Over a year ago I attended a writing conference and the president of my group chapter asked if I'd be interested in volunteering to give lessons on a craft loop. It lasts a week and participants can ask questions, make comments, etc. on the lessons posted. Since we were setting up the schedule a year ahead, I knew I had plenty of time to work it out, what subject might be the best to talk about. A former teacher, I've given a lot of writing workshops, but for this I wanted to do something new. I asked myself what information I could offer these varied writers that they couldn't find in other places. I decided the best advice I could give them on any subject didn't necessarily come from creating and crafting the 82 novels I've sold over the past twenty years, but from my experience as a writer. They could find character charts, synopses templates and plotting structure online. But maybe not so easy to find is the information to help them pursue a successful career. To do that, I realized they had to treat writing like a business rather than just an art form or a creative endeavor.
Writers want to write and find readers who enjoy their stories. But pure writing is something writers can only do for themselves now. If they want to enter the marketplace in any form, they need to realize writing is a business. It's not only the business of selling a manuscript or selling books. It's the business of selling yourself or the persona you choose to make public. It's about having several projects going at once, looking at every opportunity, promoting day and night...if you want to make a living selling books.
I started a series of blogs about treating writing like a business and realized they could become a handbook for both unpublished and published writers. We all have questions about so many aspects of writing as a business, and experience can shed a light on some of those questions. Information is always power.
My book WRITING IS A BUSINESS: Tips for a Lasting Career is now live on Amazon. It's twenty years of experience in writing and publishing encapsulated into a handbook that I hope will urge you to think about the business of writing as well as the craft. Because now without the one, it's difficult to have the other. I'm hoping this book provokes discussion about all aspects of treating writing like a business--from the creative arena to the financial pitfalls.
When I give the workshop this week, maybe questions will generate new blogs and new chapters for the book. After all, revising and perfecting still takes up much of a writer's working time. Most of all, I hope I can listen and learn from my participants as we exchange information and become a better writer because of the exchange.
My new year's wish for all the writers out there--may the muse be with you and may your target audience be clamoring for each of your books. Isn't that what all writers hope for?
A happy new year of writing, marketing, promoting and selling to you all.
©2013 Karen Rose Smith
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