Monday, March 23, 2015

Are You Ready For The Business Of Writing?

One of the first things an author needs to do before he or she starts sending out those submission letters to the editors and agents is to consider if this really is the right time for them to start a new job. You see, becoming a professional writer is taking on a new job. Unless you are independently wealthy and can afford to give up your day job, the odds are you will have to do both. But what authors fail to realize is that professional writing really is a juggling act.

The joy you had of creating stories, building worlds, and having your characters interact with one another happened while you were wearing the "author" hat. This is the fun one! You could write 2000 words one day and maybe not write anything else the next day or two, giving the characters a chance to appreciate their new surroundings. But the other hat you now wear, the "business author" hat is more demanding.

As a business author, you now have to interrupt your writing with a lot of other activities. You will now have to create and maintain that online presence. Daily blogs, twitter, Facebook and so forth. You will now have to get out there in public to talk about your book (who else did you think would do it?). Your day will now be filled with correspondence with your editor, the marketing team, the cover designers and so forth.

But wait, it gets better! Just when you get on a roll with that current work in progress, it is almost a certainty you will open your email and get the AA's for your last book that now need to be edited and you have 14 days to do that.

Your day will be restructured. You now have a lot of other people counting on you to produce and work, but this time, it will be on their schedule and not yours.

Oh, and those of you thinking self-publishing eliminates all of those other people, you will now be wearing all of their hats so, in many ways, you haven't gotten out of it!

This is not meant to scare people away. This is just a cautionary tale and one that many authors just don't think about. And, this really is the reason why we see so many authors sell 1 or 2 books and then disappear. They weren't ready!

I'd love to hear from the writers who are now selling now. How do you juggle your time and still maintain your writing schedule (and keep the day job).

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