If you want to turn your writing — whether you’re writing books or something else — into a full-time career, there’s a huge pitfall you MUST avoid.
When your writing doesn’t work (or sell) — write anyway
You know that I’m always encouraging you to write, write, write, because when you do that, you will improve. You’ll sell, and then you’ll sell more, because you’ll know that it’s all about the time you spend writing.
Important: it doesn’t matter what you’re writing, Markets go up and down. Business is always cyclical, just like the rest of your life.
The only writing “trick” you’ll ever need to develop a satisfying career
Think of your writing as… writing.
It’s all just writing. If you’re looking for tricks, you may find them, and if you devote too much time to a trick it could be disastrous, because everything ends. What sold yesterday may not sell tomorrow. That’s OK. It doesn’t mean you stop writing.
Markets always change
Way back in the late 1990s, during the dot com boom, I was writing tech articles for magazines. It was a golden age, and it shut down FAST. From one day to the next. Everything was rolling along, and then it rolled right over the edge of a cliff.
For many writers, ebooks have rolled over a cliff too. Because they focused on tricks, rather than on writing. Apropos ebook sales declining, from Business Musings: The Hard Part:
”It always comes down to writing a lot of good material, be those serials or linked short stories or large novels. Fans like what fans like, and will follow those series or those writers as long as the entire project remains fresh.”
Kris Rusch’s article about the “troughs” of writing is spot-on. Your writing career goes up and down. This is also known as the “feast or famine” syndrome of the writing life. Take heart. Famines always end, just as the feasts do. The only trick to making consistent money writing is knowing that after a famine comes another feast, during which you prepare for the next famine.
When the dot com boom went bust, I pumped up my copywriting business, and kept writing.
Keep writing: diversify now
I’ve always been a “writer”. Rather than classifying myself as a novelist (as I did when I started writing), or a copywriter, or a magazine writer, or a blogger… or anything else, I just kept writing.
Over the years, that’s paid off. I’ve always got another string to my bow. I encourage my students to diversify too. Just keep writing.
Write what you WANT to write
Recently, a reader told me she wanted to know what to make the “most money” in writing. Although I was tempted to respond with the old “ransom notes” gag, I suggest that she write what excited her most. She’s a new writer, but that advice works for professionals too. Go where your energy is. If you force yourself to write something, and hate it, it will be the hardest money you ever earn.
You have the power: it’s writing. Use it
I always tell my students that their writing will take them wherever they want to do. I’ve just published How To Win YOUR Writing Game on the freelance blog. You will find it useful. It’s always Self 1 which gets in the way of doing — Self 2.
When you integrate both Self 1 and Self 2, you’ll win the writing game. Our new program, Authentic Writing 2015, will help.
Win your writing game: make winning automatic
Everything you need to win the inner game is packed into Authentic Writing 2015. It includes two programs you’ll love, my Top 70 Writing Tips — essential to making winning automatic, and our upcoming Journal Dynamite workshop. (Your entree to the workshop is included free.)
How to profit from your writing: online store.
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