Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.
So, you want your sim to become a novelist? Good on you. Writing is one of the handiest skills in The Sims 4. Not only does it allow you to create a constant stream of income for your sim’s household, it allows your sim to perform a variety of other tasks—all from the comfort of their computer screen. It’s also the backbone for one of the game’s careers, and it's just plain handy overall. Let’s take a look at preparing your sim for the life of a writer.
Aspirations and Traits
As with most skill paths, the appropriate Aspiration for your sim is pretty obvious. You’ll want to choose the Creative—Bestselling Author Sub-Aspiration. This will give your sim the Muser Trait, which boosts your sim’s skill bonuses whenever they’re Inspired. Keep your sim Inspired under these conditions and their Writing skill will rise rapidly.
Aspiration aside, your sim can also make use of the following Traits:
- Creative. Creative sims are Inspired more often than normal. If you want that Muser bonus, you’ll want a Creative sim. This will also allow your sim to segue into other Creative fields once they’ve completed the Bestselling Author Aspiration.
- Bookworm. Your sim likes to read. Writing is very particular in that your sim can overdose. Bookworm will help you overcome that problem. More below.
- Perfectionist. This Trait allows your sim to create better-quality crafted items, albeit at a slightly reduced pace. If you have a stay-at-home writer, you’ll want to get as much out of their book sales as possible.
- Loner. The usual staple of the serial crafter. Your sim won’t have too many chances to socialize. Loner can offset their social needs and allow you to focus on building up a strong cash base.
Career or Freelance?
Writers have two options for making money out of their craft. The first, and more immediately lucrative, is to get a job as a Writer. Writers require a lot of reading and writing practice to get promotions, as well as some friendship building. You can ultimately branch out into Authors or Journalists when you become a writer.
The second option, which is a stronger prospect in the long run, is to write books at home. Though your income at first is small, your sim will gradually create a powerful stream of residual income. For the first while, it’s not a bad idea to split your time between these two options; later, however, your sim’s time is better spent just writing books from home. (Assuming they don’t absolutely excel in a career, of course.) Because progressing through a career is pretty straightforward, we’ll focus more on writing books from home.
Writing and Selling Books
To write a book, you must purchase a computer for your sim. Check under the Writing selection and your sim can either Practice Writing or Write a Genre Book. Either of these options will progress your sim’s Writing skill. As your sim gets better at Writing, they’ll gain the following new abilities:
- Level 1: Children’s books, Practice Writing
- Level 2: Self-Publish Books
- Level 3: Write Short Stories, Write Excuse Notes, Read Non-Fiction Books for Reference, Discuss Favorite Book / Author with other sims
- Level 4: Poems, Love Emails
- Level 5: Non-Fiction, Sell to Publisher, Recite Love Poetry to other sims
- Level 6: Screenplays
- Level 7: Fantasy, Enthuse about Iambic Pentameter to other sims
- Level 8: Science Fiction
- Level 9: Mystery, Submit to Literary Digest
- Level 10: Biography, Mentor
Dealing With Writer's Block
Unlike other skills, Writing has one very specific roadblock: Writer’s Block. This will crop up fairly often early in your sim’s writing career and will stop your sim cold for several hours. You can purchase books from a bookshelf to continue learning while your sim waits off the effects of Writer’s Block. Writers who also have a career in writing shouldn’t have this problem too often, and high-level writers don’t seem to get Writer’s Block at all. Use the Browse Art option on your sim’s computer to keep them Inspired while developing their skill, whether through practice or reading.
Submitting Books and Earning Residuals
Once your sim has completed a book you can sell it for a cut of royalties by clicking on the mailbox outside your household. You receive three options for doing so—Self-Publish Books, Sell to Publisher, Submit to Literary Digest—each of which nets you progressively higher residuals with each passing day. (Note that you can only Submit to Literary Digest once a week, however.) With enough books written and submitted this way, your sim can earn thousands of dollars a day without lifting a finger. Pretty sweet, especially if you decide to take them on a different career path once they’ve mastered Writing. You’ll always have a safety net.
Unlike some other skills, Writing offers two neat fringe benefits that can aid themselves or other members of the household:
- Your sim can write Excuse Notes. Excuse Notes will deaden the effects of missing out on work or school, whether accidentally or on purpose.
- Your sim can write Love Emails. It’s quite difficult to build a romantic relationship with other sims if they aren’t present. Your writer can get around this with Love Emails, allowing them to build (or maintain) a rapport at a distance.
Your burgeoning novelist will, eventually, burn through all of their skill levels and become a master writer. At this point, assuming they take the associated Rewards Trait, your sim can Mentor other sims in Writing, allowing them to build up their skill much more quickly. Even better, your sim will gain the Poetic Trait upon completing the Bestselling Author Aspiration. Poetic, as crazy as it sounds, allows the sim to bring any close dead relations back to life. Yikes.
Athena-Nicole on May 21, 2015:
Hey, I've been stuck on the last step of the Bestselling Author Aspiration for a few days now. I cannot get my sim to write a single bestseller! I always try to make sure I'm writing while Inspired or Very Inspired and my writing is maxed at 10. Any tips or suggestions?
Matt Bird (author) from Canada on September 28, 2014:
OH, I see what you mean. The progress bar that appears above your head is only ever for your skill. You need to look at the progress bar of your current task (bottom-left corner of the screen) to see how long it's going to take to finish writing a book. Still can't explain why books aren't entering your inventory, though.
pedro on September 28, 2014:
he has actually hit max level, but by progress bar I mean the progress bar of the book. shouldn't there be a bar for the completion of the book itself? or is it always for the skill?
I'll try what you said, thanks
Matt Bird (author) from Canada on September 26, 2014:
I'm not sure what to tell you. Has he hit max level? I assume not, but it's best to ask. As for the books, perhaps there's a maximum to the number you can have in your inventory at one time...?
The only other suggestion I can make to bypass such a bug is to cheat a little. Try this:
- Hit Ctrl + Shift + C. This will open the cheat window.
- Type in "testingcheats on", no quotes.
- Then, with the sim selected, type in "skills.set_major_writing #", substituting the number sign for the level you want for your sim. This will change the sim to that level.
You can use this to either bypassing levelling altogether, or, hopefully, to get the sim's skill progression unstuck. Cheats can be a teensy bit unstable, mind, so use this method with caution. Hope it helps.
pedro on September 26, 2014:
lately my sim hasn't been able to write. when I ask him to write a book, he sits there and types and all, but the progress bar above his head doesn't appear.
also, I don't seem to be getting the books I've written in my inventory.
is there any way to fix this?
Matt Bird (author) from Canada on September 19, 2014:
Is this for an Aspiration? It may depend on what you're writing. Just Practicing, for example, may not do the trick. Try other Writing options instead.
Sims4Guy on September 16, 2014:
Does anyone have a breakdown of how long each genre takes to write and which generate the most money? Are any genres more likely to end up as bestsellers?
Matt Bird (author) from Canada on September 14, 2014:
Harlan on September 14, 2014:
I took your advice and it worked like a charm! Thanks for the help and the great guide.
Matt Bird (author) from Canada on September 13, 2014:
The only way to induce it is to make your writer write non-stop for a very, very long time. I'd suggest filling their needs as thoroughly as possible so everything's in the green, then make your sim write constantly until it pops up. Even specialists should hit it eventually. If work hours are troublesome for this, do it on a day off.
Harlan on September 13, 2014:
Is there a way to induce writer's block? I can't seem to make my Sim get it and I'd like to be able to advance through the writer ranks.
Chris on September 13, 2014:
Ok that's great. Thanks for the reply MattWritesStuff.
Great write up by the way!
Matt Bird (author) from Canada on September 13, 2014:
The books you've written and the royalties received appear in a blue box for a short while once you've received the money in the morning of each day. Royalties tend to fluctuate with time, so I don't think a set amount is displayed anywhere.
The only way you can see the books a sim has written without this blue pop-up is to check a bookcase. I believe your sims receive a free copy of the book to their inventory. Kind of an untidy way to view them, but hey.
Chris on September 13, 2014:
Have you notcied a way to view how many books you have written or the royalties you are receiving?