For most authors, writing doesn’t pay as good as a salaried job. You write a book, send it to a publisher, and wait for your contract and if the book sells moderately well, you get some royalty. One of my friends, who is still a student, had shown me the cheque for her book contract. Coming from a new publisher, it didn’t look too good to even cover her expenses of editing the manuscript. For the Strugglers, it is mighty tough to gather money for pre and post-publishing services if their publishers don’t wish to spend on them. With the rising (and soon falling) trend of self-publishing, you’d be lost in oblivion without proper social media marketing strategies and services.
The avenues for making money through writing seem very narrow and murky yet with the surge of writers in India. You’d be lucky if you manage to write an exceptional book and luckier to find a reputed publisher who’d take care of your marketing. Enjoy the royalty and book sales once you’re through all these processes.
If I talk about the current situation in India, one can definitely observe the rise in the number of writers. But then, how many times do you come across an Indian author whose name strikes familiar? Happens rarely, right? Apart from the few very popular names likes Jhumpa Lahiri, Arundhati Roy, Chetan Bhagat, we don’t know many names. This in itself talks about the basic problems our country faces. Here, taking up an out of the league career is still a taboo. Though a lot has changed over the last decade, with people making career choices purely based on their area of interest, but they really do not get any support, be it financially or emotionally. While it is a bit risky to take the plunge, I think, at the same time, it is necessary. None of us would want to regret making our decisions based on what society thinks about us. But at the same time, be wise. Don’t take a leap of faith. It is necessary to understand and first find out if you really write that well at all.
As long as one writes purely for their own leisure or merely as a hobby, it doesn’t make much of a difference. But to make a career out of it is an entirely different scenario. There are many struggling writers who can give you an advice on how to do it, but they definitely warn you about the drawbacks. I have myself been given the suggestion that I must always keep an alternative if I try to make a career out of writing, considering that it is easier to fail than to succeed in this area.
Also, the writing career is so diversified. No one will pay you for writing what you want to write. When we talk about content writing, it could mean writing about a bakery item or it could mean writing some technical stuff using those heavy tech-related jargons or a travel account if you are lucky enough to become a travel blogger. To decide which will suit you best is a difficult choice to make. It is mostly about experimenting and taking a risk. But one must start somewhere.
But yes, on the other hand As the E-Commerce industry is at a peak in India , taking up content writing as a career in India is great choice . I believe that is what has given rise to Digital Marketing as well , a person proficient in English and well versed with the art and style of writing digital content for diversified online portals must go for this career choice . As it is highly rewarding, if you have the voice that can influence the viewer who is your probable customer and manage to convert that into a lead then that’s definitely an achievement.
I have been told that society looks down upon writers. I think the main reason is that we associate the reputation of a person with the job he does. Just because one guy works in some big tech company, earning millions and another is a writer, who is just making enough to make ends meet, is no reason to compare. Maybe the one who writes is more satisfied with his life than the one with a big package. Well, who knows?
I think it is very important to motivate an artist. It is not always necessary to care about the end result. If that remains our focus, we might end up having a lot of regrets. Though taking up such a career option is challenging and risky, it is worth taking. And how can I forget to quote Robert Frost’s lines from the poem ‘The Road Not Taken’:
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”