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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > February 2017 > A year of living DANGEROUSLY

A year of living DANGEROUSLY

Could 2017 be the year you take the, risky, but rewarding, decision to make writing your primary income source? Alison Carter shares her experience of her first year as a freelance

In the autumn of 2015 I was working two and a half days a week as a college librarian, and not enjoying my job. During the rest of my week I was writing magazine fiction, an additional but minor income stream that had been growing steadily since humble beginnings a decade before. Slaving over my tax return one day, I spotted that my writing earnings had outstripped my library earnings for the first time. I had built good relationships with three women’s magazines who liked my fiction and accepted between 25% and 90% of what I submitted, and that year I had had the good fortune to be asked by The People’s Friend to co-deliver their fiction workshops in London. I’d also taught a couple of day courses at my local theatre. In addition, BBC Radio still called on me occasionally to do sound effects work.

I stared at my Mac wondering if I would ever dare to go freelance, and when I made the suggestion of it to my husband it was barely more than a joke. But he reminded me of our joint vow – never to stay in a job that made us unhappy.

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START FRESH: New year, new adventure • Build your confidence • Fix your bad habits Make 2017 your year! STAR interview: Elif Shafak: Writing across boundaries • 24 writing competitions to enter • £63,980 in writing prizes to be won

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