Friday, April 02, 2010

What writers really earn

So we all know we're not in this for the money, right?

I was interested in this blog post by Gary Smailes of Bubblecow, showing that according to published data the typical (median) annual earnings of a writer is £4000.

That figure struck me particularly because back in 1982, when I left university and started training as a Chartered Accountant, my initial salary in outer London was exactly that, £4000. Even then it wasn't enough for a single person to live on and I only survived because the bank gave me an overdraft, presumably on the basis of future earnings.

Mind you, at the moment even £4000 would be very welcome and actually compares favourably to what the government thinks carers are worth (£2761 in 2009-10 for 35 hrs+ of care a week). It seems that both writers and carers should be working for satisfaction rather than a living wage. Perhaps I really should go back to accountancy.

5 comments:

Sue Kittow said...

Well that's probably a little more than I earned last year from my writing. As you say, it's vital to have another source of income.

HelenMHunt said...

It's depressing isn't it? But not as depressing as the thought of not writing ...

Cathy said...

And that's the whole point isn't it, we'd all still write even for little or no financial reward, which perpetuates the situation. Accountants wouldn't work for low wages!

Karen said...

I think most writers have to do a day job alongside the writing, which doesn't seem right!. So do most carers unfortunately, and that's much harder.

Cathy said...

Karen, that is very true. Until last September I had always worked part time alongside the caring, but even that left little time to write/study. Now I'm 'unemployed' so have much more time to write, but no money. And as my caring hours tend to be 5.30am to 9.30pm or later (apart from school hours), trying to fit in writing as well as a full time job would be simply impossible. It has to be a juggling act!