Why Don't I Earn Enough As A Writer? One Writer Introspects...

Written By: Nishant

When it comes to pen pushing, people say I am a readable writer. They say so probably I have been pushing the pen for long. But what makes me feel sad is the fact that despite all the experience, exposure and subsequent appreciation, I do not get to earn enough from my pen pushing.

Let me tell you that two of the recent assignments I managed to get, required the writer to have ‘impeccable’ writing skills and ‘strong command’ on the language. If they chose me for the assignment, how can I not be a
good writer? Of course I am no authority on English Literature and of course I can hone my skills to be a better writer, but even with the skills I have, I, at times feel short changed. I just do not get to earn enough.

Let me share something about me myself with you so that you may help me understand where I go
wrong as a writer.

So, here I begin. It so happened that one fine day while flipping through the pages of an old personal diary of mine, I realised I was enjoying what I had written. I thought I must take this up seriously. I call myself a writer because I can write and I think I should.

I have written a personal essay which, my sister says, is fantastic. Although the essay is resting in my
Hard Disk, I enjoy the appreciation it got.

When it comes to attempting writing assignments, I choose the unique ones. You may find them esoteric, but I just enjoy attempting them. Doing research on topics is something I enjoy. I even feel that not many would be interested in reading what I write about such topics, but I enjoy. It pays me as well. For every 500 words, I get Rs 50. Sadly, the amount goes down further when the money comes through PayPal.

I also write about myself. I have shared anecdotes from my life and have uploaded them on my blog. Two of my sisters and one of my childhood friends love the stories I share. I think it would take time before I get to see traffic on my blog.

I do not like to promote my work and advertise my services and I neither do marketing of my skills. I believe that my ‘work will speak’ someday. I do not mind my skills jostling for space on the Internet. And probably that’s why I take up assignments that pay me 10 paisa per published word.

Though I wish I could earn more, I am satisfied with whatever I get to earn through writing. I know writing can never give me enough to even pay my bills so I do not mind taking up assignments which offer me 10 paisa per word. I do not even haggle much for a hike, for I know, even if the rate is doubled, it would be not much.

The best thing about writing is that it keeps me occupied. I spend around 3-4 hours to research for a 500-word article and I am extremely disciplined about the number of assignments I attempt each day. I value family hence I attempt only two articles. At the end of the day, I earn around INR 100. I wish i could earn little better.

Sadly, despite me being a disciplined writer who just attempts two articles each day, my family complains that I do not spend much time with them. They tell me that my social circle is diminishing due to my lifestyle but I think they just do not wish to let the writer in me thrive. They want me to choose a different career path.

After reading me, do you still think I should choose a different career? Don’t you think I must hold
onto what I have chosen?

About Nishant: The author is a freelance journalist and a Communication Consultant.

DISCLAIMER:  The views expressed by the author are in no way related to the personal/profession life of the author. The author simply aims at helping readers, especially budding writers, understand why, not many get to earn good money from writing .


  1. Well couldn't agree more. Time is always a problem, there have been times when I do 10 articles a day. It can be tough some times but I think of the advantages. I work at home, sleep whenever I like, can talk to mum without anyone ordering what to do.

    Having said that, I understand what low pay can do. I recently considered leaving writing and getting a more "stable" option but I feel I can't work in an office now. I need my space to write. Actually writers can earn well depending on your contacts I believe. It is important to exploit online resources seriously. My writing will speak for itself won't work, believe me (no offense). You got to have visibility online. Plus get into everything you can, social media marketing, website content, translation and even just sms content. It might look petty but I have done all that. Everything teaches you something and help shape writing in a certain way.

    If you want to shape your career better then join an advertising company or may be a magazine at junior level. Forget the pay, eventually everything will work out. Believe me copywriters make hell lot of money.

    I won't suggest leaving writing. Money comes gradually. If there are family issues then find a job, any sector just don't give up on writing. Write a single article in a day but do write.

    P.S. Because I am watching Batman Begins, the dialogues will help.

    Why do we fall Master Bruce?
    So we can learn to pick ourselves up.

    God Bless

  2. You earn Rs 50/- for every 500 words?? This is incredibly low. In fact, it's not a commercial rate at all. The Indian market does pay its freelancers poorly, but you're being outright exploited here. No one is paid that badly. The going rate is Rs 2-10 per word for a 1000 word article. I am a freelance journalist who makes a decent living as a writer, so I should know.

    You know what you're doing wrong? You haven't researched enough markets, pitched enough ideas to editors, perfected your query letter. And no good writer does 10 articles a day. It's simply impossible. You need devote more time to research, to finding an idea that is suitable for the magazine you're writing for. Find the right sources to comment on your topics. Make your articles timely and appealing to a vast audience.

    One option is to branch into magazine writing. It pays better. You can also approach magazines abroad. Whatever you do, stop writing for these insanely low rates!

  3. Hi, I am very much interested in starting my career as a freelance writer. Can anyone of you guide me or give me some start up points as to how and where I should start from? I would be really grateful.

    1. Writing skill can be honed to perfection. However, it needs time, and more than this, your passion and aptitude for writing.

      I have published this article of mine on EzineArticle. It says something worthwhile for any "would-be" writer.


  4. I agree with kamala. The rates are abysmal.Don't lose heart. I can recommend two sites which can be of use to you. Here is the link where I have given details.
    yes i have written a guest post right here to help fellow writers.

  5. Go ahead for technical writing, you can earn much more!! I earn Rs.300 per article but this is after 2 years and 8 months of hardship!! In case, you are not into technical writing you can certainly opt for magazine writing as a feature writer or you can even opt for a technical writing course..All the Best!!

  6. nice post. quite my story so far. thanks for the eye-opener. the sarcasm is bang-on yet subtle. isn't anyone reading the disclaimer at the end of the post??? ;)


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