Thursday, August 18, 2011

Writing in 3-D: Discipline, Dedication & Drive

Want to know what it really takes to be a successful writer?

Talent doesn’t hurt, but talent alone won’t take you far—unless you throw in healthy doses of discipline, dedication, and drive.

There’s more to discipline than writing every day. You also have to spend time on the less exciting aspect of the writing business, like market research, submissions and queries, follow ups, promotion, networking, and research.

Are you tired yet? Just wait until I start talking about the financial side of things. You know, the bottom line. If you want to get truly serious about your writing, you have to treat it like a business. That means keeping track of revenue and expenses, sending out invoices, and filing your taxes. (Who doesn’t love taxes?)

This is where dedication comes in. If you’re not committed to your writing career, the business side of things will wear you down over time. It’s especially difficult to watch your profit margin ebb and flow throughout the year. Will you end up in the red again or finally cross over that magic line into turning a small profit—at least on paper?

If you’ve got the drive, you’ll press ahead through the financially lean times (a.k.a. years). Periodic financial dips will only spur you to work that much harder. One month’s loss is another month’s gain, after all.

Just remember, words on the page might be two-dimensional, but your writing career should be 3-D all the way.

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