Ten Reasons You Need to Run Your Writing like a Business by Guest @TheLeighShulman

By Rachel Thompson | #NaNoProMo

May 01
Ten Reasons You Need to Run Your Writing Like a Business by Guest @TheLeighSchulman via @BadRedheadMedia @NaNoProMo #NaNoProMo #Success #Writing

Welcome to #NaNoProMo Day One!

“Why do I need to run my writing like a business?” you may be asking yourself. Isn’t writing about the stories we tell and the message we want to put into the world?

Yes, it is. Simply said, when you run your writing like a business, you create more space to share your work in the most authentic way possible. Building a business plan for your writing begins with one question. “What do you want to write?”

It’s the first question I ask anyone who comes to me for mentoring because the answers to this simple question help pave the way for you to create the writing business and writing life you desire most.

What Do You Want to Write?

You may feel a huge sense of trepidation when answering this question. If you’re like 99% of the people who work with me, it’s because you’ve been told so often that you can’t make a real living writing.

  • I want to write books!
  • I want to write essays that show young women they’re not alone.
  • I want to write characters who look and talk like me.

Let me first say that all of these things are 100% possible. It’s untrue that you can’t make a living writing, although I understand why so many people believe the lie.

Gone are the days when you dash off a story, send it to a publication and suddenly you’re like Isaac Asimov, writing installment series and being paid regularly for sci-fi magazines. Gone is the time a publisher loved your book, bought it, then did all the marketing and audience building for you.

Now, publishers want their authors to arrive with a platform of hungry readers. They want collateral. They want to know your writing will bring sales. Even if you do manage to get a book deal without a huge platform — which can happen! — you’ll find yourself responsible for much of the business end of the book promotion yourself.

Writing is a business by default, and here are ten ways to create a writing business and set yourself up for sales and success.

Know What You Want

You can’t get where you’re going if you don’t have a destination. This is the main metaphor I use in my book The Writer’s Roadmap: Paving the Way To Your Ideal Writing Life. Would you go on a road trip without knowing where you’re going and without doing any planning? Well, you might, but it’s a very different kind of trip than the kind you plan.

While a free-form, no-destination in sight road trip might be fun, it creates chaos and confusion when applied to your writing life.

When you don’t know what you want, you’ll find yourself jumping at all kinds of writing projects and genres. You’ll be pulled in so many directions, you can’t focus. You won’t finish projects. You won’t know where to publish them, and you’ll ultimately find yourself strapped for time and cash.

When you have one clear intent, you work toward that intent until you’re done. You learn lessons along the way, develop your skills and best of all, you finish what you start. Which leaves you free to move to the next project and desire.

Ten Reasons Why you Need to Run your Writing Like a Business by Guest @TheLeighSchulman via Rachel Thompson @BadRedheadMedia Success Writing

Shape Your Mission, See Your Vision

Once you know what you want, you’ve set a direction for your writing. Your mission and vision guide you as you move in the direction of your dream writing life. Your mission creates a framework for what you’re currently doing and the values that guide you. It answers the questions What? and Who? of your business.

Examples of Mission:

Warby Parker: To offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.

Tesla: Accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

Your vision shows where you want to go in the future. It’s aspirational and gives a view of how the company would look after achieving all your strategic goals. A vision statement answers the questions Why and How? You can often see the vision of each company in each of the mission statement examples above.

Examples of Vision:

Warby Parker sees a future of socially conscious businesses.

Tesla wants to create a world that uses only sustainable energy. No more fossil fuels.

When you have clear values, a clear direction and a clear image of your writing future, it’s easier to make the myriad choices and answer the endless questions you’ll face along the way.

  • Should you self-publish or look for an agent?
  • Will you manage your own social media or hire someone to do it for you?
  • What is the 250-word synopsis of your book?

Your mission and vision will inform and guide your choices along the way.

Create Clear Goals with Aligned Strategies

While vision and mission set the overall path for your business, goals and strategies form the day to day projects and to-do lists you’ll complete in order to reach your vision and mission. When you already know what you want to accomplish in the big picture, you choose projects that make sense within that vision.

For example: If you want to write romance novels that inspire young adults to be more independent, you probably don’t want to spend your time pitching sports magazines about the latest big outdoor trekking craze.

Instead, you want to write books and spend time in romance novel circles on social media.

That seems pretty straightforward, but the next time a big potential job comes your way or you see an editor looking for pitches on Twitter, you have to decide if the job or pitching fits into your big plan.

NOTE: Sometimes we make choices because we need an income. Income is as important to begin a business as it is to a beginning writer. There are times you make choices that aren’t entirely aligned with your goals, strategies, mission or vision. That’s okay. Eventually, you’ll phase out the things you don’t want to replace them with things that do meet your needs as a writer and a business.

Understand Your Audience

Your audience is the people who want to read your writing. They gladly pay to read your books. They’ll come to your lectures, join your courses and rave about you online. What you write interests them enough to click a share button and say “I love this book!”

You write for these people first and foremost, so you want to take what they want into account while you’re writing. But take note. I’m not telling you to write in order to satisfy an audience so you’ll make more money. Your audience arises naturally from the vision and mission you create for your writing life.

There will always be people who want to read what you have to say. Your audience is out there. That’s why it’s so important to know who they are and where they are. Then when you finish a book and have something you want them to read, you know exactly where to find them.

Identify Your Market

People often use the terms market and audience interchangeably, but these terms have different meanings in the business world. It’s a subtle difference and one that cuts right to the heart of a writing business strategy.

The market decides where you want to sell your products and how you’ll advertise what you’re selling to those in the market. Audience refers to the interests of the people within that market. It’s how you present your products and engage people.

Knowing your market space allows you to identify the people who are most likely to buy your writing and helps you target the kinds of advertising and marketing you’ll present them so they become customers.

You may not need to worry as much about market early in your writing career, but it’s important to keep in mind as you begin thinking about sales.

Identify Income Streams

Writers make money by writing different types of content for different publications, and Each type of writing brings in a different “stream” of money. Some streams take time to complete while others are fast. Some pay well while others bring more prestige than income. Some are passive income. Once you’ve set up the initial writing, you can let the money roll in. Others are active income. You must write and do more in order to keep the money flowing.

Some examples:

A novel takes time to write but once it’s out in the world and marketed to the correct audience, it can bring in passive income for years to come. The books you write tie directly into the audience you’ve developed so they can continue to buy books you publish later.

When you pitch a freelance article to a commercial publication, you’ll likely be paid just once. You’ll need to continually pitch and write articles in order to keep money flowing through this income stream.

If you run a copywriting business, you’ll make more money per word than most commercial publications are willing to pay, so it’s a more lucrative stream with regular payments, but you will need to maintain it regularly. It’s not passive income.

Your job is to identify the types of writing you can do and figure out how they fit into your big picture vision and mission.

Define Processes

You may find yourself overwhelmed by all the terms, tasks and ideas it takes to run a business.  There are so many things to consider when you sell your writing or writing related products and services. Marketing. Advertising. Social media. Client intake.

Creating processes for each of the tasks in your business, tame those feelings of overwhelm.

You can create a process for everything you do in your business. These are the steps you take to start a project, complete it and ultimately be paid for it. When you identify and write down the specific steps, that’s a process document.  Processes make sure your business runs smoothly and according to methods that work within your mission.

You can use processes for pitching editors, client intake, writing books, finding new copywriting clients and pretty much anything else you do.

For example: Pitching an article to an editor at a magazine begins with writing the pitch (step one). Once you’ve sent the pitch, you follow up (step two) until you get a yes or no. If yes, you write the article (step three), submit it (step four) along with an invoice (step five). Then you follow up with the editor until you get paid (step six).

Processes save time.

You have a clear list letting you know what to do next. You never have to waste time figuring out what worked last time. Having a clearly written process document allows you to outsource some of your processes to others, clearing your schedule to focus on the things most important to your writing business.

Processes help you evaluate whether or not your plan is working properly within the framework of your mission and vision.

For example: The pitching process. What happens if you find at Step Two, editors reject your pitches 95% of the time. Then you evaluate your pitches to understand why you’re not getting more yeses. Or let’s say editors love your pitches and routinely reply with a happy “Yes, write this for me now!” But you notice, once the editor receives your article, you’re not getting paid.

Then you can look at your process and see where things aren’t working. Are you sending invoices on time? Are the editors making sure you’re getting paid? Are you not receiving checks properly?

Your process document allows you to pinpoint where the problem lies in your system and helps you remove blocks so your business runs smoothly.

Ten Reasons Why you Need to Run your Writing Like a Business by Guest @TheLeighSchulman via Rachel Thompson @BadRedheadMedia writing processes are needed

Cross-promote Your Work

Each time you write, speak or teach, your message does the double work of carrying your mission and vision while simultaneously connecting your audience to the rest of your body of work.

The article you write for Business Insider can bring clients to your copywriting business. The guest post you write on the 8 steps to write a book may inspire someone to contact you to mentor them as they write their book. The book you self-publish contains end notes that lead people to your website so they can buy more books. You get the idea.

When your ideas and ideals are aligned and you’ve chosen projects that amplify your main vision and mission to a targeted audience, it’s easy to cross promote. It happens naturally.

It goes without saying in order to cross promote, you must continually put yourself and your work into the world.  Write, speak, teach, maintain your social media presence so you are creating content with which people can connect, share and ultimately buy and become fans.

Plan to Scale

It’s natural to start your writing business by taking one-on-one clients or pitching one article at a time, but that kind of plan doesn’t work well for everyone long term. If you want to make more money and allow your writing to spread widely, you’re going to want to scale your business.

Scaling, simply put, is allowing your business to grow in volume — more sales, more customers — without having the additional effort for each sale.

Book sales are an excellent example of a product you can scale. When your book sells on Amazon, there’s no limit to the number of people who can buy. Ten or ten million, the effort you put into setting up your profile, preparing your book for publication and the rest stays exactly the same.

One-on-ones cannot scale because there is only one of you. So instead, you can create an online course you can sell on Udemy that has the potential to reach tens of thousands of customers (or more) without additional input from you.

This does not mean everything you do must scale, but when you plan your writing long-term, you will want to include at least some projects that bring in income by regularly, passively and on a big scale.

Hire a Team

You know the image of the lonely writer, sitting in her room writing alone? There’s a certain romanticism to it, but that romantic scene doesn’t usually include a lot of the grunt work of being a writer. Checking up on clients. Chasing down invoices. Making sure your website is updated and backed up. Keeping your social media profiles active and growing.

You can hire people to support you with almost any part of your writing life. You could spend a week trying to work out technical details you don’t understand. Or you could simply e-mail the expert you hired to handle it for you. You could manage all the tedious aspects of taking a new copywriting client, entering their details into your customer management system. Or you could hire someone to do that for you.

Hiring saves time, makes your business more efficient and allows you to focus on the things most important to you.

Create Your Ideal Writing Life

Running a writing business and being a writer seem like two very different things. Writing is creative, fun, frustrating and generally flows in whatever way it flows. It requires faith and patience. Business, by contrast, feels like a mathematical, calculating endeavor that has little to do with creativity.

But business and writing are two sides of the same coin.

Your creative mind allows you to see into the future and imagine the writing life you most want. Your writing business plan allows you to pave the road to get from where you are now and takes you step-by-step toward your destination.

This is the real secret of running your writing like a business.

Yes, there will be setbacks and disappointments. It’s a lot of hard work and yes there will be ups and downs. When you align that blue sky version of how you’d like your writing life to be with your goals, your values and the hard work you put in every day to write, craft, communicate and share, you will find yourself living your ideal writing life.

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THE GIVEAWAY

One-month membership to The Workshop

PLUS a free copy of her bestselling book THE WRITER’S ROADMAP

Want to win this giveaway? Simply leave a comment WHY below!

All comments must be left prior to midnight on Monday, May 6th, 2019 in order to be eligible to win. Winners for the week announced on Tuesday, May 7.

Good luck!

Leigh Shulman lives with her family in Argentina where she writes, mentors other writers and leads international book writing retreats. You can read her work in The Washington Post, New York Times, Vox, The Establishment and elsewhere. Her book The Writer’s Roadmap: Paving the Way To Your Ideal Writing Life is available now. You can read more about her and her work on her website.

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For a more detailed plan on developing your book marketing, purchase Rachel’s new book,
The BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge
Now on Amazon!
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About the Author

Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month - created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader's "Best of 2015" top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs,  #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with Melissa Flickinger) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with certified therapist/survivor, Bobbi Parish all live Twitter chats. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.

Leave a Comment:

(56) comments

Raiscara Avalon May 1, 2019

Great article, Leigh! I always try to think like a business, but it’s hard without any real working knowledge of one, this showed me a few more ways to think like one. So thank you for that. I’d love to win, mostly because I am pretty well stuck right now with my writing, and also more or less starting over…which puts me in an interesting position, that’s for sure! Need all the help I can get right now. 🙂

Reply
    Leigh Shulman May 1, 2019

    Hey Raiscara!

    Thinking of writing as a business is a good way to shift your thinking about writing, too. As for feeling like you don’t know how a business runs… no one is born knowing. The key is, like everything else, doing one small thing at a time. 🙂

    A good place to start, btw, is tonight’s #bookmarketingchat on Twitter. We can go into more detail in real time. (May 1, 6pm PST/9pm EST, follow the hashtag or my profile @TheLeighShulman).

    Feeling stuck is the worst! How can I help?

    Reply
Linda Moran May 1, 2019

I am in a personal period of transition, with my husband in hospice care, and I will have to redefine my life within the next two months. I’ve been writing on Medium @marblers76 for over a year and find I am getting pretty good at non-fiction writing as my finished novel languishes. As for why? I have no idea where I will be going with writing and who I will be when hospice is over.

Reply
    Leigh Shulman May 1, 2019

    I’m so sorry to hear about your husband. Focus on what you need for yourself and your family now. You can decide what happens next when the time is right.

    Reply
Lisa L. May 1, 2019

Well, I already have Leigh’s book in e-version and it’s one of the best resources I have. (Definitely need a hard copy to keep by my side.) I know a bit about the workshop and I think it’s just the structured kick in the pants my writing life needs right now.
Great article, Leigh – you are, as always, a great source of information and inspiration!

Reply
    Leigh Shulman May 1, 2019

    Thanks so much Lisa! And of course, you know I love to hear feedback on my book! Whenever you want to join The Workshop you are more than welcome! You are a gem!!

    Reply
      Lisa L. May 6, 2019

      It’s on my list!

      Reply
Jennifer May 1, 2019

Great advice! I’d love to be a part of The Workshop to connect with other writers trying to find the best way to share their work and learn from others’ experience.

Reply
    Leigh Shulman May 1, 2019

    Hey Jennifer!

    If you’d like to know more about how The Workshop works, you can read all about it here >> http://leighshulman.com/jointheworkshop

    In the meantime, you can start with these business ideas to help focus you! And feel free to ask me any questions! I’ll be here. 🙂

    Reply
Mariyam Hasnain May 1, 2019

It’s a beautiful article. I loved reading especially about Plan to Scale and the Cross promotions. Thanks for sharing. I’m always writing novels, but never thought about expanding my expertise, like selling an online writing course or something like that. I think I need a writer’s roadmap to keep myself on track in expanding my writing business. The 1-month workshop is like cherry on top

Reply
    Leigh Shulman May 1, 2019

    Mariyam!

    Congrats on writing your novels! 🙂 It’s a huge accomplishment. And yes, you can branch out and sell other things… but it’s always important for what you create to fit a larger writing plan. I’d love to see you in the Workshop and am happy to answer any questions about it or my book and creating a writer’s roadmap!

    Good luck with the giveaway! 🙂

    Reply
Dana Lemaster May 1, 2019

Leigh,

Considering writing a business isn’t completely foreign to me, since my first career was in business. Each business has its own structure, though. By far, the tougher problem for me has been learning the requirements for the business of writing. Articles like yours go a long way toward clarifying what’s needed, and I want to thank you for writing it.

Reply
    Leigh Shulman May 1, 2019

    Hey Dana!!

    So true that every business has its own structure, which then has to take the “business of writing” — meaning how the publishing world works — into account. I find having a plan makes it easier to navigate them both bc it helps you focus and cut out a lot of option that don’t fit your plan.

    Thanks for your comment!
    xoxoL

    Reply
Sara Ohlin May 1, 2019

Leigh, this was so helpful to me! I have two romance novels coming out this fall and am working on my book marketing plan. I just hired someone to do my website for me and it felt so good to hand that off to an expert so I could focus on writing and on the rest of my marketing plan. Thank you so much for all of this info!

Reply
    Leigh Shulman May 1, 2019

    Always a relief when someone takes over something they can do better so you can focus on what you do best.

    I think it’s Michael Hyatt who says that we should outsource anything that can be done by someone other than ourselves and stick to doing the things that are things only we can do.

    Reply
BC Brown May 1, 2019

Tremendous job on this article, Leigh! So instructional and straight forward. I really enjoy pieces that go into the business of writing and publishing in a direct manner. The Workshop would be a great opportunity to compare and learn from other writers on how they work in their writing business. I already have an e-copy of your book, but a print copy would be great to have on hand and be able to physically show at some of the speaking engagements I’m at as a resource for writers.

Reply
    Leigh Shulman May 1, 2019

    Fantastic! I’m glad you found the post useful and glad to be part of this giveaway! 🙂 Thanks to Rachel for hosting it!

    Reply
Sami-Jo May 1, 2019

Lots of good stuff in there.

Reply
    Leigh Shulman May 1, 2019

    Thanks! 🙂

    Reply
Andrew Butters May 1, 2019

Great article! WHY do I want to win the prize? As an new(ish) author writing for a small publisher I need every advantage I can get to help me take my writing business to the next level.

Reply
    Leigh Shulman May 2, 2019

    An excellent reason! 🙂 Always a good idea to level up with our writing and business.

    Reply
Benjamin May 1, 2019

Thank you!

Reply
    Leigh Shulman May 2, 2019

    🙂

    Reply
Lexi May 1, 2019

Thanks for kicking off nanopromo with such a comprehensive post. I definitely need to get on top of the processes ones!

Reply
    Leigh Shulman May 2, 2019

    Processes feel like a huge pain when you’re setting them up, but once they’re in place and working, you are going to love ohw much time it saves you. It also means you can hand off some of your work to other people and focus on the things central to your growth.

    Thanks for the comment!

    Reply
D.B. Moone May 1, 2019

Leigh,

I love your beginning “You can’t get where you’re going if you don’t have a destination.” Welcome to my world.

By the way, Leigh, I have the paperback version of your book The Writer’s Roadmap: Paving the Way to Your Ideal Writing Life, and often refer to your book, as well as Rachel’s 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge, and How to Best Optimize Blog Posts for SEO. They are all my go-to books.

My problem is I don’t have one clear intent, whether by choice or the way things worked out for me. I’ve heard multiple times the most important thing a writer “must do” is to build a social media following, which I have been doing. My twitter numbers are good, right about 7500 followers and I’m following just over 5000. My FB page, not so well, but I personally believe, in my humble opinion, Twitter and Instagram are the go-to pages for social media. That said, while growing my following, I started a blog: Book Reviews & Musings (https://dbmoone.com) for name recognition. And as my blog name indicates, I write Book Reviews for Random House, Simon & Schuster, and other big house publishing houses, as well as Indie Authors who contact me asking me to read and review their books. I also do author interviews, edit, et cetera. There is my time, 10-12 hours a day, six to sometimes seven days a week.

At the beginning of the new year, I made it a point that I was going to work on one of three WIPs I have sitting, waiting for my return. As you may have already figured out, I am not writing for myself, and I have not begun putting my writing first as I planned at the beginning of 2019. My manuscripts sit collecting dust.

Income, direction, growing your social media is overwhelming. No, I am overwhelmed. I spend all of my time promoting and supporting other authors, some damn good writers, but I put my all into promoting, supporting other, and growing my social media, as well as interacting with amazing writers while I am going nowhere.

I love your article Leigh, but I am overwhelmed (by my own doing) and discouraged. On a positive note, I love #NaNoProMo!

Donna
D.B. Moone

Reply
    Leigh Shulman May 2, 2019

    Hey DB!!

    Thanks for coming to the chat last night and also for commenting here! I think you’ll find The Workshop really helpful in getting over the overwhelm Which is normal, btw. There’s always a lot to do and it’s hard to know what comes first and where to go next.

    Since you have my book… how has it been going? What is your Objective? (We can also chat more on Twitter if you’d like.)

    xoL

    Reply
ASHLEY Drye May 1, 2019

Amazing!

Reply
    Leigh Shulman May 2, 2019

    Thanks! 🙂

    Reply
Brandy May 1, 2019

I’d love to win the contest because I’m at the point in my career, I’m getting serious and dedicated. I loved the article, and want to treat my career as a business.

Reply
    Leigh Shulman May 2, 2019

    Excellent reasons! Good luck! xoL

    Reply
Leanne May 1, 2019

Hi Leigh! Great article! I am a debut author with a book coming out in September. I am trying to gather as much information as possible so I can set up a sustainable plan for writing and marketing. Setting up an ideal writing life and processes that support it appeals to me!

Reply
    Leigh Shulman May 2, 2019

    It’s never a bad idea to have a plan to get there! Thanks for commenting! More info soon!
    Leigh

    Reply
McKenna May 1, 2019

Great post! A few years back, I realized I needed to narrow my focus and redefine my storytelling, and I think that helped tremendously. I’m finding myself acknowledging that my focus needs to be honed even tighter. I like the idea of a road map!

Reply
    Leigh Shulman May 2, 2019

    It’s a constant process of tweaking. But yes, having a roadmap is key! Let’s see how we can get your focus tightened! And more info the giveaway soon!

    xoL

    Reply
Wendy Garfinkle May 1, 2019

Great post, Leigh! Some of these points I’m actively doing, others I’m working on. Thanks for the details and examples. They really help.

Wendy

Reply
    Leigh Shulman May 2, 2019

    Good for you for already having your writing business in place! And it’s always useful to have a checklist of things you want to implement so you always have space to grow!

    Thanks for commenting!
    xoL

    Reply
Mischa Eliot May 1, 2019

There is so much amazing information packed into this post! Thank you so much for being a guiding light to the writing community!
XoXo

Reply
    Leigh Shulman May 2, 2019

    Aww… Mischa!! Thank you! For your comment and also for joining the chat last night! Always a pleasure to see your name pop up!

    xoL

    Reply
Danielle May 1, 2019

I DO want to win this giveaway because I DO want to run my writing like a business and I want to do it under Leigh’s wise guidance!! This piece was exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you

Reply
    Leigh Shulman May 2, 2019

    So glad you found it helpful, Danielle! And thanks for commenting and entering the giveaway. More on that soon!
    xoL

    Reply
Mats May 1, 2019

Hi Leigh,

I noticed that I cannot trust myself to finish when things get tough.
These process documents will help me, I hope.
How do you find someone to adjust them to my business?

Reply
    Leigh Shulman May 2, 2019

    Hey Mats,

    Not finishing things is probably the number one reason most people don’t reach their goals. Sounds simple, but yes.

    As for how to set up the process docs… I’m betting most of it is in your head. You’re already doing things for your writing and business and probably already have a method of getting them done. Write it down in a list. That’s where it begins.

    It would be very long going into setting up prosses in this post, bc it very much depends on what kind of process you want to set up. But start with what you already know. You can also use Trello to help lay out the steps.

    Reply
Jax Meyer May 1, 2019

I have published two books but have a lot to learn about marketing and promotion. I look forward to more information.

Reply
    Leigh Shulman May 2, 2019

    Looking forward to seeing what you do next, too! 🙂

    Reply
Oleander Plume May 2, 2019

As a writer, I hear a lot of “You shouldn’t” or “You can’t” from friends and family. Thinks like: “You shouldn’t write erotica if you want to be a successful writer.” Or “Writing is a nice hobby, but you can’t make a living selling books.”

Your positive message of “Yes, you can”, is something I really needed to hear today. The idea of running my writing career like a business makes sense. I mean, to me, this is not a “hobby”. It’s time I stopped treating it like one.

Thank you, Leigh!

Reply
Connie Nesbary May 2, 2019

What a wonderful article — so full of information and so true! You really need to see your book as a business endeavor. Thanks!!

Reply
    Leigh Shulman May 2, 2019

    You are so welcome, Connie! xoL

    Reply
Leigh Shulman May 2, 2019

You are so welcome Oleander. I’m not a big fan of the words should or can’t. I even wrote a blog post about should and why to ignore it.

https://leighshulman.com/the-politics-of-should/

It’s far more useful to base what you do on a clear strategy and then work toward a goal than to rely on the things other people think may or may not be possible.

xoL

Reply
Blaise May 3, 2019

I love everything about this post. Such incredible information and so true.

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    Leigh Shulman May 6, 2019

    Thank you so much, Blaise! Glad you found it helpful!

    Reply
Maria Henriksen May 4, 2019

This article confirms how I know I should treat my writing- as a business. For months I have been saying that I will be published soon. However, due to technical issues, my novel is in limbo. I want to succeed as an author- to be able to get my book out in the hands of as many people as possible because I believe my novel can help them. That’s why I subscribed to this website. That’s why I read this wonderfully crafted article. That’s why I wrote this comment.

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    Leigh Shulman May 6, 2019

    Good for you, Maria! It sounds like you have resolved to get things done! That’s an excellent first step! Just keep moving forward a bit at a time!

    Reply
Monica-Marie Vincent May 6, 2019

I am bookmarking this for later so I can implement this. My writing has lacked that business drive that needs to be behind it. Thank you.

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    Leigh Shulman May 7, 2019

    Hey Monica! You are so welcome! Good luck implementing your writing business and feel free to ask if you have any questions.

    xoL

    Reply
Michael Melville May 8, 2019

I spent years in the coffee business as the owner or co-owner of drive-thru coffee stands and small coffee shops. I had that business on lock and was super successful. When that part of my life was ending and this new one was beginning I thought my success in that business would easily translate into success in the writing business.

Holy shit was I wrong lol.

I think one of my biggest mistakes was not taking the time or rather not putting more effort into the business side of writing early in my writing career. I am now realizing I missed a HUGE opportunity to start and grow my business back in the relative early days of e-books and internet self-publishing. Now I am trying to play catchup and I feel like I’m doing everything in reverse and its hard paying attention to all the important moving parts of this new dream of mine.

This article had some great advice that really made me think about how to reevaluate what I’ve been missing and doing wrong.

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