10 Reasons Why You Can’t Make a Living Writing

Yes you can make a living writing. Makealivingwriting.comBy Josh Sarz

I can’t do it.

That’s what I say to myself after reading how other people are making a living writing.

Sure, they can do it. They have experience. They have talent. They were born to be writers. I’m just a regular kid. I’m only good at playing computer games and watching TV.

That’s why I’m writing this piece to you. If you’re reading this with hopes of learning ways to make a living writing, stop.

Let me give you nine reasons why you’re better off looking for another way.

10 reasons why you can’t write for a living

  1. You don’t know anything – That’s right. Just like me, you don’t know anything about writing. What makes you think you can just ‘decide’ to be a writer and then magically produce quality writing?
  2. It’s too hard – It’s not easy thinking up stories, plot twists, characters and everything else. If you choose not to write fiction, what will you write? Business marketing strategies? Copy? What’s that? You can’t comprehend all these words being thrown around.
  3. You’re too busy with life – You don’t need to mention how much time you don’t have. You already have a day job. You have your own family. Just like everyone else, we have lives.
  4. Nobody will like your stuff – Do you think anyone will like what you’re going to be writing about? Who do you think you are, Nicholas Sparks?
  5. There are too many writers – There are so many writers in the world today. A lot of them write books that no one reads. A lot of them are still hunting for their first gig. Why even hope that you can do better than them?
  6. Being a writer isn’t a ‘job’ – Being a writer isn’t a real job. You sit at home with a pen, or in front of your computer and type words. That’s not a job.
  7. You’re too inexperienced – You need to have studied journalism to know how to write. Reading books won’t teach you how to do it. We’re screwed.
  8. It’s all a scam – Writers who talk about making money by writing, how fake is that? You need to be an author of a best-selling book to get money. And who are you? You’re nobody.
  9. You’re not a writer – Like me, you’re just a regular person who dreams of one day being able to write a book. You dream of writing white papers and sales letters that will get you sacks of money. We’re only dreamers.
  10. It’s too scary. Who can expose themselves to criticism and rejection like that? Not me.

Just stop

Stop believing you have what it takes to be a writer.

If you’re reading this, then you are one step closer to waking up from a dream. Step back to reality and close this website. You can’t be a writer.

If the reasons that I gave above aren’t enough, then go ahead. Write.

Reality check

You still have the dream in you.

You are not an anonymous person. You have a name. You have a voice. You have a mind that is capable of learning anything from cooking to rocket science.

You do not let barriers stand in the way of you and your dreams. Take that step toward immortality.

The reasons mentioned above are nothing more than trivial demons who wish only to destroy you. Slay your demons. Pick up your sword, no, your pen.

We’re on the same road, writers. Say these words with me.

  1. You don’t know anything I can learn anything – There are plenty of groups for me to join, and writing courses for me to take. There are tons of books I can read. There are thousands of helpful content all over the Internet. And in my head is an endless supply of ideas brought about by a lifetime of experiences and emotions.
  2. It’s too hard I can do whatever I want – Nothing can stop me if I want to be a writer. I can learn everything I need from other people. Yes, I will fail. Yes, it will be hard. All I have to do, is to get back up.
  3. You’re too busy with life I can make all the time I need – I can learn not to waste time. I can use every precious minute I can tear off from my schedule to do it. I will sleep a little less if I have to.
  4. Nobody will like your stuff I will make people love my stuff – I will learn how to write so well that every one who reads my writing will love it. I will network with other writers, and together we will attract the masses. I will learn to write a bouquet of words.
  5. There are too many writers The world needs more writers – Editors constantly complain that they can’t find enough truly talented writers. The world began with stories. The world feeds on stories. I will shape the world.
  6. Being a writer isn’t a ‘job’ Being a writer is a lifestyle – I will not think of it as a job, but a way of life. A life where I can teach the world what I’ve learned. A life where I can tell stories that break hearts and fuel people’s passions.
  7. You’re too inexperienced I can break any glass ceiling – Nothing will stop me. When I reach the point where they say everything stops, my writing will live on.
  8. It’s all a scam I can break all stereotypes – I will prove that writing does not have to be hard. I will prove that writers do not starve.
  9. You’re not a writer I am a writer – And from this day on, my words will inspire countless wandering souls. I will bring new business to fruition. I will make the world fall in love with words again.
  10. It’s too scary I’ll be brave – I can conquer my fears and move forward to claim the livelihood I want.

When it comes down to it…

It’s up to you.

Whether or not you will take the first step, know that the world continues to turn while you dream.

Are you someone who just dreams to become a writer? Are you just going to be reading blog post after blog post in the hopes of somehow magically evolving into a writer overnight?

If not, are you someone who really wants to become a writer? Do you truly want to make a living writing?

The truth: there’s nothing stopping you.

Josh Sarz is a freelance writer who blogs about Content Marketing and Storytelling. 

Do you have questions about how to earn more from your writing? Learn more in my community Freelance Writers Den — take ecourses, attend live events, ask writing pros your questions in our forums, and use our exclusive Junk-Free Job Board.


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34 comments on “10 Reasons Why You Can’t Make a Living Writing
  1. Carol Bryant says:

    I love this. I am so sick of negative people and hearing it over and over. I am a writer and have been doing it for years – I couple that with other things like PR and social media – and it can be done.
    Carol Bryant recently posted…Is Your Dog Food from an Honest Kitchen?My Profile

  2. Jennifer says:

    I dont completely live off of article writing as I have not reached my monitary goals yet and given up my day job. I do make some decent money mostly writing on topics I have experience with and enjoy writing about. This helps wiuth the natural flow of the article and most search engines find these types of articles more beneficial for the user.
    Jennifer recently posted…Tips On Consumer ElectronicsMy Profile

  3. Zakgirl says:

    That was the most energetic and challenging blog post I’ve read in a while.

    Most enjoyable!

    Thank you Josh. Thank you Carol!
    Zakgirl recently posted…Lost for words …My Profile

  4. zahib says:

    I knew this was heading somewhere 🙂 good post.

  5. K.D. Storm says:

    Thanks for this reminder. It helps to have that once in a while to help keep a person on track.
    K.D. Storm recently posted…Rolling With ItMy Profile

  6. Jim says:

    Thank you for posting. I believe being optimistic will help you write a quality content. This post is inspiring for those who are aspiring to become a blogger.
    Jim recently posted…Thermogenic Fat Loss SystemMy Profile

  7. Nick says:

    Very inspiring post Josh. We will live as writers and no one can stop us

  8. Great post and great website. I will for sure be coming back here to grow as a writer. Thanks for taking the time to share with us. -Matt

  9. Well done, Josh! Thanks for magnifying the power of possibility that resides in each of us.
    James E. Walker Jr. recently posted…Defining “Small Business”My Profile

  10. This post was great. It’s exactly what I’ve been thinking of late – both lists.

  11. Keith Koons says:

    Everything comes down to attitude and ultimately, most people do not have the willpower to sit in front of a keyboard ten hours per day and make excellent money. We really are a rare breed because, as you can see, the only comments here are positive ones from people who are already writing daily.

    The majority probably quit reading by #2 in your negatives and they’re off to now be lawyers, accountants, or derby queens. Grats on crushing them. =)

  12. Joseph says:

    Wow! I love this Post. Thumbs Up Josh, this post really hit me, its just like you are talking to me.
    Joseph recently posted…How to Dramatically Improve your Blog’s CTRMy Profile

  13. Robin Coyle says:

    Just what I needed to hear today. Thank you.

  14. Josh–

    You made me cry.

    Seriously, I let out all those fear-and-low-self-esteem related tears I had piled in a corner of my heart. They’ve been bugging me for so long but I’ve never found a way to get rid of them.

    Until I read your guest post here on Carol’s blog.

    I feel like a phoenix now.

    THANK YOU! 🙂

    – Luana S.
    Luana Spinetti recently posted…’7 Story-Making Games For Kids’ on Education.comMy Profile

  15. margiewrites says:

    Brills. Where’s the “Like” button on this thing??

    Seriously, the above arguments (I can learn anything, I can do whatever I want, I can make all the time I need, etc.) are the reasons why I write. I love that you can *become* a specialist on the subject of your choice. And when you tire of it/burnt out on it or whatever, you can move onto something else. There will always be something the write about, something new to learn, something new to specialize in, and if you put your mind to it, you’ll always find a way to make a living on your writing.
    margiewrites recently posted…Writing experiment: Doing regular assignments in one sittingMy Profile

  16. Laura says:

    Great post, Josh! Sometimes the odds of making it as a writer seem really slim… but as you mentioned here, there are so many resources just waiting to be tapped, and all you need to do is get your head in the game and write. Oh, and do the legwork of marketing yourself. I’ve been making 30 cold calls a day a la Sarah Maurer in order to establish more clients. I loathe talking on the phone, but knowing I’ll make connections, find work and get paid more keeps me cheery about it.
    Laura recently posted…How to Be Creative When You Feel Like a Sack of PotatoesMy Profile

  17. Jane says:

    This is so wonderful to find your post.I had some doubts when reading the first part of your essay, but then I realized that you were making a trick. Thanks, it was really impressive.
    Jane recently posted…Oxford Free WordPress ThemeMy Profile

  18. Margarita says:

    Josh, very inspirational. If you just replace your mind chatter, for example “I just cannot do this” with “I can do it” the old programming (limiting belief) is still running your life. The question we subconsciously ask all the time is: What if it doesn’t work? What if… This question keeps us from taking action. We have to be able to distinguish between reality and occurring (meaning we give to reality). And the main source for meanings is the belief system. Pretty amazing… How do we eliminate limiting beliefs?

    • Josh Sarz says:

      Nice question, Margarita. The simple answer that I can think of is to just go ahead and do it, but never forget to go into battle armed. You have to be ready for anything. Arm yourself with knowledge, resources, books, a support system, just about anything that you could possibly need, and just go ahead and do it.Getting from start to finish, you’re bound to make lots of mistakes anyway, so why not just get started with those mistakes, make them, and get that much closer to the finish line.

      A good friend of mine recently started a blog about challenging limiting beliefs.
      Josh Sarz recently posted…5 Blogging Mistakes That Make You Sound Like A JerkMy Profile

  19. khaalidah says:

    This has got to be the single most inspirational post I have read in a very very very long while! Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!
    I love this post!!!

  20. Anita Cooper says:

    Thanks for the great post – there are a lot of up and coming writers who have something to share. Thanks for inspiring them!

    • Carol Tice says:

      I love having guest posters on, Anita. Paying for guest posts has been huge for my blog. And you can see the quality of entries it’s encouraging. I loved this concept when Josh pitched it, and it came out great, I thought.

  21. Hope says:

    Very inspiring post, Josh!
    Hope recently posted…What’s It All About, Alfie?My Profile

  22. Bojan says:

    It’s awesome headline, and the content is even cooler. Motivating read!
    Bojan recently posted…Lazy Man’s Way To Habit CreationMy Profile

  23. Glori S. says:

    This is really encouraging! thanks Josh! I can relate to all ten!
    By the way, are you Filipino?
    Glori S. recently posted…The Pains of New Freelance Writers for HireMy Profile

  24. Josh Sarz says:

    Thank you for having me here, Carol. It means a lot to be writing a guest post on your blog.

    Have a wonderful year ahead of you. 🙂
    Josh Sarz recently posted…5 Blogging Mistakes That Make You Sound Like A JerkMy Profile

    • Allyson B. says:

      Thank you for this post. It’s very encouraging to me (a current freelance writer). I needed this.

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