Monday, April 30, 2012

When Your PASSION for Writing Becomes a JOB

So you've done it. You've always dreamed of being a professional writer. Of staying home writing all day and just creating wonderful worlds in your mind that allow you to pay your bills.

Was it everything you thought it would be? Or did your time to feed your passion for writing diminish into an hole of deadlines, marketing, marketing, selling, selling, finding another way to sell and to make money. Are you spending tons of time wondering, figuring, calculating if that royalty check, income from your books is going to pay your bills.


Well - bills have to get paid, the rose colored glasses have come off and now you have to produce, find interesting ways to increase your income, figure out how to pay for health insurance and just plain get your sales hustle on.

SO WHAT or HOW can you keep your passion and PAY YOUR BILLS?

1) Get your head out of the clouds and realize that to be a full-time writer - you are running a business.
2) Find your markets. So you like to write fiction (A) You write fiction (B) I edit well so I can edit for hire for other authors (C) I promo well - so I can promo for other authors (D) I love to write about local events - I can do freelance journalism (E) I love to write any story and produce many - I could ghost write *** Break up your skills and see what / which you can sell, would like to sell, to supplement income or make your writing income more viable * if you don't have a spouse that's willing to take care of all your bills or a parent that's willing to let you live with them.
3) Learn to Market your skills - Every business has to market itself, and the business of being a 'profitable' writer is that you figure out ways to market your skills for hire. Having more than one is always good - that way if you don't get a publishing deal - you can depend on income from other areas.
4) Build, hold and keep your contacts - It never hurts to know someone. People share information, job post etc - and a serious writer should be on Publishers Marketplace and other spots that post writing gigs.
5) Be good at your craft. Take time to learn it, hone it - and be diverse.

SO DOES THAT PASSION still feel like one?

For me it does, but I'm a multi-dimensional person that loves my day gig (which is a pretty cool one I must say) and love my night gig as an author, co-publisher, and marketeer.


Linda Jackson said...

Great post, LM. This is a good list of ways to "pay the bills" as an author. Sadly, it is easy to lose our passion when the passion becomes a job. :)

Kelly Hashway said...

Honestly, when I'm drafting, it's all about passion for writing. After I finish a book, I move into professional mode. So there's a balance there, and I'm okay with it.

LM Preston said...

That's good when a writer can balance those two very distinct areas. I wonder how many can do that and do it well. But I believe that in order to turn your passion for writing into a viable income, you have to be able to do both and rather well.

Sarah Negovetich said...

I'm with Kelly. When I'm writing it's all about the art. Right now I'm feeling the business end (of a sharp pointy stick) as I comb the internet for my agent search.

Catherine Stine said...

It's a job that I am still passionate about. Nevertheless, it is a job that involves sitting in that chair and banging it out.

cleemckenzie said...

You're so right. This is a business, and since it's so highly competitive it demands a lot of attention. You're doing a super job.

Gina Gao said...

This is such a true post! I'm only a student, but writing is sort of becoming like a second job. Great post!

Lynda R Young said...

I think at the beginning of the marketing stage, after years of writing and honing the skills, the business side kicks in and it can come as a shock. That's when the doubt and the sense of being overwhelmed can overtake you until you find that balance again. It's all about balance. Great post.