Average Salary : $55,940
Expected Lifetime Earnings: $2,335,000
What money—where?! Oh, we thought you saw some.
Honestly, as a writer you should expect to make somewhere between $0 and $300k per year. (99% of you will make much closer to $0 than $300k. And yes, the gal who wrote the Harry Potter series is a billionaire but…that's not exactly the norm.)
There is such a wide range in terms of success—from the freelancer who sold one article for $75 and spent the rest of the year attending workshops and conferences with no immediate results, to the Hollywood screenwriter who got lucky with his first script, which is now the latest blockbuster—that it is honestly tough to give you a more specific range or to break down how you are likely to get paid and by what source(s).
In general, you should only get into this business if you are madly in love with writing. Because you may have to be really good at writing letters to banks begging them for loans.