The Path of a Writer’s Life…

Doesn’t always end where they believe it to.

There comes a time in every writer’s life when they just need to step back from it all and take a good look around. I don’t mean at the scenery. I mean at their career as an writer. They need to look at their writing goals and what they want out of their writing. They need to figure out if the path they are on is the one they want, or if they need to tread a different path.

Once every three months or so, I take a good look at my life and evaluate whether or not I’m headed the way I want to go or not. For thirteen years my path was heading toward the realm of traditional publishing. I worked hard toward that goal. Writing and editing. Tweaking the story this way and that way.

I never finished my first story. I set it aside and began from scratch–maybe someday I’ll pick it up again. Instead I started to write the tale of Hades and Persephone. Now this wasn’t an accurate accounting from the mythology, but a fictional retelling based on parts of the myth.

However, as I came closer to finishing My Lord Hades, I realized that what I wanted in life and out of my writing was not the same as when I was 16.

I never queried a publisher, because three months before I finished My Lord Hades, I made a critical decision in my career as an author. I wanted to publish my book. I wanted full control.

My ambitions don’t extend past telling the story in my heart and soul. If my writing never extended past a hobby it wouldn’t really matter to me. I would be writing. I would be telling the stories I created since before I could read. I would be the storyteller I have always been and that would be enough.

Would I like to make money? Who wouldn’t? But that’s not the whole goal of writing for me. Why do you write?

The Writer’s Business Plan: An Introduction

I’m a planner. I like to have a plan. What do I want to accomplish? What books should be coming out this year and when? What tasks do I still have to do? But I’m also a pantser. If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s a writer who writes by the seat of their pants or plans by the seat of their pants.

I know it sounds like a really strange combination and a contradiction of terms, but it’s not really. I need just enough of a schedule to keep me focused and moving forward. But too much structure and I’ll throw it all away in frustration.

This year I accomplished only about half of my business goals this year. About a fourth of those were impractical, which I didn’t see when I wrote them. Another fourth of them changed with the change of my writing. I learned a lot and have a better idea of what I can do in a year.

I’m sure that there are those of you shaking your heads and wondering why you should even bother creating a Writing Business Plan. Well here’s the simple answer. Writing is a business. Publishing is a business. And whenever you start a new business venture you should create a business and marketing plan.

Think of this as a road map. If you go on a journey you usually bring a road map along so you can see where you are going and how to get back if you make a wrong turn. Unless you’re one of those people who like to stop and ask directions from every stop at the gas station or just wander in the hopes of finding your way eventually.

What I’m providing in the next five posts is a Writer’s Business plan, not one of those formal business plans that can be found on the Internet and intimidate the he** out of me, but one that is simple and tailored for writers.

The Writer’s Business Plan: An Introduction

The Writer’s Business Plan: Parts of the Writer’s Business Plan

The Writer’s Business Plan: Creating a Budget

The Writer’s Business Plan: Building a Production Schedule

The Writer’s Business Plan: The Marketing Plan

The Writer’s Business Plan: Setting Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Goals