There are many facets to a successful writing career. The first, and most important component to your writing career is your enjoyment of the writing process. Do you feel compelled to write and create a story? Do you enjoy the process, at least most of it? If you’re not having fun as a writer and getting something out of it, then it’s not for you.
Will You Do the Work?
The second facet or component of a successful writing career is the willingness to do the work. Books don’t magically appear. They take hard work. It’s about more than getting the words on the page and creating a draft. That draft is likely quite terrible, mine certainly are, and it needs work. It needs revision, editing, and at least five quality opinions on the material.
The third component of a successful writing career is a willingness to promote your work. If you publish, traditionally or self, you cannot just cross your fingers and hope your book does well. You have to promote it. You have to…ahem….market your book. Eeks. I apologize for the profanity. I know that “market” is a bad word for many.
Marketing = Sharing
Think of marketing as a synonym for “share.” You have to share your book with the world. That’s accomplished by blogging about it, by linking to your book on social media and by creating a writing platform.
The Common Excuses
Not surprisingly, most of the excuses I hear from writers and aspiring authors center on a lack of willingness to do the work or to market themselves. Take a look at these excuses and let me know if they sound familiar to you.
1. I don’t need to write, or work on my book, today. Really? Of course you do. The creative brain improves, strengthens, and is easier to tap into when you embrace it consistently. Not to mention, you’ll make much faster progress when you work on your book EVERY SINGLE DAY! Sorry, I don’t mean to yell. Your writing is important and if you want to be taken seriously you have to take your writing seriously too.
2. I don’t need to read/learn. My inner twelve year old comes out when I hear a writer tell me that they don’t have time to read or that they don’t read. My eyes roll and an exasperated groan involuntarily escapes from my mouth. Read. Read everything. Read books about writing. Read books in your genre.
Read newspapers, blogs, and social media posts. You don’t have to spend your entire day reading. Why not read for fifteen minutes before bed? How about turning off Dancing with the Stars and read instead? (If you’re watching the Bachelor or the Bachelorette then you can leave that on, but anything else can be replaced by a good book.) Reading nourishes your brain, it keeps your creative mind clicking along, and it educates you.
3. I haven’t published yet, I don’t need to market. It’s true, you don’t NEED to market – ever. When you get a contract or publish you can hire someone to market for you. However, it’s expensive and it may not pay off.
Additionally, if you begin to build a platform now and begin creating an audience for your work, when you do publish, you’ll have guaranteed sales. I have two books to recommend to you on the topic of creating an author’s blog and a social media presence – again it’s about creating an audience for your work. Check out:
Note: these are not affiliate links. I’ve met Kristen, heard what she has to say and benefitted from her knowledge. Buy the books used to save moola.
Here’s her website – http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/
And check out this website – http://www.yourwriterplatform.com/
The Bottom Line
Whether you’re writing for yourself or you’re writing to sell books, you have to take yourself and your writing seriously. Put your writing, and your writing education, first. Read, write, and share.