Back in 2004 when I temporarily quit my day job and decided that what I really wanted to be when and as I grew up was a writer, I gave myself ten years to switch my income from 100% IT and 0% writing to 100% writing and 0% IT.
It’s three years later and now (thanks to hours of obsessive data entry and Quickbooks) I can report that in 2006 writing represented — wait for it — .3% of my income.
However! Numbers can do anything, up to and including giving hot oil erotic massages. You just have to know how to ask. Behold the data:
|Decided to be a writer||2004||Writing income = 0||Sold some stories||2005||Writing income = $325||Sold some stories||2006||Writing income = $410||Increase = 26%||Sold some stories and reprints||2007||Writing income = $690||Increase = 68%|
Yes, the dollar bits are not promising, but let’s play with those percentage increases, which themselves show an increase at a factor of 1.6. Math, start warming up that oil, ’cause we’re gonna plot those three little data points out to ten:
|Decided to be a writer||2004||0||Sold some stories||2005||$325||Sold some stories||2006||$410||+26%||Sold some stories and reprints||2007||$690||+68%||Sell more stories and reprints||2008||$759||+110%||Sell more stories and reprints||2009||$1,336||+176%||Sell first novel for modest advance||2010||$3,754||+281%||First novel royalty returns||2011||$16,892||+450%||First novel royalties + second novel advance||2012||$121,622||+720%||Oprah loves second novel.||2013||$1,401,090||+1152%|
Oh, yeah, math, yeah.
You think that’s hot, check out what happens if I sell just one more story by the end of the year, pushing the percentage increase factor up to 4.1:
|Decided to be a writer||2004||0||Sold some stories||2005||$325||Sold some stories||2006||$410||+26%||Sold some stories and reprints||2007||$960||+134%||Sell first novel for modest advance||2008||$5,347||+557%||First novel royalties + second novel advance||2009||$122,130||+2284%||Skyrocketing royalties and advances + film rights = ka-ching!||2010||$11,435,037||+9363%||No one understands why my books do so well.||2011||$4,389,796,354||38389%||My prose discovered to have hallucinogenic properties. By the time authorities figure it out I have purchased a series of nuclear-capable nations and am extorting further book sales and fannish essays in the New York Review of Books.||2012||$6,909,319,971,378||+157395%||Oprah loves my latest novel.||2013||This is where the calculator weeps for the sweet release of scientific notation and accountants depreciate into Lovecraftian madness.||+645319%|
This is also how the lending industry