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>> No. 7289 Anonymous
28th June 2021
Monday 8:05 pm
7289 Work/life/writing balance
Do you lads have any tips on undertaking big writing projects? I have a couple of non-fiction books I'd really like to work on, aiming for a popularisation of some medical and historical research I've done over the years. I have the credentials to show I can write about it, and one or two pieces aimed at broader audiences online (as well as my scientific publications).

The thing is, I'm also working full-time and am fully pushing ahead with my 'proper' career. I also like to stay healthy and would also like if my human relationships don't crumble during this process.

What I mean is, I have the discipline to get up early, get to the gym, get to work, log off at five, get a little bit of study for future professional exams in, squeeze in three square meals around all this, but then my brain is mush. My weekends are spent generally ensuring I don't live in a shit-tip. I'm not sure I see how I can get in solid writing time without sacrificing sleep, relaxation, health, or one of my other big timesinks. Something has to give.

Writing was easy when I was a student and had the hours to put into it. Are grants or book deals given to no-namers like me? Or should I just save a load of money to take the time off work and write? Have any of you lads achieved a big publication, and if so, how?
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>> No. 7290 Anonymous
28th June 2021
Monday 9:01 pm
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I don't know about your schedule but for all the rest you want a copy of the Writer's & Artist's Yearbook. Ideally 2021 but last year's will do fine if £20 is too much for you to spend. It'll still have all the information you need on tendering and querying for non-fiction.
Off the top of my head, you'll be needing to write a couple of sample chapters and a plan for the rest. You'll probably want an agent to shop it around for you if you're going to do multiple books. If someone wants it they may bid for it but they're not going to throw a lot of money at you.
>> No. 7291 Anonymous
29th June 2021
Tuesday 1:05 am
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> My weekends are spent generally ensuring I don't live in a shit-tip.
Well there's your problem. Learn to live in squalor and you'll have plenty of free time.
>> No. 7292 Anonymous
30th June 2021
Wednesday 1:42 pm
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I've purchased this year's to try and do things properly, delivery will probably within a few weeks. Thanks lad.


I've got a headstart on my Bukowskian hovel as I haven't dusted since moving into this flat. I can tolerate everything but dusting.
>> No. 7293 Anonymous
30th June 2021
Wednesday 3:24 pm
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>Are grants or book deals given to no-namers like me?

No. And you have to remember that a book deal advance is just an advance on sales - many authors who get them don't even earn out.

I don't want to discourage you at all - it's something I fancy doing when I get older. But - having worked for Earths Largest Bookstore, and been intimately involved with things like pricing, and sales figures of books, I can say that most authors earn fuck all; it's not an occupation you can really afford if you're penniless or dependent on a regular income, unless you're comfortably in the Top 1000 sellers.
>> No. 7294 Anonymous
30th June 2021
Wednesday 3:31 pm
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If he has the relevant expertise and can put some nice sample chapters together he may very well get a book deal. Non-fiction at least has the advantage that you don't have to complete the whole thing in advance to sell it.
>> No. 7295 Anonymous
30th June 2021
Wednesday 6:14 pm
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The average advance for a new author is around £6,000. The majority of books don't sell enough copies to recoup that advance. I don't know how long it takes to write a book, but £6,000 undoubtedly works out to a piss-poor hourly rate.

If you want to earn a living from writing, learn to write commercial copy. There's still (just about) some money in advertising.
>> No. 7296 Anonymous
30th June 2021
Wednesday 6:44 pm
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I hope you're not a proof reader.
>> No. 7297 Anonymous
30th June 2021
Wednesday 8:11 pm
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Just to point out that nowhere in the OP's post did they mention they're trying to pursue a career in writing.
>> No. 7298 Anonymous
1st July 2021
Thursday 12:38 pm
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OP here. Thanks, yes. In fact I was trying to draw attention to a problem that's sort of the inverse: how do you fit in writing around a normal life? I'm not aiming for writing to be my main career, so I'm thinking about how I can best make the time for writing something publishable as a passion project. I suppose I may well find out through trial and error if I can put together some sample chapters (or adapt previous writing).

The points about the practicalities of getting a book deal are appreciated, though. I welcome any views you all have.

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