Last Friday I wrote a post for Xchyler Publishing's blog. I wrote about some sound advice I heard from author Brandon Sanderson. Here's what I wrote. If you're interesting in visiting the Xchyler site, you can find it: HERE.
Almost every writer has, at one time or another, heard that being a writer is like having a second job. Some writers turn their part-time job into a full-time career. But for the mass majority, we work during the day so we can write later.
I think most people can relate to the concept of a second job. Most have done it—many are doing it now. In order to be successful at both jobs (and remain sane), the trick is to budget enough time for both, get enough sleep and food, and try to keep your life together.
As a writer, I am always looking to improve my craft. Books have been written, conferences given, all in an effort to help others capture that elusive muse.
One resource I find both informative and entertaining is the Writing Excuses podcast, and it was in one of the more recent installments I received advice that struck me. Brandon Sanderson, one of the four authors in the podcast, said that part of being a writer is being a small business owner.
The statement was brief, but for me, it packed a punch. Owning a business requires more effort—and more risk—to succeed, much more than just working part-time for someone else. A writer is not only the Director of Creative Content, but also needs to become a President, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, as well as have an understanding of marketing channels, distribution trends, and resource allocation.
Yes, publishers and editors are involved in getting a book from the mind of the author to the hands of the reader, but ultimately, the responsibility for the success of any project rests squarely on the shoulders of the writer. Without the writer, there’s nothing to sell.
Would a person opening a corner deli or a computer repair shop expect their business to grow if they aren’t there every day? I doubt it. They would never treat their business casually. If it’s going to work, it requires serious commitment to that dream of success.
Using this perspective I hope to change how I look at my small business, and treat it not just as another part-time job.