I currently write part-time. My full-time job is working as a Software Engineer for a large, privately-held corporation. I do have the luxury of working out of my home full-time with occasional trips to the home office.
My part-time writing so far has been exclusively on software development topics. I have been paid for most of what I write, but I wouldn’t say it’s much, especially for my books. Last I calculated my hourly pay based on my advances and royalties, it was just above $2.00/hour. But, it got my name out in the tech community, which was my goal.
The magazine column I author is published every two months in an e-magazine that is free, but they do have advertising and I get paid a small amount. Today I am concentrating on my next article. It will be good to complete it as it finishes up a year-long series on a single topic that was too big to effectively cover in a single article.
You might think tech and fiction writing are very different. But they’re much closer than you think. With tech writing, I have the luxury of selecting my topic with each article. There are certain facts that I must stick to. But I can make up code samples, so long as they follow the facts I am presenting. To make the article readable, I have to wordsmith it and once I’m done writing, I set it aside for a few days before editing.
With fiction (horror, sci-fi, and fantasy may be able to stretch this), you have facts you must present. Even if they are “made-up facts”. For example, in a murder mystery, you may invent the victim, the detective, and all your characters, but the method of death and the investigation must be believable and that means using things that are true. You simply cannot just kill off Miss Scarlet in the Conservatory with a lead pipe, although it did make an entertaining movie. Wordsmithing and editing are important here too.
So, while I take a break from fiction for a couple of days, I’m still writing. After all, isn’t getting the words on paper or screen what really counts?