If there is a topic that is fashionable lately, it is that of entrepreneurs. The economic situation, the high percentage of unemployment, and job insecurity mean that, suddenly, looking for life on our own becomes a good alternative. However, I want to ask you to go one step further: why not start writing? I suggest you be a professional writer.
Think about it: working from home doing what you love the most, dedicating yourself body and soul to it, turning writing into your profession… Sound good? Does it look like your dream? If the answer is yes, I hope this list of tips, based precisely on the rules to keep in mind when starting a business, will help you make it a reality.
1. Start today
It is the first point but the most important: start today. Not tomorrow, or next Monday, or next month when you finish that project you have in hand.
If you really want to dedicate yourself to writing, start right now! Well, you can finish reading this chapter early if you want.
2. Organize your priorities
Whether you want to combine it with another job or with your daily activities, find out what your best time to write is, set a minimum time each day to dedicate to writing, and stick to it.
If you leave writing for the end of the day, as a less important task, in the end you will not do it, or you will be too tired to do it well. Don’t forget: now it’s your job, not a hobby. Respect it.
3. Don’t get hung up on the idea
As they say in any talk for entrepreneurs, the idea is the least important. Don’t get obsessed with coming up with an original idea for a novel because you might end up stuck on that quest.
Think about the number of novels you have read with similar themes or ideas as a basis but different in how they were developed. The most important thing is to have SOMETHING to tell and to tell it well. The most important thing is that you write.
4. Create a roadmap
When it comes to entrepreneurs, it’s all about a business plan. When it comes to becoming a professional writer, it can also help to create something similar, a kind of roadmap.
Think that writing a book is a long job and can be done uphill at times. Once you know the topic you want to deal with in your novel, analyze the resources you are going to need (such as documentation), think about the reader you want to target, study the books on the market for those target readers, analyze the market (editorials, self-publishing…), research success stories in the publishing world, look for books similar to the one you want to create and read them.
Even if you don’t make a usual business plan, at least do your homework, immerse yourself and get to know the world you will enter and, above all, create a planning for each stage, calculating the weeks you will dedicate to each one of them . Working with short-medium-term goals will make the process more bearable and feasible.
5. Analyze yourself
Look inside yourself and analyze your writing with a magnifying glass. Reflect on your strengths and exploit them. Find your weak points and avoid them or try to improve them (or both).
Suppose you find it difficult to do this analysis yourself. In that case, you can seek outside help through beta-readers who give you constructive criticism or a company that is dedicated to the analysis of literary texts.
Learning to write takes a lifetime, so never stop training. Do everything you need: learn, attend talks or classes if you have the opportunity, read books about writing, read novels belonging to the genre you want to write, and read other genres and novels… Read fiction and essays. Read magazines, watch movies, go to exhibitions, and fill yourself with stories and experiences. Grow as a person, and you will grow as a writer.
7. Surround yourself with positive people
This point is significant for the adventure you want to embark on: you need supportive people around you. This does not mean that you can only have people in your life who tell you how wonderful you are and how great what you write is. On the contrary, constructive criticism is beneficial, but people who only tell you that you cannot do it, that you are crazy, and fill your head with insecurities and negative messages will prevent you from achieving your dreams. Please stay away from them.
8. Look for investment
In relation to the previous point, you will need people who support you emotionally, but you will also need financial support if you want to dedicate yourself to writing exclusively.
A novel is a job that will take you at least six months to a year. At least, and that’s just to write it.
Bills won’t wait as long for you to pay them. If you don’t have savings to help, you start your business, seek the support of those close to you (friends and family) or try to combine it with other jobs to survive that time.
9. Believe it
You’re a writer. It doesn’t mean you’re good or bad, just that you’re a writer (or writer). Look in the mirror and repeat out loud: “I am a writer.”
Repeat it as many times as you need until you believe it. You have to be convinced because if you don’t think it yourself, why should others believe it? Why should they help you or respect your schedule? Why would they read or buy your books if you are not a writer? Now, this is your profession; believe it.
10. Get out of the shell
This may be the part you like the least, but here it is: your books won’t sell themselves, especially if self-publishing is in your plans.
It would be best if you had them to know you. Once you have started writing, consider creating a blog or making a profile on social networks, and then try to stay active on them.
This does not mean that you have to spend more time than writing. Combine it, reserve some time in your agenda for your “public” life, and enjoy that time you dedicate to it.
Don’t worry or get impatient if things don’t work out the first time. Do not give up. Learn from your failures and rise from your ashes; that is what “entrepreneurship” consists of.
You are going to launch a long-term career, and remember that perseverance is even more important than undertaking and writing than talent.
So far, the eleven rules to become a professional writer. What is your opinion? Would you add any other point?