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What is your writing budget?

by Danica Favorite

If you’re going to take your writing seriously as a business, one of the things you need to consider is your writing budget. A writer’s income isn’t always steady, so if you don’t have a plan for your writing income, it’s easy for that money to get lost on other things. Oftentimes, a person’s plan for attending a conference is more about “I’ll see if I can afford it” rather than finding a way to afford it. Or, a person might dream of attending a conference, but doesn’t have a financial plan to get there. This isn’t limited to conferences. Writers need tools for their business, like a new computer or an e-reader. For some, buying research books is on the “someday” list. But what is the plan?

Financial wisdom tells us that in our personal finances as well as in our businesses, we need to have a budget. Yet many writers don’t. This is a huge mistake. If you don’t have a plan for your writing income and expenses, you aren’t going to end up where you someday hope to go. Just as with your household budget, you need to create a budget that will be the blueprint for your writing business and guide it to the future.

Some things to consider when writing your financial plan for your business:

• What are my regular expenses to budget for such as paper, ink, web hosting, online backup and Internet service?

• What conferences would I like to attend? How much will they cost? How much do I need to set aside each month to be able to go?

• Do I have an emergency fund for something going wrong, like a hard drive crash?

• How much will it cost to promote my book?

• Am I saving for future tools, like a new computer?

• How much will I spend on research materials?

Have you created a financial plan for your writing business? What have you budgeted for?


Danica Favorite works as an online moderator for a major publisher where she connects readers and writers with new fiction releases. Having spent time in the corporate world teaching tax law and preparing taxes, she much prefers fiction to numbers.

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5 Responses to What is your writing budget?

  1. It’s so true that taking our writing seriously requires money dedicated to the craft. It can be difficult since it doesn’t necessarily earn it back, but I see every penny spent as an investment in my future career. :)

    Currently, I’m budgeting for one conference a year (ACFW!), membership in ACFW and My Book Therapy, a few craft books a year, and the purchase of approximately 10-15 books by Christian authors (to support the industry). I know not everyone can do this; I’m very blessed.

    But for those who have a tight pinch, there is the library for those craft books (or other writer friends) and most conferences offer scholarships.

  2. Tracy Krauss says:

    This article really addresses a need that isn’t often discussed. As you said, so many of us just use the ‘if I can afford it’ method, but this is not very professional. Thanks for this timely advice.

  3. Great questions to consider and plan for.

  4. Michelle Lim says:

    Thank you for the great reminder, Danica! It is so important to plan for your writing expenditures before they come along, or you will get to less of the best learning experiences.

    Each year I save up for the ACFW National Conference, our local chapter’s Great Lakes Get Away, and when I can afford it Deep Thinkers Retreat with Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck in Florida.

    Your thoughts prompted me to have a brainstorming session about some upcoming computer expenses and other budget items I’d like to add. Thanks!

  5. Wonderful questions to be asking!

    This is something that we as a brand management company run into often with the authors we serve. The sticker shock can be overwhelming when developing your online brand and book promotions. Make sure to give yourself a workable budget, but also talk frankly with your web manager. Tell them what your budget is and ask what they can do to accommodate it.

    For conferences, keep in mind that there are several scholarship funds available for those that need it. Do your research early enough to make the application deadlines.

    Take advantage of free resources, like secure cloud storage for important files (like manuscripts!) before a hard drive crash.

    It’s so helpful to know that God has provided so many great resources to help us with our stewardship. Thanks for sharing helpful thought-provoking questions!