Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) wrote, “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”
According to the latest reports, the majority of us who write for a living, aren’t making a lot of money compared to other professionals with similar education.
The National Endowment for the Arts Study Artists in the Workforce: 1990–2005 reports there were 185,276 authors and writers in 2005, an increase of 39 percent from 1990 and 2005. Over half (51.9 percent) of authors work full-time writing in news and entertainment as well as in business. They are making a median income of $50,800. (That tracks with the U. S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics report that, “Median annual earnings for salaried writers and authors were $48,640 in May 2006.”
However, the median income for all authors is $38,700 according to the NEA. Writer’s Market’s newest survey of freelance income shows a “substantial number of writers earn $30,000 to $40,000.”
To put those numbers is perspective, the U.S. Census Bureau records that college graduates average $45,400 while those with a master’s degree make an average income of $62,300.
Okay, so I’m a block head. I tend to write for love rather than money. And if you do too, visit my writers’ resource page.