Can I make money as an introverted writer? I’ve addressed this several times before but wanted to expand here. This question comes up so often – thus, I asked Marianne if I could share her question here:
“Dan, My desire is to help others live victorious lives by teaching them the Word of God. I don’t want to “feed” people. I want to cut up the food into small bites that makes it easier to consume (i.e. summarizing). That being said, here’s the scenario:
I left the corporate world and started my own business in 2011. My corporate job was in Financial Systems. I enjoyed the job, but I knew it was not my calling, so when they announced they were moving our office about 30 miles further away from my home, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to embark on something new.
I had already begun to write “7 Steps to Victory” and even taught this subject matter informally to a group of people at work. I also taught a Bible Overview just before I left. I planned to do life coaching, speaking and writing because I’m naturally wired toward helping people and coaching/counseling had come up several times with friends. I have a degree in Psychology, so the desire to help others isn’t anything new. It seemed logical and I prayed about it as well, but the coaching and speaking hasn’t been a good fit for me.
I’m an introvert and I’m easily drained by interaction with others even if I’m enjoying the conversation, so each time I would coach, I was physically exhausted. Obviously, this was not enjoyable and certainly wasn’t going to be a sustainable model for a business. I also found out that speaking wasn’t a good fit either – partly for the same reason, but also due to scheduling conflicts with my husband’s erratic schedule. So, that leaves the writing. I love writing and I’m almost finished with my first book – The Bible in 7 Pieces.
Do you have any suggestions on how to move forward without a lot of people interaction?”
Marianne – As you know I love writing and consider that my primary focus. However, my writing serves as marketing exposure to then direct people back to the things where I make money. I have had a significant amount of success with my writing – a New York Times best seller and continued sales that put me in the top 3% of authors. But even with that I would never be able to live on what writing gives me directly through advances and royalties. That’s peanuts compared to the ways I make my real income – comprising approximately 10% of my business income.
My writing gives me a topic and focus – but it’s through aggressive personal product sales, speaking, coaching, affiliate programs and live events that I make money. Making money from writing alone – especially in the Christian arena – is not something easily done.
Here’s a Venn diagram I used as an example in a presentation to writers recently to encourage them in ways of leveraging their area of expertise beyond just “writing.” The figures shown are just reasonable benchmarks – fortunately my actual figures are much higher.
I lay this out in much greater detail in Write to the Bank.
If you view yourself as having intellectual capital you should see ways of applying that in ways that produce extraordinary income in addition to advances and royalties. My people interaction is limited – I speak 2-3 times a month, coach 1-2 days a month and we average a live two-day event six times a year. Other than that I can enjoy the solitude of writing.
Any other introverted writers want to add to the discussion?