Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Are you ready?

Are you ready to make the plunge?
This is an important question to ask before you go signing up for pitch sessions with editors and agents, or start sending out submissions to those people.

For many writers, the work they do on their stories is really more of a hobby than a profession. Writers get to their work "when they have time." They attend sessions, "when it is convenient." They have critique partners but spend more time sipping wine or chatting.

Writing is a serious business and it takes more than simply having a completed manuscript and a plan for the next one to make the jump to professional writing. Unfortunately, I do believe many writers are far from ready and when suddenly faced with the reality of an editor or agent showing interest, or they see the work that has to go into the writing, suddenly the fun is all gone.

I am a firm believer, and I know I have said this in the past, that writing is for everyone. But this does not mean that everyone is supposed to be out there pitching and doing this professionally. Before you make that jump, make sure to have answers to some of the following questions...

- Do you have the time to write and make writing a DAILY part of your life?
- Do you have the support of your family to do this professionally? Are they willing to give you the time you need when you need it?
- Do you have at least a 5 year plan for where you want to be with your writing? Is this a real goal?
- Is the decision to look at writing professionally one you made or are you considering this because of peer pressure?
- Do you have a network in place to assist you and guide you through the early stages of your career? This includes strong writing partners? Organizations?
- Do you have the financial resources available to take care of things such as websites, conferences (this is a must), marketing?

This list should get you thinking. Just make sure you are mentally ready to do this. Again, it is not just about having one manuscript ready.


  1. I love the candor of this blog. It's what keeps me coming back and reading it every day.

    You're so right! What other business would you forge into with no business plan? None --- why is it folks freak at the thought of a long term plan, investment in marketing, even "selling" their product?

    Thanks for giving us our dose of reality on a regular basis. It keeps our feet on the ground and eye on the goal!

  2. Nancy,

    The point you make is right on the money. As I pointed out, I think many writers just don't see this as business but a hobby they get paid for.