Monday, March 9, 2020

Being Proactive About Your Writing Career

One of the hardest things a lot of "hobby" writers struggle with when they decide they want to turn this into a career is making a shift from passive to proactive. Being proactive is truly the thing that has made so many writers successful out there. Please understand, before I go any further, that I am not talking about randomly taking risks or just throwing your writing to the wind. I am talking about an honest, thoughtful and carefully planned proactive approach with your writing. Let's talk about a few examples.

One of my clients is doing really well with her career. Things are going as planned, but something recently came up that would likely increase her sales. We all like increasing sales, right? Now, she could have just sat back and waited for her editors to come to her with the idea, but she was proactive. She took the time over the weekend to put the proposal together and SHE took it to the the editors. She knew what she wanted and she went for it.

Another author I worked with did the same thing at a conference. I have talked about her in the past. She was at a conference and took the initiative to put a proposal forward to a book buyer (not a publisher). She could have skipped that opportunity since a book buyer is not in a position of moving her career forward, it would have been easy enough to "pooh pooh" it and wait. She didn't and that book buyer took it straight to an editor and her career was launched.

Another writer was pitching a project at a conference to an editor. First of all, because she is a plotter, she had some idea as to future books but these were far from fully developed concepts. When the editor showed interest in that first book, SHE was proactive and put forth the ideas for the follow-up stories. Thinking fast on her feet, she pitched those barely developed concepts, and with that, she had a 3-book deal and her career was launched. She could have easily said she would come back and put together something when she sent in the proposal for that first book, but the proactive approach showed confidence and professionalism.

Now, if you are someone who just throws your writing out there on your website, or you just toss your name into a twitter pitch session and are "hoping for something to happen" you are far from being proactive. If you want something, you have to go after it!

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