So you want to be a writer

Great! Write something, anything, and you’re a writer. If you want a career as an author, there’s more to it than just writing. The process starts when you realize that full-time authors have tough bosses.

Start off slow. Hire yourself to be your own writer part-time. See if you can handle the load. I won’t lie and tell you it’s easy. You’re working 9-5, taking care of the kids, cleaning the house, calling your mother, taking the occasional date night with your favorite someone, meeting your best friend for lunch once a week. Now, add to your schedule one hour each day for writing. Do this one thing, and you are on your way to a career as an author. If you don’t spend that hour writing, what will your new boss do? Fire you.

Maybe you start off slower. Hire yourself to write for ten minutes a day for one month. If that works out, perhaps your boss (that is to say, you) give your more time to write. Maybe you’ll hire yourself to write for twenty minutes a day, thirty minutes a day, an hour each day? What compensation can you expect from your boss if you make these goals? What compensation will your new boss not give you for missing your goals?

To be the own boss of your writing career, you need a plan.

  • Write.
  • Set a schedule.
  • Create a compensation plan. (A slice of chocolate cake is one of my favorites.)
  • Prepare to deal with the fallout of missed deadlines and failures. 
  • Learn from your failures: Don’t dwell on them. (Probably the hardest rule in this bunch.)
  • Ask for help. The best for writers NEED experienced editors, illustrators, designers, marketing knowledge, and so much more than I can list here. No one person can know it all.
  • Be a good boss to yourself.

Thanks to Tony Bologna’s blog post: How to Become Your Own Boss. I never thought of myself as my own boss, but now I do.

I only write when inspiration strikes. Fortunately It Strikes every morning at nine o’clock. —William Faulkner (close enough)

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