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54

To me, Stephen King's advice (as seen in a live interview, and asked what advice he had for aspiring writers): Basically he said, if you want to write, write. Every day. Don't worry about plotting, or any other technical details. That will come, write a story, then write another. Write every day (he does, including his birthday, Christmas, 365 days a year, ...


27

If I were a rich man, all day long I'd sit and write. To elaborate: What do you eat while you're writing your first novel? Did you manage to get your first novel published? What do you eat until the novel gets published? Once the novel has been published and you're seeing some money from it, how long does it feed you? Does it feed you for enough time to ...


21

Get an Agent: I sold my book on my own, largely because younger me hated the idea of signing over 15% of my profits to someone else forever. But a good agent does a lot more than just sell the book. As a writer, you want someone else looking after the business aspects of your book so you can concentrate on writing. That really kicked in for me when I ...


21

Personally, I think that's a crock. It's understandable why someone would think having a website would be a benefit, but if you have it too early-on, it will come across as amateurish at best or becomes an unnecessary financial cost at worst. As for content, if you do make a website, it doesn't have to require constant content updates, but it should be a ...


20

I will presume you mean that you can write and get paid for it, and could actually choose a life as a professional writer, without starving. If that is the case (and this answer is tailored to your situation) your problems are quite similar to the problems of a free-lance "gig" programmer; a technical contractor. I have done that job. Or a self-...


19

Writing is mostly a long-term profession. For most professional writers, writing is a long-term prospect. You are unlikely to make much money from one book, or five. Of course, unlikely is not the same as impossible. What makes a professional career work: A reader reads one of your books, enjoys it, searches for another one, and finds one. So to make a ...


12

I don't know about "looking back" and "career", I'm still rather looking forward to that... :) That said, one piece of advice that really struck me, stuck with me and stayed with me is Neil Gaiman's "Make good art": Write what you love writing, enjoy the process, do it for the art - not for the money. When things go wrong, make good art. When life is ...


12

Bloggers and vloggers by definition have an online platform on which they've built their success. Their input on the necessity of having an online platform is biased. They cannot speak for all writers. At best, they can speak for vloggers/bloggers. Think of it this way: I'm trying to become a bodybuilder. With that goal in mind, I exercise daily, tell my ...


9

Download a random ebook from Amazon, or read a random blog, and you will see that most writers are not ready for prime time. (In the old days, they got screened out by agents and publishers, so this wasn't so obvious.) It's not that most writers are awful (although some are), but they fall short in critical areas. Their writing is charming, but hokey. Or ...


9

You've gotten plenty of negative answers here, which, I am sad to say, are accurate. The unfortunate truth is that writing is a horribly unrewarding profession. The fact of the matter is that, no matter how you slice it, most writers do not make enough money to support themselves from their writing. And when I say most writers, I mean literally ALMOST ALL ...


9

The posters here are absolutely right, the first thing you should do is look to an alternative income source. Making money from novel writing is a long-term goal and takes decades, not months or years and if you are relying on it for income, it will put you under incredible strain to succeed. Writing should be a joy, not a chore, don't do that to yourself. ...


9

Names are almost never globally unique. This is true whether the owner chooses or the owner's parents do. Author Alex Feinman even has a note on his web site (.net) saying "looking for the other one? that's .com" with a link. If you search Google or LinkedIn for a name, odds are good you'll find more than one person. Use the name you've chosen, and try ...


8

There are two key parts to this, and it is important to distinguish between them to help decide what steps to take and when. Domain Names vs Websites A domain name is an address, it is where people look to find a website, because it is far easier to remember www.google.com than it is to remember the string of numbers for a server hosting google's search ...


7

Every non-fiction writer should have a blog covering the topics they write about. You are trying to establish yourself as an authority on the subject, an influencer of ideas and opinions, or a curator of taste. If you write about historical subjects (or tea, or cocker spaniels), a blog about your topic/research is a great idea. People may discover your ...


7

This is a challenging specialization to capture in a job title, which is why my LinkedIn tagline says "speaker to programmers". But that doesn't work as a job title at any but the edgiest startups. As suggested in this answer, some use Programming Writer. At a previous company I was documenting but also improving (and writing examples against) our SDK, ...


6

Loneliness: Writing is primarily a solitary activity. Many software developers are introverts already, so lots of solitude and isolation may not bother you, but for me, as a social person, it's one of the main barriers to happiness as a writer. Disconnection From Reality: You're going to be spending an awful lot of time inside your own head, and as a ...


6

One option that may work for you is Fiverr.com I have not personally used it yet, but I plan to both hire audio editors from it, and also offer my own services. There are articles about writing for it, but many of those also have tips aimed at editors, too. I found some articles in a quick google about writing for it - I was looking for actual and ...


6

"I write stories for adults only." or "I write erotica." It all works. There's enough out there that is NC-17 or even a hard R, or the book/TV/comic equivalent, that people get it if you say your work isn't appropriate for kids. Also, if you don't even know if your work is smut or erotica or porn, which are all different things! You're going to ...


5

My grandfather relentlessly encouraged his family members to always keep a journal. This can prove to be an important resource. A real world, off-line personal dictionary, and reality checker. If nothing else journaling serves as an excellent tool for polishing your craft. It may be suprising to some that a journal can have practical uses. They are ...


5

Anne Rice wrote four erotic novels using pseudonyms -- Exit to Eden under the pen name Anne Rampling and the Sleeping Beauty trilogy under the name A.N. Roquelaire -- and they don't seem to have hurt her career.


5

Your question is: What are the occupational hazards to being a full-time writer? But based on what you describe I would flip that and perhaps ask: What are the occupational hazards to being a part-time software developer? The reality is simple economics anywhere in the world: There is more of a need for—and thus more stability in—being a software ...


5

Russo-Ukrainian writer Yuri Nikitin (author of one of the longest novel series The Richard Longarms Cycle) wrote in his memories that if you write for more than 3-4 hours per day, there is a high risk of developing aversion to writing. He justifies it using the statistics of the writers he knows. The progression is like this: A writer produces one book per ...


5

I really like the title "Developer Evangelist" or "Developer Advocate". The former implies that you're spreading knowledge about the company's software/SDK, but that you're also a Developer. The latter implies that you're helping developers interface with your company. I think the former title might be more suited to your preferences. This title is in common ...


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