Thursday, May 14, 2015

Think Before You Jump

You just finished your first book. Now what?

For many, the first thought is to start pushing that project and getting it out there to the editors and agents. It's time to be a professional writer!

But, I would argue that before you hit that send button. Before you write that query letter. You stop and think. Are you REALLY ready to make the jump?

It is important to remember that becoming a professional writer requires much more than simply writing a story. You add in the marketing time, the public appearances, the increase in deadlines. There will be costs now, (and even more so if you want to go into self-publishing), and there will be time commitments you did not have prior to this.

Let's also add in the family and friend obligations. Is your family ready for you to say, "I will now be adding to my regular schedule 2-5 hours of time when I need to write and you need to leave me alone." Is your significant other ready for this? If you have kids, remember their life cannot be put on hold.

And you probably have your day job. The odds are, it will be a while before you can quit that day job so factor that one in.

And finally, there is the mental readiness. As a hobby writer, you could pick and choose who read your story. You could pick your own locations for feedback. But now, are you ready for someone who you didn't select to say they didn't like your story?

I know this is just a lot of questions, but these are questions you need to have answers for. Not answers you "think" you should say, but answers you know are the truth. As I said in the title, You MUST think before you jump.

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