14 Pros and Cons of Being an Author

Author

A college education is not required to become an author, but it may help you to develop the fundamental principles of writing which are crucial to bringing your piece together.

Whether that be a full-length genre novel, editorial for a magazine, a screenplay, or poetry.

Through writing, an individual can look through the window of another industry, time, place, experience, or world altogether.

But it is not always glamour and red carpet events, some writers struggle to make it in life.

Here are seven advantages and disadvantages of being a writer.

Pros of Being a Writer

1. Great earning potential

As a writer, you can make great money.

Not just as a novelist, but also working for a company, a writing mill, starting your own blog, or even working freelance for a magazine or newspaper.

There are many avenues to make great money in this field.

In addition, the more life experience you have, the easier it is to write and find your writing voice.

And, when you can achieve this, the words will simply appear on the paper, so to speak. 

It is that simple.

Granted, not everyone will have this ability or experience.

While most people can write or string a sentence together, some have the ability to become great writers.

When you are in demand, or even just really good at writing, you can set your own rate per word.

For example, some writers charge upward of $1 per word.

For a 1,500-word article, you could earn $1,500.

And, it may only take you a few hours of research and writing to complete the project. 

Not bad if you ask me.

2. There is no real retirement age

In most fields, the normal retirement age is around 60 to 65, depending on where you reside.

This may be frustrating for many people as they feel that they still have so much to offer.

As a writer, you could continue to write well into the later years of your life, without any limitations.

Provided that you are good at what you do, of course.

Writing is one of those careers where age is an advantage.

Most writers, provided that they are in demand, are able to continue working well after retirement age. 

3. The ability to structure your day

Freelance writers choose how to spend their day.

As a writer, you can decide during what hours of the day or night you prefer to work and how much work you will be getting done.

Some writers are most creative during the early hours of the morning, let’s say from 02:00 a.m. to 06:00 a.m., while others feel the creative juices flowing at midday.

You will have more time on your hands to tend to family events and gatherings.

4. Turn your passion into a career

If you have a passion for writing and expressing yourself through written form, then you are able to turn your passion/hobby into a full-blown career.

Some sites allow you to write and publish your own short stories.

The great news is that there is a huge demand for self-published e-books in this market.

Some self-published short story novelists have even reported earning six-figure, passive incomes from these published stories.

5. There is zero manual labor

Several categories of jobs involve hard work and manual labor, which can be extremely taxing on the body, and in some cases, on the lower back.

For example, jobs in construction, jobs in the hospitality and culinary industries, and jobs as firefighters.

Most jobs, to a certain degree, involve some form of manual labor.

As a writer, the toughest part of your job is putting that first sentence on the paper, or in modern terms, on the screen.

There is no physical heavy lifting, but there is a lot of research that needs to be conducted.

In the literary world, the term ‘manual labor’ jokingly refers to doing research on a topic before writing it. 

6. There is zero capital required to begin

You’ll be relieved to learn that there is practically no capital required to get started.

If you own a PC, and most people do or can gain access to one in a public space such as a library or Internet cafe, and you have a vivid imagination, then you are set to go.

You won’t have to pay to get your work published unless you are self-publishing hard copies to sell in a physical store such as a bookshop.

Most work can be written on a PC and directly published on the internet. 

7. Opportunities for self-employment

You are not required to work for anyone.

You could be an author or writer and work for yourself and publish your own work.

If you are new to the industry, you may want to look up a free writing course on sites like Udemy.com or Coursera.com to get you up to speed on grammar and punctuation rules as well as writing style. 

Cons of Being a Writer

1. Writer’s block

Some of the most famous writers in the world still experience writer’s block from time to time.

The problem is that you never know how long it can last.

It may last a few hours or even a few months. 

Many writers can easily become despondent as a result.

There are several reasons that a writer may experience writer’s block.

The problem arises that some writers believe it is the end of their creativity and give up on this career altogether.

2. Rejection

This is the cold, hard side of the literary world.

Being rejected.

It can often lead you to believe that your work is sub par or that you were never meant to write. 

The truth is that this has often got more to do with subjective options than it does with the quality of the work.

For example, The Lord Of The Flies was rejected a whopping 21 times before a publisher took a chance on the writer and today it is listed as one of the greatest books written.

Similarly, Stephen King’s book, Carrie, was rejected 30 times.

3. Some barely make a living

Not all aspiring writers are going to make boatloads of money.

Previously, it was true that most novice writers would not see much income for the first few years, some may never really make a livable income, but, with the introduction of platforms that allow self-publishing, many writers earn a decent income.

For most, though, this is not the case. 

Some articles indicate that 77% of self-published writers make $1,000 a year.

That is barely enough to make a decent living. 

4. Living a hermit lifestyle

Writers often work in solitude, which quickly leads to a hermit lifestyle.

Unless you are collaborating with other writers, working on projects, or working in teams, this can become a very lonely career on a day-to-day basis. 

Sadly, this is part and parcel of the job. Most people enjoy human interaction on a daily basis and won’t be able to participate in this type of career for long.

Extroverts, especially, will not be able to adapt.

5. No job security

There is a low barrier to entry and the learning curve is not as steep as in other careers.

Once a writer is able to master the fundamentals of writing principles, it is merely a matter of imagination. 

And, many aspiring writers are entering the industry daily.

This means that the supply pool is very large, and with that, the demand for writers may not be as high.

This is due to the fact that writers can easily be replaced as a result of the availability of writers. 

6. Weight gain

Many writers face the same problem.

This is a sedentary lifestyle coupled with a hermit lifestyle.

It is easy to succumb to unhealthy foods that are quick to order or delicious to consume.

Mindless snacking is another culprit that can help to add to the pounds.

If there is little to no self-control, you may end up with a few extra pounds at the end of the year.

Writers need to organize their day and their tasks, making sure to incorporate regular exercise and healthy eating habits into their daily routine. 

7. Home financing may be a challenge

If you are a self-employed and struggling writer, you may find that banks are not as eager to loan you money.

Especially not the large amounts required to purchase a home. 

Most self-employed writers only make money when they are able to produce content that their readers enjoy and want to engage with.

This is another reason that banks are hesitant to lend money to individuals who do not have a steady income.

Pros and Cons of Being an Author – Summary Table

Pros of Being a WriterCons of Being a Writer
1. Great earning potential1. Writer's block
2. There is no real retirement age2. Rejection
3. The ability to structure your day3. Some barely make a living
4. Turn your passion into a career4. Living a hermit lifestyle
5. There is zero manual labor5. No job security
6. There is zero capital required to begin6. Weight gain
7. Opportunities for self-employment7. Home financing may be a challenge

Should You Become a Writer?

If you feel that you are naturally talented with words and you have a vivid imagination, you may find that writing is a good fit for you. 

If you are in a career or job already, it may be a good choice to freelance part-time, bring in a few clients, and then take the risk and make the swing to full-time writing.

Jamie Willis