While most people treat writing as a hobby, this 19-year-old teen turned his hobby into a source of income, and it’s safe to say that he’s set for life!
Ladies and gentlemen, meet Tong Hao from Wuhan, China. He writes online novels and is currently making 40,000 yuan (approx. RM25,800) per month!
Of course, he wasn’t born with it or reached that level of mastery overnight. Like many great artists, he took his time to hone his writing skills. In fact, he started writing when he was in standard 4!
“When I was in standard 4, our teacher read us an online novel. There were so many elements in it and I was stunned because I have never seen such writing style before!” Tong Hao said.
He added that writing has always been his passion, and his forte are topics related to fantasy. Since his essays were so good, his teacher would even read out his essay as an inspiration to his classmates.
After discovering the existence of online novels, he asked himself, “why not give it a go?” So he begged his father to buy a computer, not to play Metal Slug or see bukan bukan things, but to write his own novel.
“I showed my stories to my teacher. She said I did a great job and motivated me to keep writing.”
His first breakthrough came when he was in Form 2. He was inspired and wrote a story of nearly 20,000 words. His story received positive reactions from readers, which landed him a contract and his first paycheck of 500 yuan (approx. RM320).
Since he was still underage, Tong needed his parents’ approval to sign the contract, which stated that Tong must make progress on his novel every single day. That was when his father realised what his son has been doing until 12am every night.
Of course his journey wasn’t all smooth sailing.
“The most trying times was during Form 3. With examinations just around the corner, I still needed to write 4,000 words a day due to my contract obligations,” he said.
Tong was making 2,000 yuan (approx. RM1,280) per month at that time.
Since Tong was still a budding writer then, his story endings have always been regarded as ‘rubbish’ due to his immaturity. Despite being criticised multiple times, he kept persevering and perfecting his skills over time.
“I chose to dedicate my life to writing novels online. Now, my stories are able to support me financially, and my parents have retired early and are enjoying life at home now, all because of me.”
Last year, he persuaded his father to buy a new house using his monthly income of 7,000 yuan (approx. RM4,500) and move out from their old rented place. This year, he’s planning to buy a car and rent a small shop for his parents to conduct business.
“My son is really obedient. He lets me keeps his bank card, and all his income stays with me,” the father said.
Now that his monthly income has increased to 40,000 yuan (RM25,800), Tong spends about two hours to write 4,000 to 8,000 words per day for his novel.
Since learning never stops, Tong has also started his first day at the Wuhan Vocational College of Software and Engineering just last Sunday to further his education. Choose your group mates wisely, kid!
We wish him the best of luck for his assignments and tests in college! Since he writes a minimum of 4,000 words every day, we wonder if he is able to finish a 2,000-word assignment overnight?
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