A lot of people want to know: can you really make a living as a writer abroad?
It sounds so glamorous, after all.
Well, last week, writer Alexis Grant challenged the myth that it’s possible to make a living as a travel writer. It’s about time someone did this. For instance, the travel website Matador pays $25 for stories, but that will barely buy you lunch in Switzerland. And I’ve pitched enough higher-paying publications to know that a reply is so rare that I cheer even when I get a rejection. Of course, if you’re a writer abroad, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a travel writer. In fact, I hope for your sake, you’re not.
Next month, I’m teaching a course on how to make a living as a writer abroad. But here’s a secret—there is no secret. It's not easy to make a living as a writer, abroad or at home.
Most writers can’t just write novels, can’t just write travel articles, can’t just blog. In most cases, if you want to do those things and make a living wage, you must do all of those things. And more.
For instance, in the last five years, I have done copywriting, blogging, journalism, essay writing, PR writing, translating (bad English into good), radio writing, memoir writing, novel writing, teaching, and more. Sometimes I do all of these things at once, at other times, I concentrate more on just one or two of them. Over on the Urban Muse, you can see which kinds of writing were the most profitable for one writer last year.
But let’s hear from you. If you make a living as a writer abroad, what’s your secret?