Facing a blank page is an extraordinarily challenging position for a hopeful writer to be in. If you don’t have a real plan, nothing is going to work out. But, rather than fearing that blank page, you can create the action plan to get yourself motivated. Motivation is the key to start working towards becoming a professional authorpreneur.
Defining your Writing Routine
If you are only dreaming to become a professional writer, you need to define your writing routine. This routine includes the regular actions that you are going to take that will help you start-up and become a professional authorpreneur. Here are some examples of incorporating rituals into your daily routine:
- Make writing a daily habit
- Establish a time to read each day
Any amount of time that you spend reading is very valuable to your experience and ability as a writer.
- Create a space to write
You owe yourself that isolated space and the comfort that goes along with it.
- Set assigned times where you will be writing without disruption
Again, if you want to be a writer, you are going to set this boundary in order to force the support of those around you
- Keep a journal
Write something reflective in order to gain experiences as a writer.
- Light candles or find other ways to introduce pleasant scents into the writing area.
- Read to others
- Experience new things
You cannot be a writer if you do not have hew things to write about. This means being open to new experiences.
The point of these rituals is to help you claim the role of author-entrepreneur, to make writing a priority in your life, and to simply continue writing.
Making a Strategic Plan for Your Initial Steps as a Writer
The first part of this plan is probably quite obvious – to improve writing skills. Don’t waste time worrying about the quality of that writing. Just write.
The next part of building this strategic plan is to establish the goals you want to accomplish. So, what kind of writer are you willing to be? Now, keep in mind that the answer to this question is not, about your ultimate goal as a writer. But, what are you going to do to simply establish yourself as a writer.
In other words, what practical steps are you going to make to become a person who earns a living as a writer?
Here are some steps that you can take:
- Establish yourself among your friends as a ‘director of communications’. Help them to word or reword communications, letters, and memos.
- Seek out editing and writing positions in local publications.
If there is a local newspaper where you live, there is a great chance that they are looking for columnists, feature writers, and others who are willing to work hard to keep their publication going.
Describing the Vision Plan
Why do you write? If you are unsure, that is fine. Just be aware that this is an indication that you need to begin working on your vision plan. So, ask yourself:
- Do you enjoy the solitary aspect of writing?
- Do you like to help people or encourage them through writing?
- Are you talented at facilitating communications between entities with your writing talents?
- Have you found a way to create an income as a writer?
- What makes writing interesting and exciting for you?
Putting together Your Career Goals
Just take a blank piece of paper and answer these questions clearly:
- Are you interested in being published in print, or are you interested self-publishing or e publishing?
- Do you see yourself working best as a staff member or as a freelancer?
- Would you prefer to write fiction or non-fiction.
- Is there a particular genre that you are drawn to or in which you have proven expertise?
- Are you drawn to the idea of writing novels or books, or are you drawn to the idea of writing articles and other short format pieces?
- Is there a particular niche you would like to work in (technical writing, content and marketing, education, health and life style, technology, science, the environment, entertainment)?
- Are you comfortable with the notion of not receiving a paycheck on a predictable basis?
- Are you comfortable with marketing yourself to clients?
- Are you willing to write pieces and then find clients to sell those pieces to?
If you are serious in your intentions to become an authorpreneur than you should have clear end goals in mind.
Developing your Brand
To put it simply, your brand is what people think of when they read the things you have written, and (if you have established some notoriety) what they think when they see or hear your name. The biggest part of creating your brand is to establish your voice. You can accomplish this by continually refining your writing until your voice is clear in the things that your write. The second part of developing your brand centers on marketing. This is where it is hugely important to have a presence on social media, and to careful manage and maintain that presence. What visitors see on your website, your blog, Facebook, and even what you tweet all contribute to how they perceive you. Your job is to decide how you want to be seen, and then to create a brand that reflects that.
The Action Plan
Now is the time to create an action plan. This entails writing down specific steps that you are going to take to turn the vision into a reality. You begin by taking your vision plan (what you want to do) and turning it into an action plan (how you are going to make it happen). Here are some sample items that you might include on your action plan.
- Establishing a website with samples of my work – Time Period = 1 month or less
- Establishing a blog and contributing at least one post per week – Time Period = 1 week or less
- Establish social media accounts as a professional writer – Time Period = 1 week or less
- Find other writer’s blogs to follow – Time Period = 2 weeks or less
- Contact Publishers to feel out interest on a book idea that I have – Time Period = 1 month or less
- Set up an account on freelancer.com – Time period = 1 week or less
- Submit samples of my work to a local lifestyle magazine – Time period = 2 weeks or less
- Complete manuscript – Time period = 6 months or less
- Educate myself about e publishing – Time period = 3 months or less
Note that each item is a specific action step and each comes with a time limit. This increases motivation and helps avoid procrastination. Becoming a professional authorpreneur is not an easy task. Don’t forget, such plan will require dedication, motivation, and the willingness use time management tools to keep yourself on task.