This post is inspired by the fantastic job that the A&E channel did with Stephen King‘s biography on Halloween morning. Talk about a determined writer. I especially loved the point when he took charge of his writing career and treated it more like a business.
In my pre-pubbed days, I had time to write write write and it didn’t really matter what I wrote as long as I liked it. Today, that still holds some truth, so that much hasn’t changed. However, other things have.
My friend Melissa Carmichael reminded me of a quote I had heard before: “Write like you’re under contract, even if you’re not.” Now that I am, I don’t have a choice in the matter. But, I also have to write like this is a business. Now that I’m published regardless of format, it’s more important than ever.
With my YA is finished, it’s time to come up with new ideas. My maternity leave is coming up and I’ll have a little time on my hands to get some writing done. Yeah. Yeah. I know what you’re going to say. That baby will keep your hands full. I’m more than sure of that, but I’m also sure that a baby doesn’t stay awake 24-7 either. This will be a great time to steal away some time to write, so why squander it?
By treating this like a business, that means coming up with ideas is more important than ever. I have stories I need to write for sequels that have sold. While those weigh heavily on my mind, I also have to fuel my need to write something new. Balancing the two can be somewhat difficult depending upon which is screaming the loudest. However, when I get fantastic fan mail, like the one recently where a reader said I’ve revitalized her love for werewolves, it’s hard to put aside the third book in my Hunting Club (half-werewolf) series. So, that’s at the top of my list. Second, I have outlines I need to work on for other stuff that is currently being shopped. Fingers crossed there will be some good news soon because I don’t work on anything where the first book hasn’t been contracted yet. It’s a waste of my time when I could working on something that actually has a chance at selling.
So whether you’re a published author or not, just keep in mind that your entire mindset changes when you receive your first paycheck for writing. You have to have a plan and constantly think about where your time is most valuable. And while we’re at it, let’s be honest. If you were only doing it for the love the craft, then you wouldn’t be trying to land an agent or NY. You’d be giving your work away for free. 🙂
So other than taxes, how do you treat your writing career like it’s a business?