
Another upside to a career as an author is that you can also avoid classical office work.
While many people have to work in an office and do things they don’t like at all, you can really enjoy your work, especially if you love writing and expressing your own ideas.
Thus, while you will be free to do your work whenever you want it to do and can also decide what you want to do each day as a writer, many other people will not have this luxury since their boss will dictate to them what they have to do.
Authors can write about the things they love
You can also write about the things you are really interested in as an author.
For instance, you may love riding horses. In such a case, you could write a book that shows people how to ride and care for a horse.
As you can see, you can spend your time as a writer with the things you are really passionate about and don’t just have to work for the money as most other people do.
You can make the world a little bit better
Once you have reached a certain level of popularity as an author, you can also use your fame to make the world a little bit better.
For instance, you can remind your followers how important it is to treat people with respect and to tolerate other ways of life.
You could also support charity foundations by promoting their projects on your social media channels.
As you can see, you can also make a real difference for many people out there who would be helpless without your support.
You may become famous
While the chances are rather low, you may also become famous as an author.
If you are willing to work hard and are also willing to invest countless hours, you may be able to build a huge audience and many people may recognize you when you walk down the streets.
Therefore, an author career can also be great for you in case you want to be in the spotlight and want to become famous in the long run.
Being an author is more than a job
For many people, writing is more than just a job.
It is a real passion and many people really enjoy sharing their work with others.
In fact, I personally really enjoy producing content that other people benefit from since it gives me motivation to carry on and to work hard on my projects.
You can improve your writing skills with many free courses
Even if you don’t know how to start your writing career yet, you will still have the opportunity to join free courses that show you exactly how to start your author career.
You can also watch some free YouTube videos to learn how to start out as an author so that you get a head start over the competition.
Free tools can help you increase your efficiency
You can also use free tools to increase your level of efficiency as an author.
There are many free grammar checking tools out there and those tools can save you lots of time.
In turn, you will have more time that you can put in your actual writing and will therefore have a higher output which in turn translates into a higher chance to succeed as an author.
You can get into blogging
Many writers also not only write books, but they also start their own blogs where they promote their books and write about other topics they are passionate about.
In fact, if you are really serious about becoming a professional writer, you should definitely consider starting your own blog as well as a YouTube channel so that you can promote your books in the best possible manner.
Now that you know all the advantages of working as a writer, it is time to also talk about the negative things that come along with it.
Disadvantages of Being a Writer
- Most writers barely make a living
- Some authors need a second job to pay their bills
- Only a small minority of writers will be able to afford any luxury
- You will have no job security at all
- You will not learn many hard skills as a writer
- Authors suffer from creative blockades sooner or later
- Overweight may become a problem
- Hard to finance a home as a writer
- Rather low social standing of authors
- Difficulties finding a partner
- Old-age poverty may become a serious problem for many writers
- Lack of job security may lead to mental problems
- Hard to switch fields
Most writers barely make a living
One problem with being a writer is that most authors barely make a living from what they are doing while computer programmers and many other people have a much easier time in this regard.
In fact, most writers only make a few bucks since not enough people buy their books and since they also don’t know how to promote their books in an optimal manner.
Some authors need a second job to pay their bills
Due to the low income that many authors have, they also often struggle to pay their bills from their author job and need to work in a second job.
This can be really stressful and annoying since you will barely have any leisure left in such a case.
Only a small minority of writers will be able to afford any luxury
While it is true that some authors have made millions of dollars with just one book, this is an exemption from the norm and you should never expect such a huge success.
There are so many books out there and only very few of them are sold well.
Consequently, it will likely not be a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket and you should rather start your author career as a side hustle while still keeping your job to lower the financial pressure.
You will have no job security at all
Since most authors work self-employed, they will also have no job security at all.
They will also not get a constant paycheck.
In fact, authors only make money if they produce content their audience likes and if this is not the case, authors will not get paid enough and will often have to go into debt to pay their rent and to cover other basic expenses.
You will not learn many hard skills as a writer
Another disadvantage of working as a writer is that you will also not learn that many hard skills.
While other people gain lots of experience in their respective fields, you will only become an expert in writing and you will lack experience in those other fields.
Sure, you could also learn about blogging and digital marketing in general.
Yet, most authors are not willing to put in the work in this regard and this can lead to serious trouble since job prospects in other fields will be rather poor for authors.
Authors suffer from creative blockades sooner or later
Writing is also not as easy as you might think. Sure, there are periods in which writing will feel pretty easy to you.
However, there will also be times when you will suffer from creative blockades and will not get any work done at all.
This can become a serious problem since you will not make any money during those times and if you haven’t saved enough money from good times, you will not be able to pay your bills during those dry spells.
Overweight may become a problem
Another downside to working as an author is that you will sit in a chair in front of a computer screen all day long.
This will likely cause problems for your health since you will not exercise enough and may gain weight pretty soon.
In turn, overweight and obesity can lead to serious health problems and you should therefore make sure that you work out on a regular basis to avoid those issues as an author.
Hard to finance a home as a writer
You may also experience serious difficulties when it comes to financing a home as a writer.
Since you will not have a steady income, banks may not be willing to lend you money and you will have to rent a home instead of buying your own dream house.
Rather low social standing of authors
You should also not expect any admiration from people regarding your job.
In fact, many people still don’t consider writing as a valuable thing for society and some people will also belittle you or try to bring you down in this regard.
Difficulties finding a partner
Since you will likely not make that much money as an author and you will also not have a high social standing, chances are that you will also have serious problems finding a partner since money and status are still quite important in this regard, even though people may tell you the opposite.
Old-age poverty may become a serious problem for many writers
Due to your low and unsteady income as a writer, you may also suffer from serious old-age poverty since you will simply not be able to save enough money during your career.
In turn, you may not be able to pay your bills once you retire and may even end up in the streets in the worst case.
Lack of job security may lead to mental problems
Due to the constant insecurity that you will have to face as an author, you may also develop serious mental problems like depression and anxiety and if you are a person who loves security and having a safe job, you should definitely go for an alternative career instead.
Hard to switch fields
Since you will not learn that many skills as an author apart from writing, it will also be hard for you to switch fields in case you no longer want to work as an author anymore.
Hence, make sure that writing is really a passion of yours before going for an author career since you may have to do it for your whole life.
Top 10 Being an Author Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Being an Author Pros
|Being an Author Cons
|You can become famous as an author
|Most authors barely make a living
|Some authors make really good money
|Many authors need a second job
|Writers have a rather relaxed life
|No job security at all
|You can build an audience
|You may suffer from dry spells
|You can start a blog or YouTube channel
|Mental problems are quite common
|Authors have a good work-life balance
|Authors have a rather low social standing
|You can work indoors as a writer
|Hard to switch fields
|Writing is more than just a job
|Problems in the dating market
|You can follow your passion
|Banks may not lend you money
|You can start it as a side hustle
|High level of insecurity in general
Should You Become An Author?
As you can see from the previous discussion, there are many advantages and disadvantages of being a writer.
In the end, you have to decide for yourself whether you still want to become an author or if you want to go for a different job instead.
If you want to learn even more about an author career, make sure to also have a look at the salary, job prospects, working hours and job satisfaction of authors.
Also make sure to check out the following articles:
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.
This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.
Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.
I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.
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