Making the “right” choices for your life as a writer
the most important decision you’ll have to make when you are living a life of
writing is what that really means to you. With anything that we love to do, we
reach a crossroads where the choice eventually has to be made whether or not it
will remain a hobby/minor form of income, or be our sole source of income.
your decision is the former, no real discussion needs to be had. It is always
good to have something that keeps you occupied, and if it provides some form of
supplemental income, BONUS! Every situation is unique in how much time you
dedicate to your craft, but this is
likely less of a concern if your financial wellbeing isn’t resting on every
success and failure.
your decision is the latter, then there are choices in the steps along the way
that you have to make your life as a writer as successful as possible. Many of
these have been discussed in past posts, but are worth reviewing in this
What are you writing about?
Is this subject matter
accessible? Is it controversial enough to be interesting, but not so
controversial that it offends a wide spectrum of people? There will always be
people who take offense to every subject matter, but as a writer it is our
responsibility to be respectful and honest in our approach to whatever subject
matter we choose so as to minimize this potential. Push the limits, yes! Be
ignorant, arrogant or overly self-indulgent, no!
Who is your market?
In deciding this, remember that
you are trying to think as broad as possible for your subject matter. Making
the proper choices in the basics such as characters and general plot points can
make a huge difference on its own to the kind of audience you attract. Let your
choice to this question help direct your writing.
When and How will you publish?
We spoke a lot about
self-publishing if you have a particular affinity for marketing or selling your
ideas (As artists we sometimes do! Remember, we know and understand our idea best!).
If not, it is a smart choice to rely on a publishing company to take care of
the details of the little things about marketability for your book. Especially
if it is your first book, sometimes that first big marketing explosion can help
make writing AND publishing easier in the future!
If you have managed to sell a
lot of copies of your first book or have a large investor behind you, that’s great! For
most of us, that isn’t the case. Making smart decisions can help you get to a
self-sustaining place faster, but your life as a writer often needs savings or
supplemental income to really get it kickstarted. It’s an investment in your
future for sure, but one that if treated properly can have amazing payoffs not
only financially, but in all aspects of your life.
There are many
other choices that need to be made along the way, but I will mention one other
one here: Choose to be successful. Have a good attitude. Stay positive. Don’t
let this be blinding to reality so much that you end up hurting yourself or
digging yourself a hole, just remember you are doing what you love to do. That
in itself is more than many people can say in this life.