The business of writing

008Writing as a business enterprise that makes money. I never used to think of it this way, at least not my fiction. Though I’ve been a freelance writer for a long time, fiction was always separate. Something I did for love, rather than money.
But things are changing. Or they’re about to.
At this year’s RWA conference I did a number of workshops on marketing, social media, and promotion. As a writer with a recently-sold book, I need to start getting up to speed on this stuff, and though I’ve got six months to get my name and book out there, I know the time will fly past. There’s also the fact that I have to finish writing the second book, start on the third, create a fall writing workshop, write freelance articles, and still find time to be a wife, mom, daughter, friend, skater, volunteer, and whatever else comes down the pike.
I get exhausted just thinking about it.
So I’m taking baby steps, including reading a book, “Book Marketing In A Nutshell,” by Sheila Clover English and Barbara Vey. The book advises creating a business plan. I’ve tried business plans before, but never for my fiction career. This approach, created specifically for writers, is qualitative, not quantitative, as so many business plans are. This asks you to create lists, rather than spread sheets. There are no phrases like “percentage of incremental sales.” Already my stress level is dropping.
The business plan asks me to list my assets. Not just in terms of money, time and equipment, all of which are limited, but also my support network. Here, I’m blessed.
I have faith in God, and a wonderful supportive husband and sons, whom I love very much. Great parents, in-laws and extended family. Excellent friends, both long-time and newer, cheering me on. A critique group of talented fellow writers, with whom I can meet each month. An awesome agent. An editor I know I’m going to love working with. A publishing house that is committed to building its authors. New author friends who’ve walked the road I’m on and are ready with advice and encouragement.
So on those days when its hard to see beyond the side of the asset sheet that looks rather sparse, I need to look at the relationship side, which is overflowing.
As long as that side is full, I’ve got what I need to succeed.

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