book writing advice

Treating your Writing like a Career

So this last summer I had the amazing opportunity to attend RWA (Romance Writers of America) Annual Conference. And I learned so much, and met a host of other authors who were in the same boat as I was. Trying to make our writing stand out from the pack and make a living with our writing.

One session I attended said the following: ‘If you don’t treat your writing like a serious business, how do you expect anyone else to take is seriously.’

This struck a deep cord within me, and I realized I had been treating my writing like a hobby. Even with 4 books published I still haven’t been treating my writing as the business it should be.

So after I heard that I took a couple of months (I’m not kidding but I wish I were), to understand what that meant to me and my writing. I really believe this means something different to everyone. But for me I know without a shadow of a doubt that I have been treating my writing as a hobby because when I didn’t feel like doing any writing I just wouldn’t. If I felt boxed in with anything that had to do with writing I just walked away. Maybe that’s why I haven’t written anything in over a year….

But now what? Just recognizing that I am treating my writing like a hobby wasn’t enough, I needed to make some important changes in order to move from hobby to living.

CHANGE 1: creating a business mindset. I don’t know about you but when I am writing the last thing on my mind is business.

CHANGE 2: Carve out time during the week to deal with the business of my writing. Marketing, list building, social media, blogging. I have failed mightily in these areas in the last several years.

CHANGE 3: My writing has been mish mash for the last year, and if I want to make it a business I have to write. So I am carving time out of every day to write. Some day’s that means I am only writing for 15 min but at least I am getting words on a page.

CHANGE 4: Setting appropriate goals. ie: when I want my next book finished, how I will grow my email list, building a tribe a like minded writers. I know this one is tough because writing is such a solitary process but having like minded authors and readers will increase my reading base and accountability

CHANGE 5: Taking classes, and learning how to make my writing better. It’s always good to increase your knowledge base.

Wow reading through these kinda makes my head swim, but if I want to make my writing my business I have to treat it like it is.

Hope this helped out, if you are struggling with making your writing a business you are not alone. Let me know in the comments.

 

 

 

 

How I new I wanted to be a Writer


When I knew I wanted to be a writer…


  After writing for so long you would think it would be hard to pin-point exactly when I knew I wanted to be a writer. I didn’t always want to be writer, in fact I had a reading disability when I was young. Going back and asking a young Christie if being a writer is something I would have wanted to be it wouldn’t have been on my radar until—I was in my teens and I read a certain trilogy. A trilogy I didn’t like — I loved, and twenty years later I still love this trilogy. 

  But here is the thing I might have loved the trilogy, but I detested the ending.
  How can you love a set of three books but detest the finally? Ohh, it’s so easy look at the books on the market today. Twenty years ago it was a very rare, but today not so much.
  Anyway back to my story, hated the ending. So at fourteen I sat down and put pencil to paper (no really, pencil and paper no computer, no pen) and I wrote a new story. About how the hero and the heroin found each other and had a happy ever after. Because dammit that is how it’s supposed to end up!!!
  And that is how it started. That was how the seed was planted, my imagination door in my mind sprung open and I haven’t ever been able to close it. And frankly I never wanted to close it.
  Every once in a while I will pull that story out and read it, I do have several collector versions of that trilogy and it will always be one of my favorites. For starting something inside of me, and for just being a damn good story.

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