The day before I left for Mt. Shasta I was supposed to be marketing for my husband’s business. As he sat to my left, back erect, hair as in place as the retirement account he’d love us to have, I sat at his right: tank top stained, gray hairs popping up, pretending to be actively finding new clients for his computer business, but instead, I was website hunting.
For a writer like me, website hunting is like house hunting. It’s all about location location location. What’s the address? Will people be comfortable there? As much as I’d like a “fix it up myself” charmer, I’m not sure I can handle the creaks and leaks that come with a DIY space that involves website ads, video posts and more than a few pages with back splashes containing more than its share of kitsch meets damask. And pit bulls. I love those suckers.
On my list of many things to do to move forward with my writing is brand it. That means a new site. Which, well, is scary, because that costs money. And time. And how will I get it done in between getting the kids off to camp (or worse, keeping them out of my hair while they are not at camp so I can write) and feeding the family (and feeding the pit bull) and OH MY GOSH THAT NEIGHBOR KID IS HERE AGAIN and the LAUNDRY… THE LAUNDRY… KILL ME NOW!
Get Over It, Andrea
After talking to a dear writer friend last week, as well as an agent from the Blythe Daniel Agency today, a few things have become crystal clear to me. In addition to a newer website, I need to be able to answer a few questions. Then, and only then, will I be able to jump off the rat’s wheel of working a day job and leave my smaller freelance article writing behind. (Though bless you freelance gigs… you’re amazing and… note to self… update your freelance site, girl!)
If you want to join me in moving forward with your writing career, you’ll need to answer the same questions I am about to.
4 Questions to Answer to Write Full Time
- What do you want to focus on?
- How will you build your brand?
- How much time per week will you commit to it?
- Can you have fun doing it?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: my main goal – in all of this – is to be present for my family. If I can’t have fun and stay connected to my kids, then all of this is in vain.
To quote my sweet friend, “You need to get disciplined. It’s the only way. JUST DO IT.”
And so I am. Here is how I broke down what I want and how I want to get there. Maybe you will have something similar?
- Make a full time income from writing
What Kind of Writing?
TV Writing & Books
- Finish pilot this summer
- Outline next book this summer
2 hours/day – Monday – Thursday (Friday is my off day to be with my babies!)
1 Saturday/month where hubby takes kids so I can write.
Tweet, FB and blog 4x/week
Don’t Like Marketing Social Media?
Too bad. Just do it.
Reminder to Self Why I Must Market on Social Media (Even if I don’t want to)
To sell the books I’ll need an audience.
To get an audience, I’ll need content.
Once the content is created, I’ll need to put it out on social media so people can find me.
Then, and only then, will I have the opportunity to push my next book through a larger distribution channel such as a Harper Collins. (Full disclosure: I met an agent from Harper Collins at the Southern California Christian Writers Conference. She was connected, smart and brutally honest.
Her: “Your book sounds amazing.”
Me: “Thanks! (Stars in my eyes I know I’m going to make a million dollars thank God I spent 20 bucks in gas to get to this conference)
Her: “How many followers do you have on Twitter?”
Me: “I don’t know.”
Her: “How many followers do you have on Facebook?”
Me: “I don’t know.”
Her: “How many subscribers do you have on your blog?”
Me: “I don’t know.”
Her: “Why should we bring you on board with us?”
Me: “I know. (Gulp of Reality) You shouldn’t.”
But What About Your Small Press?
Small presses are great, such as the one my book is already with at Armonia Publishing.
The downside of a small press? Less distribution.
The upside? More residuals.
The downside? Less distribution means less copies sold, so not a heck of a lot of money.
The upside: If I market my books like I’m supposed to – if I BRAND myself better – I’ll have a built in audience which means more books sell which means more money in my pocket.
OH MY GOD IT’S SO BORING
Reality sucks go back to drinking and live in your land of delusion. Having a plan may seem boring, but in reality, it’s liberating. I’m tired of waiting for my husband to make a fortune so I can sit and write and dream and create without the day job. Creating and writing happens within the laundry, the cooking, the doctor’s appointments, the day to day grind of work at a school combined with freelance and the very messy/unpredictable/when will it stop deal we call life.
How Do I Know the Above List Makes Sense?
The idea of it doesn’t make me sad. My brain might have told me last year, “Get a job teaching Special Ed! It’s predictable and you love the kids and it’s good pay!” But my soul screamed at me, “No! Don’t do it! Choose me! Be free! Do what God put you on the earth to do!”
And so I will.
And that makes me so incredibly happy. Because for the first time in a very long time, I’m putting me at the top of the to-do list.
And you can, too. Are you ready to get organized to make your dreams happen? Tell me about your plan in the comments below.
Until next time,