Hobby or Career?
Career Week. Writing as a Business. Some questions.
There is a plethora of ‘How-To’ business books for entrepreneurs in the shops at the moment, and many of them have become bestsellers.
There are common principles in most of these books, which have been reframed for a specific audience – including women.
I thought it might be interesting to look at some of the key business principles and work through how they could apply to the Fiction Writer.
So this week I am going to ask myself one question each day.
Let’s dive in with the big one.
Is writing your hobby, or are you doing this to MAKE MONEY and make it a business?
If you want to write for yourself and love doing it – that’s brilliant, and you should be proud.
But it is not a business. It is a hobby [at least at the moment] and you have to be brave and acknowledge it is a hobby.
Let’s assume that you want to write fiction that you can sell to a publisher, who will GIVE YOU MONEY for the honour of putting your words onto paper inside covers and sending them out into the world.
They are in business.
They want to MAKE MONEY so that they can GIVE YOU MONEY.
It’s as simple as that.
Some women seem to have a problem expressing the fact that they want to make MONEY.
They will happily talk about their lives, family, kiddies. But not about how much MONEY they want to turn over this year.
And I don’t think this is simply an example of British culture where we are taught that talking about money is vulgar. I think it is more widespread than that.
FACT. A lot of unpublished writers – fiction and non-fiction alike, create a manuscript and then look around for a publisher where it would be a good fit in the hope that an editor will love it and buy it.
FACT. Published writers know the precise market where they want to submit – because they are looking for CUSTOMERS for a product they are making.
FACT. Your writing, your WORK, is a product and you are going to have to sell it to another human being if you want readers to have access to the world and the characters that you have created.
I make no excuses if that sounds cold. I know some people find it difficult to accept that the blood, sweat and tears that went into the work is boiled down to that truth.
You are creating, designing and fabricating something wonderful and special. But if you want other folk to read it- then you have to think of it as a commodity.
Congratulations. You are now in Show Business.
So. What is YOUR answer to Question One?