Every so often my wife, who is an avid follower of Dean Wesley Smith's blog, yanks me by the ear until I read his latest post. He is currently running a series on dealing with myths around the writing profession, so it definitely applies to my current efforts to establish myself in the field. His articles are actually pretty helpful, so I recommend reading a few if you've got the time.
His latest post was related to how to make a living as a writer. Obviously with a subject like that, he caught my attention fairly easily. He basically pointed out that a novel isn't simply a single source of income. It can be broken up or combined to create new sources of income in several different ways. Single short stories can be combined to make anthologies, books can be sold overseas to foreign language presses, rights can be optioned to movie companies. By looking for those oppportunities you can turn one property into a fairly stable source of income that far outweighs the time you spend on it.
Of course, the catch is that I have no idea how to spread out that much. I don't have contacts in foreign presses, nor do I have the ear of Hollywood producers who would option my books. I suppose the first step is to get a story out there, but if I want to be serious about writing as a career, finding those contacts, either for myself or through an agent, will be crucial. How has any of you guys gone about doing that? Have any ideas? If so just let me know. Have a good week guys, and I will see you around!