Most writers want to write full-time, but few can afford to do so. Obstacles such as paying bills get in the way. The ones who make it are those who match talent with hard work and patience. They reduce social engagements and balance professional roles whilst learning the craft of writing. As they progress in the alternative career, the prospect of surrendering a regular income becomes less appealing. A 2016 study for the European Commission found that the average salary of full-time writers in the UK was below the minimum wage.
Some try shortcuts. I have heard of aspiring writers who sign on the dole whilst writing their first novel. This not only cheats the system and annoys taxpayers who should not have to dreams, but also denies the opportunity to experience the real world where most writers find inspiration. Now there may be an alternative. A new company, DeMontfort Literature is offering an annual salary to prospective novelists and it is above minimum wage.
This approach is unprecedented because of the huge financial risk. Unless the company has other sources of funding any novel would need to earn enough to cover the salary, and the author’s royalties. For De Montfort’s initiative to succeed and finance itself, it will need to create some bestselling authors quickly. That could be you so if you’ve ever wanted to give up the day job pop along to their website and consider applying.