Things You May Never Have Realized About Writing as a Profession


So you want to be a published author, one way or another. Great! You’ve come to the right place.

But before you commit to this thing for real, there’s something you should know.

You might not know as much about writing professionally as you thought.

As always, we’re here to help you learn and grow no matter what point you’re at in the writing process. Sometimes that means we have to be real. Maybe too real.

Keep in mind as you read through today’s post that these are all points rooted in reality and meant to help you. We’re not here to lie and say this is easy! It’s not. But there are ways to navigate through the maze and come out successful on the other side. Even if you don’t like all of them.

It’s a team effort

Every time you sit down to write something new, you close yourself off into your own little world for a few minutes; hours, even. But professional writing isn’t just about the work you do alone in your office (if you’re lucky enough to have your own office). That piece of writing needs tweaking. It needs to be looked over twice, three times; it needs to be formatted, copy-edited, published. Promoted.

As much as you’d like to at times, you can never do it all by yourself. You can self-edit and you can most certainly self-publish, but at one point or another, you will need help. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with reaching out and asking for it.

Being a ‘good writer’ alone isn’t enough

This one is tough. We know. After all, we do spend a lot of time helping you become a more effective storyteller. It isn’t that writing well won’t get you anywhere in your writing career. That’s just the first step. As you write more and more, you will always continue to develop your voice and refine your style and figure out how to tell better stories.

But the journey doesn’t end there.

Probably the hardest part about trying to write professionally in any field is realizing you have to be a well-rounded, confident, relentless dreamer all while keeping your feet on the ground. Not only do you have to know how to write, but you also have to know how to sell your work, do it with confidence and refuse to give up no matter how many times you might get rejected.

That’s impossible to do for a lot of people. It doesn’t mean they’re ‘bad’ writers or that they’re never going to make it. It just means they have to exert more energy to take that thing they’ve worked so hard writing and rewriting and move forward without letting fear or disappointment get in the way.

You may have written a great story and may have even come up with a few ideas for how to pitch it. It’s actually getting out there and doing it that throws up all kinds of roadblocks.

It’s not about you

“I want to publish a book because I think everyone should read stories about my life.”

Okay, well, at least you have a goal in place. But here’s the thing about publishing (and we’re just being real here): you’re not the reason a publication or agency wants to publish your work. It’s not that you don’t matter. But when you’re proposing or pitching anything, it’s the story, your story’s angle and how it is going to benefit an organization or audience that matters more.

There’s nothing wrong with telling your story or making your story part of how you spin your proposal, but as we mentioned earlier this week, your focus should always be on how your work will benefit someone else. Never on how worthy you think you are of a deal.

There are plenty of other resources here to help you get to where you want to be. And we promise, we’re working on making those much easier to find! For now, just type a topic into that search box over to the right and it’s likely you’ll find something at least sort of related to what you’re looking for.

And of course, if you do have questions on things we haven’t covered yet – you are always more than welcome to leave a comment. We’re still a fairly new blog and are completely open to your feedback.

We wish you the best, writing-wise and otherwise! Happy writing!

Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.

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